Weather: Huge waves crash onto Wellington coast, thousands still without power

There's been no respite for emergency services with a second wave of rough weather buffeting the North Island.

Fire crews were kept off their feet until about 1am responding to downed trees, power lines on fire and roofs being lifted from homes, from Taupo north.

Several properties have also been flooded across the island.

Repair crews look to be making good headway on restoring power in the Far North, however thousands remain in the dark in Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

State Highway 25 north of Thames remains closed, along with SH1 north of Kaikoura - rock falls and surface flooding closed the latter to motorists on Friday.

Fire crews have received 543 weather-related calls since 2pm on Thursday, conducting 69 rescues.

1:30pm - Get used to this kind of weather

MetService is warning we can expect to see this type of weather again.

Meteorologist Tom Adams says the country should get used to it.

"New Zealand… has always seen lows like this coming out of the Tasman and bringing severe weather. So we will see other events like this unfortunately in the future."

11:15am - Firth of Thames 'unrecognisable'

The Firth of Thames is bearing the storm's battle scars with a coastline now unrecognisable.

Part of the East Coast Road could be shut for weeks, and roading contractors are out assessing the damage.

Mayor John Tregidga says the whole coastline has completely changed.

Weather: Huge waves crash onto Wellington coast, thousands still without power
Photo credit: Supplied / Suzette Major

"You wouldn't recognise it...the damage is so significant."

"For someone that's been in this game thirty years, I haven't seen this sort of damage since the 1981 floods that we had.

"In the past we've had flooding from over banks, streams and rivers, but this was the sea coming in and the sea was just unbelievably powerful and has done significant damage up there.

"I think the reality will set in this morning and there'll be a lot of work to do."

Mr Tregidga says large rocks have been dumped on the road and silt is up to half a metre deep.

A public meeting will be held at 2pm to further assess the damage.

10:40am - Crews working to restore power to thousands

Three thousand customers are still without power across the Coromandel and Tauranga.

Strong winds and flooding caused significant damage to the network on Thursday evening and again on Friday.

Powerco says it has ramped up restoration efforts, bringing in crews from other regions, and has restored power for another 5000 customers.

"The bad weather has eased and we are hoping to get helicopters up to inspect damage in more remote areas," operations manager Phil Marsh says.

"Our focus is on making the network safe and we encourage people to report any lines down."

Meanwhile Thousands of others around the North Island are also waiting to have power restored.

More than 1200 Northland properties are cut off, and there are still 14 reported outages in Auckland. It is not clear exactly how many homes the Auckland outages are affecting.

One hundred more in the Bay of Plenty are affected.

Click here for a full list of the country's outages. 

10:25am - Waves crash on to Wellington roads

Large waves breaking along the Eastbourne coastline in Wellington Harbour are causing trouble for some motorists.

Debris has been thrown onto the road, and at some points stop-go traffic crews are operational, NZME reports.

Thankfully, earlier fears of flooding for Wellington coastal residents did not come to fruition during this morning's high tide.

9:15am - Huge waves recorded in Cook Strait, Interislander trips cancelled

Two Interislander ferries have been cancelled as huge waves are recorded in the Cook Strait.

A trip departing Wellington at 6:45am, and another departing Picton at 10:45am, have been cancelled.

The recorded average wave height in the Cook Strait was between four and 4.5 metres when last recorded, MetService says. The maximum waves were recorded at around the eight metre mark.

The big waves generated by winds offshore, but also at the coast, as well as high tide is a "recipe for inundation" for coastal residents, Mr Adams says.

Residents near the shore have been warned to prepare for potential flooding.

Mr Adams from MetService says the time to watch out is now, as high tide comes in.

Coastguard skipper Phil Heath warns conditions on the water will be "challenging".

"We'd certainly say most boaties should be thinking about staying at home."

8:55 - Thousands still without power

Thousands of people in the North Island are still waiting to have power restored, after it was taken out by the storm on Thursday night and Friday.

More than 1200 Northland properties are cut off, and there are still 14 reported outages in Auckland. It is not clear exactly how many homes the Auckland outages are affecting.

In the Coromandel and Tauranga more than 2500 properties are affected.

One hundred more in the Bay of Plenty are affected.

Click here for a full list of the country's outages. 

8:45am - Coastal Wellington residents at risk of flooding

Coastal Wellington residents have been warned to prepare for potential flooding as the storm moves south.

MetService has issued a strong wind warning for the area, saying "inundation may affect the Wellington south coast and harbour, especially during high tide this morning".

8:00am - Kaikoura SH1 reopens

State Highway 1 both north and south of Kaikoura has reopened.

It's only three weeks since the coastal highway, rebuilt after the Kaikoura earthquake, opened to holiday traffic.

On Friday it closed once again as storng wind and rain hit the region.

The road will be closed again from 8:00pm tonight.

7:00am - Roads reopen

State Highway 1 between Mangamaunu and Clarence, and State Highway 1 between Peketa and Goose Bay are now open, NZTA says.

These sections will close at 8:30pm tonight as per the normal schedule unless weather conditions change.

6am - The outlook for Saturday

It's a little better than it has been. MetService meterologist Ciaran Doolin says the normal summer conditions will be back for some from Saturday - but not all.

5:45am - Unexpected downpour

Economic recovery leader Mel Skinner says people need to be patient.

"It's just a matter of par for the course, waiting for the weather to pass and for the road to be able to be reopened. They've done a great job getting it open to the standard that they have in the past year."

The road was closed for months following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

"State Highway 70 is open, and they can still come through the inland roads, which will take a little bit longer from the north and about half an hour longer from the south," says Ms Skinner.

She adds the region didn't expect a major downpour over summer.

5:30am - Rain a 'godsend'

Federated Farmers will take time to review the latest status across the industry following the recent storm surge.

The Government declared Taranaki down to Wellington as a medium-scale adverse last month as farmers were hit by drought conditions.

Manawatu Federated Farmers president Richard Morrison says the heavy rain could change the situation.

"We'll take stock once this rain's come through, where the situation is. But there is support out there for farmers who are struggling."

Fewer probably will be after this week.

"It's nice and warm, it's quite steady and constant, and it's a godsend," says Mr Morrison. "For most people, this is what we've been hanging out for."