Ed Sheeran's message to flood-affected Aucklanders as he begins his New Zealand shows

More than 48,000 fans have flocked to see Ed Sheeran tonight in Wellington.  

That's a record-breaking crowd for Sky Stadium, with many travelling from outside the region to see him play - and the whole city is buzzing. 

The stage is set for the biggest touring production New Zealand's ever seen, and Sheeran is promising it'll be his best show yet. 

"Tonight will be more special than the Opera House because the staging is insane, the production is insane," Sheeran said.

The British hitmaker's been chilling out in Aotearoa ahead of his tour, doing a few warm-up gigs at smaller locations like the Opera House and listening to a few Kiwi tunes. 

"The music in New Zealand is really, really great and really, really interesting," Sheeran said.

It's a big night not just for Sheeran, but for one of his young fans, Josh, too.

He's one of the more than 48,000 fans seeing Sheeran live in concert tonight. 

"He has cool songs," Josh said.

More than 16,000 fans have travelled from outside Wellington, including some superfans who came dressed for the occasion. 

"We've come up from Invercargill, taking a break from home and the kids," said Ann-Marie Griffiths.

Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau said it'll be a huge night for Wellington.

"Our hospitality scene is gonna see this massive influx of people, and it's gonna be a massive vibe."

Whanau recognises how lucky her city is to have a gig like this, while flooding up the country has cancelled a number of recent events.

"It kind of pains me to talk about this, when I know they are going through a tough time, so just want to let people know, there's still a lot of people here thinking about you," she said.

And with Eden Park in Auckland still hoping to host Sheeran next Friday despite flooded grounds, the musician had this message for Aucklanders. 

"I think it's been horrendous and my heart goes out to everyone, and I'm so sorry that that's happened. I know they're trying their best to make that show happen," he said.

So Auckland superfans can paint the town 'Ed' too.