Wellington community garden hit by flooding overnight

A community garden in Wellington has suffered a setback after being flooded.

The CEO of Mokai Kainga community garden in Owhiro Bay, Mark Forsyth, says he's devastated at the damage caused overnight.

"We've lost one and a half metres of embankment on both sides of the stream, a bridge, some planting, five big cabbage trees and a lot of chickens", he said.

"This stream is running a metre higher than it normally does. Last night in the flood it was one and a half metres above this.

"We were out here when they evacuated everyone. Police came down in force, council came down ... they took everyone down to the school, there was lots of support."

The community garden has around 300 gardeners, and also provides 35 emergency housing places.

Police say 43 houses along Happy Valley Road were evacuated to Owhiro Bay School after the neighbouring stream burst its banks.

One resident told Newshub she woke to authorities banging on the door and she had just five minutes to leave her home.

The torrential rain was relentless overnight. MetService said up to 88mm fell in some parts of the capital.

Wellington City Council received 200 calls. Spokesman Richard MacLean warned motorists to be careful of flooding, debris and manhole covers that had lifted.

"Wellington has escaped by the skin of its teeth", he said.

Flights to and from Wellington airport were suspended on Wednesday night. A number of flights were cancelled on Thursday morning and travellers are being warned of a backlog.

Fifty people spent the night at the airport.