Downpours bring heavy flooding to North Island, rain moves south

9:48pm: The weather watch has been lifted for Auckland after severe weather caused intense flooding across the city.

At one point the fire service was receiving one emergency call every 24 seconds. Auckland Civil Defence says all urgent calls have now been resolved as well as a number of non-urgent calls.

New Lynn's Bunnings Warehouse has been cleared to open on Monday, after flooding forced an evacuation on Sunday.

"Auckland's communities are very resilient and we thank everyone for their co-operation and patience during what has been a challenging few days," Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management director John Dragicevich.

8:36pm: Motorists in the Gisborne region are advised to avoid an unnecessary travel, as severe weather has downed several trees.

More falling trees and slips threaten the area between Tikitiki and Hicks Bay, while police work to clear debris from the roads.

The weather has begun to settle in central Hawke's Bay but people should still take care, police say.

7:24pm: Auckland Civil Defence has offered support for anyone who's had to evacuate due to the flooding and can't stay with family and friends.

People are advised to call 0800 22 22 00 for help.

6:20pm: A busted culvert in Auckland's New Lynn, which destroyed homes, has also ripped away some of the road and footpath.

A sinkhole has now opened in the footpath at New Lynn's main thoroughfare.

A black car can be seen having narrowly escaped destruction, parked just centimetres away from where the hole opened up.

Newshub's Kim Vinnell is at the scene and says emergency services are working to cut off the water and gas mains in the area to prevent further damage.

Tasman tempest severe weather flooding sink hole Kim Vinnell

5:45pm: A northern fire service spokesperson says 321 homes have been affected by flooding; 225 of those are in west Auckland. 

The spokesperson says they have responded to nearly 600 emergency calls since 6am.

Tasman tempest weather flooding

5:35pm: Vector says power has been restored to the 3000 residents in Glen Eden. 

A spokesperson says hot water issues could persist, and if they do, residents are advised to call 0508 VECTOR. 

5:20pm: New Lynn resident Josh Parbery showed Newshub his livestream rescue of pet rabbit Weenie, who he affectionately calls 'BunBuns'. 

Mr Parbery was in his downstairs flat when water burst through his wall, damaging his home and belongings. 

4:55pm: Utuhina Stream in Rotorua has burst its banks and is endangering properties.

Paradise Valley Rd, northwest of Rotorua, has been closed after slips and fallen trees blocked the road and a nearby bridge was washed out.

Paradise Valley Rd (Supplied/ Larissa Patea)
Paradise Valley Rd (Supplied/ Larissa Patea)

4:30pm: While the rain continues to pour, some are making the best of a bad situation. 

Sebastian Ragg's younger brother went outside for a shower, and says he's taking his time to scrub up while water restrictions remain in place.

Tasman tempest rain flooding shower boy
(Sebastian Ragg / supplied)

4:20pm: Hawkes Bay police are urging drivers to slow down and increase their following distances as heavy rain causes surface flooding.

The two worst affected areas are the Takapau township and State Highway 50. 

4:00pm: Vector has restored power to 1000 residents in Glen Eden, following an earlier outage.

A spokesperson says strong winds are making restoration efforts difficult, and 2000 residents are still without power.  

3:50pm: The worst of the rain in Auckland has passed, according to Weather Watch. 

Possible thundery downpours for the Taranaki and Coromandel regions are expected later this afternoon.

3:10pm: A northern fire service spokesperson says they're currently averaging an emergency call every 24 seconds. 

Residents are reminded to only call 111 if their lives are at risk, or their property is significantly damaged. 

3:00pm: Traffic signals at the intersection of State Highways 2 and 58 in Wellington are out.

The Transport Agency is urging caution, and reminds drivers that give way rules apply. 

2:40pm: More than 2800 homes in Glen Eden are without power, Vector says. 

Vector estimates it should be restored by 4pm. 

2:30pm: The fire service is urging people to avoid New Lynn due to risks of an unstable building. 

Nearby foot bridge on Caspian Cl is also shut.

Labour MP David Cunliffe says a block of flats were wiped out by a sudden influx of water coming from a broken culvert, displacing several families. 

2:20pm: Drivers are being urged to take care, especially in west Auckland. 

Police say a number of roads in New Lynn are closed after cars were flooded, and one vehicle had to be rescued after it became stuck. 

2:00pm: Ten people have been rescued from Great North Rd and Clark St stores. 

Fire services are checking surrounding shops for more people. 

Resident Josh Parbery told Newshub the water burst through a wall in his downstairs flat, creating a wake of destruction.  

Fire services are looking for other shoppers in nearby stores (Tim Raethal/Newshub)
Fire services are looking for other shoppers in nearby stores (Tim Raethal/Newshub)

1:30pm: Auckland shoppers are trapped in stores on Great North Rd and Clark St in New Lynn. 

There are also reports of cars being submerged as a result of rising waters. 

Cars are also submerged in New Lynn as water continues to rise (Jacob Brown/ Newshub)
Cars are also submerged in New Lynn as water continues to rise (Jacob Brown/ Newshub)

12:45pm: The fire service says they have responded to 270 incidents this morning.

They say 50 west Auckland homes reported severe flooding within two hours, after 65 millilmetres of rain fell in an hour.

11:45am: Auckland Civil Defence told Newshub it's best anyone from west Auckland through to Whenuapai stays home until at least 2pm on Sunday, as 40mm of rainfall was recorded in a half-hour. 

The fire service is inundated with calls from across Auckland, following reports of flooding. It is urging residents to only ring 111 if their life is at risk, or their property has been significantly damaged. 

11:00am: MetService has issued heavy rain warnings as far south as the Marlborough Sounds, and Wellington continues to take a huge lashing.

Grays Rd near Wellington has been closed due to flooding. 

Strong winds are expected in Northland and for Great Barrier Island. 

10:30am: Hamilton residents are the latest to be asked to conserve water, as the downpour sparks concerns the city's main water main. 

Council spokesperson Maire Porter is asking residents to cut back in small ways, such as taking shorter showers.