New Plymouth streets are looking more like rivers with intense downpours bringing flooding throughout Taranaki.
Heavy rain struck the city just before 1pm on Saturday. Video shows water streaming down the street and into buildings. The Centre City shopping complex is understood to have closed, after water filled the bottom floor.
Fire crews have responded to 10 calls for assistance.
New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says several businesses have been hit.
"We've been sending our contractors out to make sure drains are clean, just to get the water out as quickly as possible. The amount of rain that's come down in a short period of time is simply more than the stormwater system is capable of absorbing.
Mr Holdom hopes to have the city cleared within a few hours.