Weather: Warning of surface flooding, slips as Tasman Sea low brings widespread rain to New Zealand

Parts of New Zealand are in for a soaking as an unsettled northeast flow covers much of the country for the next few days.

MetService forecasts a low-pressure system will move onto New Zealand from the Tasman Sea on Thursday or Friday. It will bring a "prolonged period of wet weather" to northern and eastern parts of the North Island, particularly for the Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, and Tairāwhiti/Gisborne.

"The accumulation of rain over several days in these already sodden areas could cause surface flooding and activate slips regardless of whether warnable amounts of rain occur," MetService said.

There is moderate confidence rainfall amounts will reach warning criteria about Northland on Wednesday and Thursday, Great Barrier Island and Auckland north of Whangaparaoa on Thursday, Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty from Whakatāne westwards from Thursday to Saturday, and Tairāwhiti/Gisborne from Wednesday to Saturday. Meanwhile, there is low confidence of heavy rain for Hawke's Bay on Thursday and Friday.

A heavy rain watch remains in place for Wairarapa including the Tararua District. A heavy rain warning was in place for Tairāwhiti/Gisborne and parts of Hawke's Bay, although this has since been lifted.

MetService advised people to keep up to date with the latest forecasts in case any changes are made or new areas are added.

MetService meteorologist Andrew James said the heavy rain watch expires by the end of Monday.

"Do take care out there in this already sodden part of the country," he said.

NIWA meteorologist Seth Carrier warned of "gradually increasing activity" in the weather for the next few days. He said there could be locally dense fog for some areas in eastern parts of the country on Tuesday.