Auckland Council rejects it could have done more to alert residents to a violent storm.
Fierce gale-force winds slammed the city on Tuesday causing widespread damage. Tens of thousands remain without power, and there are fears for the vulnerable after a cold night.
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The Council's chief operating officer Dean Kimpton admits the storm "hit us a lot harder than what we expected", however argues Aucklanders were given enough warnings.
"Big storm, lots of warning through the news media and through social media the night before and through the evening," he told The AM Show on Thursday.
"There was no warnings about getting off the roads but there were warnings about making sure you check your home, check your family, and then check your travel route into work that day."
However host Duncan Garner say more needed to be done to prepare the public.
"I reckon yesterday morning there needed to be a stronger, clearer official signal from some authority," he says.
"Say to Aucklanders from 4 or 5am - don't come to work, stagger your approach because there are trees and cars being crushed on the roads. Stay away. I didn't hear that."
But Mr Kimpton says there wasn't a need to activate Civil Defence to handle the disaster.
"There was no official Civil Defence emergency, nor would I expect there to be. I think things happened as we expected to for that sort of storm," he says.
"Nobody's going to put out a blanket 'you shouldn't' go to work today'.
"I don't even know how you get that message out to everybody."
He says this was not an "unusual storm", and these events are likely to get worse in the future.
"We get storms in Auckland, we need to be able to adapt to these things," he says.