Weather: North Island towns of Opotiki and Okaihau hit by flooding

Tataetoko stream bridge.
Tataetoko stream bridge. Photo credit: Opotiki District Council.

The North Island towns of Opotiki and Okaihau have been hit by flooding as torrential rain lashes New Zealand.

Pictures from Opotiki posted to Facebook show flood waters reaching the windows of parked vehicles and nearing residents' properties.

The Bay of Plenty town was also hit by flooding on Monday, leading to its wastewater system becoming overwhelmed and portaloos having to be distributed to residents.

Opotiki District Council Chief executive Aileen Lawrie told Newshub road damage was not as bad as during flooding in 2010, but there were still some areas of concern.

The Tutaetoko and Pakihi Bridges in the town are understood to be the problem areas as slips have threatened surrounding roads.

Flooding has also blocked State Highway 1 near the Northland town of Okaihau, meaning users face an extra three hours on the road using alternative routes.

Flooding near Okaihau.
Flooding near Okaihau. Photo credit: The Hui

There are currently thunderstorm warnings in place for Auckland, Waikato, Waitomo, Taumaranui, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo, Hawkes Bay and Taihape.

Forecasters are also currently watching the trajectory of Cyclone Gita with baited breath, as they wait to see if it will make its way towards New Zealand.