Weather: Auckland flooding - where to get help, what to do, what you need to know


Auckland has experienced a staggering amount of rainfall with widespread flooding creating hazards for people and properties.

In places houses and buildings have been flooded and people have been evacuated, at least two people have died and two more are missing. Many local roads and highways are unpassable or closed due to flooding and slips, and serious flooding has affected Auckland Airport.

Authorities are warning those in Auckland to stay at home if it is safe to do so, but to pack essentials and be prepared to evacuate if you are in an area threatened by flooding.

Bay of Plenty Police also warned motorists to stay off the roads unless travel was essential as the storm was causing slips and damaged there.

A state of emergency was called for the Auckland region at 9.30pm on Friday and will remain in place for seven days. Auckland's mayor Wayne Brown reiterated the call to "stay safe, stay home" and said the rain and flooding was not over.

Calling for help

If you are unsafe, call 111.

Fire and Emergency received more than 2000 calls last night in Auckland, and on Friday night asked people to only call 111 if there was an emergency where someone's safety was in jeopardy. However, by Saturday morning, Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) Counties Manukau district manager Brad Mosby said staff were now working through the backlog of less urgent calls. Mosby said anyone driving through floodwaters risked getting trapped and further draining emergency services resources.

Police said they were continuing to respond to a high number of calls on Saturday.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said due to the number of calls for help, emergency services were prioritising what they could respond to, but his message was to stay safe, minimise movement and look after others as much as possible.

Brown said those responding to requests for help were focused on welfare calls, and would address infrastructure problems as a second priority when that is possible. Resources from outside the region were being brought in to assist the local civil defence response.

To report flooding, damage to drains, or stormwater issues, Auckland Council wants people to report online here.

The Ministry of Social Development is also taking calls for welfare assistance on: 0800 400 100.

Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty said while the Civil Defence response is currently a local response, help was also being supplied from outside the region by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

"There are resources to assist. People should be not hesitating - if they need assistance, and letting NEMA [National Emergency Management Agency] know," McAnulty said.

Weather forecasts

MetService said that while the red warning for Auckland had been lifted, it was expecting more heavy rain on Sunday. It put a heavy rain watch in place for Auckland and Great Barrier from 6am Sunday to the early hours of Monday.

A heavy rain warning was also in place for the Coromandel Peninsula from the early hours of Sunday till noon.

Essential services

Auckland's tap water is safe to drink, Auckland Council said.

But damage to a water pipe in a landslide meant people in Titirangi, Woodlands Park, Oratia, Green Bay, Waima and elevated sections of Scenic Drive could have no water or low water pressure for at least the next 48 hours. Water tankers were being sent to the area for residents to fill containers from.

On the North Shore people were called on to reduce water use, keep showers short and not do laundry to reduce the amount of wastewater, as wastewater was overflowing from a flooded pump station into a waterway.

In many places, flooding had spilled sewage and wastewater into the floodwaters, and people are urged to stay out of the water.

Watercare was prioritising overflows that were damaging private property, and most of the clean-up would have to wait until the flooding subsided and overflows stopped, Auckland Council said. More Watercare information can be found here.

Vector reported widespread power outages, particularly in West Auckland, with 3500 properties still without power at 11am on Saturday. Check their outage map here.

Anyone with a power cut who needed electricity for medical equipment should call 111 if they were in immediate danger, but otherwise should let their power company know as soon as possible, Vector said.

They said if properties had water in their fuse box, or signs of arcing or overheating they should contact a registered electrician.

Those affected by flooding should turn of their electricity and gas, unplug electrical appliances and not turn electricity and gas back on until a registered electrician/gas specialist said it was safe to do so, Vector said.

In some areas, emergency services had requested power be shut off until flooding subsided, and in others maintenance crews were having trouble reaching places to do repairs.

People should stay clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment and treat them as live at all times, the power company said. Floodwaters were also an electrical risk, as it was not always clear what was under the water, so people should stay clear of the water.

Anyone whose gas meter had been affected by water or debris, should contact their gas supplier.

Where to find essential information

Auckland Emergency Management is providing regular updates on their website here.

Auckland Council is providing updates and information on their website here.

RNZ will keep updating news and information from authorities throughout the day on air and online, including in our live blog.

Where to go if it is not safe at home

Three Civil Defence Centres are open for anyone who needs a safe place to go to.

  • In Kelston at Saint Leonard's Road School, 15 Leonard's Road
  • In Randwick Park, at Manu Tukutuku, 32 Riverton Drive
  • In Albany, at the Massey University Albany East Precinct. Enter at Gate 1/Main Entrance off the Albany Expressway SH17. The centre is set up in the Sir Neil Waters Theatre

About 50 people spent the night at the Kelston emergency centre with people coming in throughout the night. An RNZ reporter said it was full of stretcher beds, there are showers available and charities provided food.

A helpline has been set up by Auckland Emergency Management for anyone who needs accommodation: 0800 22 22 00.

An earlier Civil Defence Centre that had been opened at the North Shore Events Centre was shifted to the Massey Campus (see details above).

Anyone headed to the Civil Defence Centres is asked to bring essential items like medication, warm clothes and baby items.

On Saturday McAnulty said there were dozens of people using the Civil Defence Centres and he expected that more would arrive. The minister of housing had told him "things are kicking into gear for those that need longer-term solutions".

He said anyone who did not have a safe place to go to, and who could not make it to one of the three centres should make sure Civil Defence was aware of their situation so they could get temporary accommodation sorted.

Flood waters and damage

Auckland Emergency Management Duty Controller Andrew Clark called on everyone to think of safety first.

"We understand Aucklanders will be anxious to return to their homes to survey the damage, but we urge them to do so with caution.

"Please do not drive through floodwaters and remember hazards and debris could lurk beneath the surface, and floodwaters may be contaminated.

"If your property has been damaged, please take pictures for your insurance company and contact them as soon as you can."

Tower Insurance chief claims officer Steve Wilson said extra resources had been brought in for its phone lines today and tomorrow, as they anticipate claims volumes will increase.

He said providing temporary accommodation was a key focus for Tower, with many establishments at or near capacity due to events that were scheduled before the arrival of wild weather.

Roads and travel

Authorities are calling on everyone to stay safe at home and not to travel if they are safe where they are.

Due to the flooding at Auckland Airport, no domestic or international flights will be arriving or departing from Auckland Airport before noon today. Travellers should get in touch with their airline or check their airline travel app for the latest information and any impact on travel plans.

For anyone who does need to use the roads, updates are being posted by Auckland Transport on their Twitter feed here, and Waka Kotahi on their website here and on their Twitter feed here.

Events cancellations

Many events have been cancelled, among them, the Elton John concert in Auckland on Saturday.

Saturday's Fatboy Slim concert in Napier was also cancelled.

Beaches are unsafe

All Auckland beaches are now rated high or very high risk for swimming as flood waters overwhelmed wastewater systems.

Auckland's SafeSwim website said every beach was now at red or black alert, the highest rating. At black level, residents are advised not to swim.

Other regions

Bay of Plenty Police said the region was now experiencing widespread flooding and the situation was expected to worsen throughout Saturday. They called on motorists to stay off the roads unless travel was essential.

A police spokesperson said heavy rain had caused multiple slips and brought down large trees.

State Highway 2 is closed at Maniatutu with diversions in place, while a landslide is partially blocking State Highway 29 at Omanawa.

A Heavy Rain Warning was also in place for the Coromandel Peninsula from the early hours of Sunday till noon.