Weather: Northland floods happening 'quite regularly' - Peeni Henare

The devastation from Northland's flooding is slowly being cleared, but many residents still face a tiring clean-up effort.

Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare visited the Moerewa Rugby Club on Sunday to survey the town's damage, and says trips to see flooding destruction are becoming too common.

"It's truly heartbreaking... I grew up here and it didn't flood this much when I was a child. Now all of a sudden we're here quite regularly."

Moerewa is one of the worst-hit towns, but Northland Civil Defence spokesperson Graeme MacDonald says the damage is slowly being cleared.

"The situation has improved significantly from what we saw yesterday morning," he says.

But the house of Moerewa local Skip Kidwell is still an island.

"I've been up since Friday trying to stop water coming inside and I'm tired," he says.

Community advocate Pamela-Anne Simon says the situation is mild compared to other days.

"It was right up inside [Kidwell's] house and it was terrible. I don't know why there isn't $30,000 to raise this house," she says.

Henare says the priority at the moment is property and people.

"Over the next few days we will get a true assessment of what type of support is required here."

Most roads reopened on Sunday now the water is subsiding.

"The roading network is probably key to Northland and that's improved remarkably in a short space of time. The Mangamukas are still closed but most other roads are passable which is great news," MacDonald says.

There are seven major slips blocking State Highway 1 between Mangamuka and Kaitaia. An entire forest has slid down the hill and it will be days, if not weeks, before it is cleared.

Although much of the water has subsided, rivers in the regions remain raging torrents.

The Waiharakeke River in Moerewa is one of the main reasons why the town floods, and it's not the first time.

"It's happened in more than one flood... Because we're the last house, all the water ends up in here," Kidwell says.

Henare says one thing about Moerewa and Northland is it's a "strong and resilient" area.

The region of Northland may be saturated, but their spirits have been far from dampened.