Australia bushfires: Auckland residents call 111 over orange haze prompting message from police

Auckland residents concerned over the orange haze taking over the sky has prompted a message from police. 

While emergency services appreciate the conditions - caused from the Australian bushfires - are causing concern, people are being urged to leave the 111 line for specific instances. 

These include when someone is breaking into your house, there is car accident where people might be hurt, or cars are blocking the road, someone has been assaulted and the offender is still there or you are afraid for your safety and or for those around you. 

The 111 number also applies when an emergency police response is needed. 

The dark orange skies in west Auckland.
The dark orange skies in west Auckland. Photo credit: Newshub

Tahlia Crabtree, a Metservice Meteorologist, told Newshub "a batch of smoke had made its way across the Tasman [on Sunday]."

Crabtree says the smoke will be moving across New Zealand now through to the evening later.

"The wind we have is not as organised, so the smoke is expected to disperse faster." 

"Around 2pm on Sunday the skies, which were already fairly overcast, turned a dramatic orange and darkened significantly," WeatherWatch said in a statement.

They also said the gloomy weather is likely to continue for the rest of Sunday with the next main plume moving through and thickening over the afternoon.

It should clear on Monday.

The weather may affect also people driving back from their holiday.

The orange skies have been seen around the country, including in Matarangi.
The orange skies have been seen around the country, including in Matarangi. Photo credit: Heather Keats / Supplied

Darryl Walker, New Zealand Transport Agency's Media Manager, has urged drivers to put their lights on, watch their following distance, slow down and drive to the conditions.

"Don't get distracted."

Twitter has been flooded with pictures of the sepia sky, including from Auckland Mayor Phil Goff who also noted the smoky atmosphere. 

The effects of the devastating Australian bushfires have been felt in New Zealand over the past few days. 

It has created concerns for the health of Kiwis with respiratory problems.

The biggest recommendation we can make is to ensure people have their inhalers on them, and also to make sure they're not expired and they're not empty," Letitia Harding from the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation said.

Asthma experts say if the haze looks bad, asthmatics shouldn't go running or garden outside. They instead should stay inside and close the windows.

Police are also asking people not to call 111 to report the orange haze in the sky caused by the Australian bushfires.

The smoke has spread further North, with Northland residents telling Newshub they can "smell smoke". 

Langs Beach.
Langs Beach. Photo credit: David Clark.