Tornado rips through Tauranga suburb

Emergency services have been called to a property in Tauranga that is believed to have been damaged by a tornado.

A garage on Pyes Pa Rd has been damaged and possibly some other buildings in the vicinity too, the Fire Service says.

NZME reports most of the damage was focused around a retirement village.

"Fences are down, a shed has gone walkabouts," a local woman told NZME. "It's just blown up awful."

Witnesses to the tornado describe seeing heavy rain, followed by sudden winds whipping in a circular motion with debris inside. 

One person at a nearby business told Newshub she saw trees nearly bent double by the force of the wind.

Manu McLeod, from Pools R Us on Nature Pl, says he saw fibreglass pools picked up by the force of the winds. He says his signage has been thrown across the road and ruined.

MetService meteorologist Tom Adams told NZME the weather on Tuesday could cause tornadoes.

"There is a low risk of thunderstorms throughout the Bay of Plenty today. When you've got thunderstorms there is a risk of tornadoes," he said.