'Another bout' of heavy rain looms for upper North Island

Mon, Jan 30

For a recap of 1News' live updates as the wild weather's effects continued to be felt on Monday, scroll down.

What you need to know:

  • A state of emergency has been declared for Auckland.
  • Four people have died in the floods.
  • A severe thunderstorm watch is in place for Northland and Auckland until 10am Monday.
  • Red heavy rain warnings are in place for north Auckland, Northland and the Coromandel.
  • Authorities have told Aucklanders to stay home unless they absolutely need to travel.

As it happened

10.00pm: That concludes 1News' live updates for today.

Join us from tomorrow morning for all the latest on the weather around the country.

9.50pm: Climate change is being blamed for the catastrophic weather in Auckland. Watch the full story below.

9.40pm: "Both Red & Orange warnings can see significant impacts especially on already saturated land," MetService have tweeted, ahead of the expected heavy rain for Northland, Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula from tomorrow.

People are advised to check the MetService website for the latest on severe weather warnings and watches.

9.30pm: Here's a photo of a slip in Parnell earlier tonight.

A slip in Parnell.

9.10pm: Auckland Grammar School principal Tim O'Connor has now confirmed to 1News his school will be closed tomorrow, after earlier saying it would remain open.

9.00pm: A reminder of the severe weather warnings and watches on the way.

Northland is under a severe thunderstorm watch from noon tomorrow to 4am Wednesday.

Red heavy rain warnings have been issued for Northland from 3am tomorrow to 6am Wednesday, Auckland north of Orewa from 4pm tomorrow to 7am Wednesday, and Coromandel Peninsula from 7pm tomorrow to 4pm Wednesday.

Orange heavy rain warnings are in place for Auckland from Orewa southwards and Great Barrier Island from 6pm tomorrow to 9am Wednesday, and Bay of Plenty from 3am Wednesday to 3am Thursday.

Strong wind watches are in place for Northland from 9am tomorrow to 6am Wednesday and Auckland from 2pm tomorrow to 8am Wednesday.

8.19pm: Auckland businesses are counting costs after the wild weather left many mopping up and assessing the damage.

8.09pm: While it's been stormy weather for the upper North Island since last Friday, it's set to be "very warm to hot" down south tomorrow.

8.06pm: And here's how the rain and thunder looked across the far north this afternoon.

7.57pm: Rain levels recorded in the Coromandel Peninsula as of 9am Friday:

7.50pm: Today saw 25,000 passengers board flights at Auckland Airport after Friday's floods – the equivalent of the numbers who travelled on Boxing Day.

While the airport is not yet fully operational, it's adapting parts of its operation to keep things going.

Read the full story here: Auckland Airport ramping up again after weather disruption

7.41pm: Defence Minister Peeni Henare says he visited "a number of community centres who have come together to support community during this difficult time".

"I started the day at the Auckland Emergency Management Centre talking with the team and giving feedback from the communities affected.

"I made it clear that local leadership is important and that the government is right beside them in support."

He acknowledged the work of local councillor Alf Filipaina and "all of the kaimahi" at Māngere Memorial Hall who are "supporting one of the hardest hit areas by the flooding".

"Donations of kai and clothing continue to pour in but they could always do with more."

7.25pm: Meanwhile, the impact of the floods continue to be felt across Auckland.

6.52pm: Calls are growing for Wayne Brown to resign as the mayor of Auckland over his handling of the flood response.

6.50pm: Macleans College has reversed its decision to open to students tomorrow.

"Tonight schools have been given a further update and clarification about opening for students," principal Steven Hargreaves said.

"Despite an earlier indication that schools could be open that is no longer possible.

"We will be closed. Students are to remain at home."

6.40pm: An official civil defence post has been set up at Māngere War Memorial Hall on Domain Rd, in Māngere.

People are urged to head to the building if it is safe to travel to get support, Tūpuna Maunga says.

6.27pm: Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty says he "was in Auckland again today to check in with the welfare response on the ground".

"I cannot express strongly enough just how much respect I have for our front line workers. Our volunteers, Police, FENZ, NZDF personnel, those helping whanau on marae across the region," he said on Twitter.

6.18pm: NIWA says there is an "elevated risk for wind damage" in the coming days.

"Because the ground very wet, impacts are likely to be greater than what's commonly found from 65-85 km/h gusts."

6.16pm: ACT Party leader David Seymour has called the Education Ministry's orders to close all Auckland schools to in-person learning until February 7 "dictatorial, impractical, and infuriating".

"With everything parents are facing, this last minute decision is the last thing they need. Not to mention, kids actually need to be at school learning after the past three years of disruption."

Seymour called for Prime Minister Chris Hipkins to reverse the decision and allow principals "who actually lead schools, make the decision for their school community".

6.07pm: Qantas was forced to cancel 30 flights following the closure of Auckland Airport over the weekend, a spokesperson for the airline told 1News.

Jetstar had 22 flight cancellations and two diversions to Wellington on Friday night, a spokesperson said.

Air New Zealand, meanwhile, had to cancel over 300 flights, the national carrier's chief operational integrity and safety officer, David Morgan, said.

5.49pm: The Ministry of Education has this evening issued a statement announcing its decision to close schools, early learning services and tertiary institutions for in-person learning until February 7.

"Principals and education leaders have done a fantastic job of readying their schools for opening, and I know that this decision will be upsetting for some of them and for some parents," Secretary for Education Iona Holsted said.

"I know this is a late announcement that will cause disruption and I thank the sector in advance. We need to get Tamaki Makaurau back up and running as quickly as possible."

It comes as Macleans College told parents this afternoon that the school will be "opening as planned on Tuesday".

Stormy weather (file image).

5.26pm: Auckland Grammar School will be open tomorrow, headmaster Tim O'Connor said in a letter to parents this afternoon.

"I am aware of recent media reports stating that schools must close until Tuesday 7 February. At this point on Anniversary Day, the school has received no communications from the Ministry of Education that support this.

"We have spent the weekend preparing our campus to be open tomorrow. As the Ministry of Education has not communicated with us today, the best I can do is read the media reports that provide us an option for schools to remain open.

"Given this, we will continue with our plans to be open for instruction from 9am tomorrow, unless we are given a directive that we are not permitted to do so."

O'Connor said he will provide an update to parents later this evening.

5.20pm: The Northern Gateway toll will be paused from now until 10pm on Sunday, or until the state of emergency is lifted in Auckland, NZTA says.

"It will provide motorists who need to travel, a reliable alterative to SH16 which is being affected by flooding and the Hibiscus Coast Highway on-ramp which is closed due to damage."

The transport agency is advising motorists to stay home if possible, and to be prepared for rough road surfaces, flooding and debris.

5.08pm: Here's a visual of the rainfall being forecast in the upper North Island:

4.58pm: MetService is now forecasting between 100 to 140mm of rain between 4am tomorrow and 4am Wednesday, especially in the north and east of the region.

Localised areas may receive as much as 140 to 220mm over that same period, Northland Civil Defence controller Graeme MacDonald said.

"Peak rates of 10 to 20 mm/h are expected, but again, localised areas could see 25 to 40 mm/h from thunderstorms."

4.49pm: The road is now closed between West Coast Rd and Stoney Creek Rd on SH16 Kaukapakapa to Makarau, NZTA says.

4.22pm: The Ministry of Education has ordered all schools, kura, early learning services and tertiary institutions between Wellsford and Pukekohe to close for "physical attendance and instruction" until February 7.

It was issued after the National Emergency Management Agency asked the Education Ministry to "take action to help minimise traffic movement on Auckland roads while vital infrastructure is urgently repaired", the Secretary for Education said in a special bulletin.

"Early Learning Services may allow the physical attendance of any child whose parent needs them to do so, in the same that we did for Covid, but must otherwise be closed," it read.

A formal announcement from NEMA is expected to be issued shortly.

3.59pm: An updated list of closed, impacted and reopened roads can be found on Auckland Transport's website.

3.56pm: Anyone needing mental health support or advice has been advised to call or text 1737 any time, Whakarongorau Aotearoa / New Zealand Telehealth Services says.

Advice on managing stress in an emergency can also be found on the Ministry of Health's website.

3.33pm: Northland, Auckland north of Orewa and Coromandel Peninsula have been upgraded to a red heavy rain warning, MetService says.

"This decision is based on collaboration with local authorities and on concerns for significant impact that further heavy rainfall on these saturated catchments may cause.

The Bay of Plenty has also been upgraded to an orange heavy rain warning.

A strong and humid northeast flow covers northern and central New Zealand, with bursts of heavy rain and thunderstorms likely for a number of regions through into Wednesday. A number of warnings and watches remain in force for heavy rain and possible severe northeast gales.

Read the full story here: Red heavy rain warnings for north Auckland, Northland, Coromandel

3.31pm: Auckland Zoo has been hit hard by the flooding in recent days.

The clean-up will take several days, and people are asked to check the zoo's social media and website for the latest.

Read the full story here: Startling images reveal extent of Auckland Zoo flooding

3.24pm: With more rain expected tomorrow, Brown says he's asked emergency authorities to "consider advising schools and businesses about staying closed tomorrow".

He said he's also asked Defence Minister Peeni Henare to "prepare to bring in the army to help".

3.20pm: "Four people have died. Their friends and families are grieving and are in everybody’s minds. It underlines the fact that this was a downpour that none of us had ever seen before or even imagined and as the Prime Minister said, this is climate change," Brown said.

Over 400 households required assistance from 11am today, while 500 Aucklanders requested accommodation assistance. In addition, over 60 people stayed in emergency accommodation overnight, while a further 80 people were moved to other emergency accommodation.

He conceded there "have been hiccups" regarding the communications from himself and his office, after a local state of emergency was declared late on Friday night.

"Yes, there have been hiccups, of course. I accept that our communications – including mine and my office – were not good enough, especially on Friday night.

"I am commissioning a full, independent review of all the decisions and actions made by everybody taken in the first 24 to 48 hours, including mine and my office, and the agencies.

"We want recommendations for improvement, and we will act on them."

Auckland mayor Wayne Brown speaks to media about the flood response.

3.06pm: "It has taken some time for everyone to appreciate just how big and widespread an event this has been and it hasn’t finished yet," Auckland mayor Wayne Brown told reporters this afternoon.

"Severe damage has occurred in all parts of our region. The downfall was by far the biggest in our history. It was well beyond what even our emergency people either imagined or planned for. We’re all in this together."

A full independent inquiry will be launched into the Auckland flood response, he announced.

2.59pm: Auckland mayor Wayne Brown will be providing an update to media shortly. Watch the live stream here: Live stream: Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown speaks to media

2.53pm: While there’s "no doubt there are people all over Auckland in dire straits", some vulnerable communities "were left behind even before the floods hit", 1News Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver writes.

Read the full story here: Auckland floods: Māngere matters, writes Barbara Dreaver

2.37pm: While Monday is a "pause day" for severe weather in Auckland, bad conditions are likely to pick up again by Tuesday evening.

Read the full story here: Latest weather warnings as more heavy rain on the way

2.23pm: Here's a graphic showing rainfall accumulation between Monday and Wednesday.

2.20pm: Here's a list of Auckland water tanker locations until 9pm tonight:

716 South Titirangi Rd

End of Tawini Rd

1 Cochran Rd, Oratia

Shetland St, Glen Eden

66 Avonleigh Rd, Green Bay - 24-hour service

Ceramco Park, Glen Eden - self-service

Two sites are available till 9.30pm

Corner Kotinga Ave and Puketitiro St, Glen Eden

Corner Withers Rd and Paewai Rd, Glen Eden

2.06pm: Fatboy Slim's performance at Stonyridge Vineyard, in Waiheke, will be rescheduled from Tuesday, January 31 to Thursday, February 2.

All tickets will remain valid for the new date.

People who are no longer able to attend the new date can get a full refund from Moshtix. Please allow five to seven days for refunds to be processed.

1.58pm: Four Wellington City Council building inspectors will be heading to Auckland to help assess homes and other buildings damaged by the floods.

Two staff members will head to the city tomorrow following a request from Auckland Council, while two others will travel north next week, Wellington City Council's chief planning officer, Liam Hodgetts, said.

"We are more than willing to send staff to Auckland – the city has been struck very hard – and we know Auckland would help us out if Wellington was hit by a similar major emergency."

1.51pm: A strong wind watch will be in effect for the Auckland Harbour Bridge from 12pm tomorrow until 4am Wednesday, triggering an amber alert and a possible red alert, the New Zealand Transport Agency says.

Under an amber alert, speeds are reduced and lanes may close. Under a red alert, all lanes on the bridge are closed.

Heavy rain is also expected from 6pm tomorrow until 7am Wednesday which could result in surface flooding.

1.48pm: Two birds at Auckland Zoo have died while other animals were evacuated amid intense flooding in recent days.

"The Zoo’s most impacted areas are close to Motions Creek," they said on Facebook.

"By Friday afternoon the water was rising to high levels, and our teams took a proactive decision to evacuate some of the animal areas near the creek to higher ground. This included the skinks, scheltopusiks and beaded dragons of Lizard Lane, American alligators and New Zealand reptiles."

By Friday evening, the creek "flowed over the top of its stone wall boundary and caused major flooding to the lower lying part of the Zoo – including most areas the creek travels".

"Fortunately, the vast majority of the animals in our care are safe and well. However we recovered the bodies of two small birds on Saturday – a zebra finch and a kotare – that appear to have been overwhelmed by the volume of rain and waterlogged and appear to be the only casualties of the storm."

The flooding has also led to "significant" damage to buildings, and there "has been loss of animal feed, equipment and office supplies".

The zoo will be closed for several days as the clean-up effort gets underway.

Staff at Auckland Zoo were forced to evacuate some of its animals to higher ground amid the flooding.

1.31pm: Gusts could reach up to 80-90 km/h from Tuesday afternoon in the north.

"Given the saturated soils, that is likely to fall to cause treefall more than normal," Griffiths said.

East coast bays, Whangaparoa and north of Orewa in particular may see "wind-damaged trees given the soil saturation".

1.26pm: Griffiths said we will see "some high-intensity rainfalls associated with thunderstorms".

"We will see some high-intensity falls – 25 to 40 mm in an hour, half an hour – which, no matter where they happen in the Auckland region, will cause localised flooding and impact.

"Our concern, of course, is that Auckland is really vulnerable to rain. We’re completely saturated, our rivers are up, groundwaters are up.

"It’s not going to look like Friday. However, it doesn’t need to."

1.18pm: MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths told reporters at a press conference this afternoon that today is the "pause day" for the wild weather in Auckland.

She says a heavy rain warning will kick in for the region around 6pm tomorrow to 6am Wednesday, "with the rain spreading in from the north".

"People in central Auckland and South Auckland, expect to see that rain somewhat later."

"We're looking at about the same volume of rain and again, the risk of downpours. You could expect to see 60 to 80 mm of rain to come in that period north of the [harbour] bridge.

"Places north of Orewa, we could see 80 to 120mm of rain in that region. This is the area that got hit hardest last night."

1pm: People are reporting on social media that they're stranded in Wellsford due to flooding.

A woman posted to Tiktok saying she is unable to leave her home at Waiteitei Farm.

12.45pm: Thunderstorms on the West Coast brought over 30mm of rain in just one hour this morning.

12.40pm: Photos from Kopu-Hikuai Rd in the Coromandel show the destruction caused by the floods.

Damaged roads in the Coromandel.
 Damaged roads in the Coromandel.

12.20pm: MetService has given an update on thunderstorms set to spring up this afternoon.

11.40am: KiwiRail and Auckland Transport have given an update at a media conference in Auckland this morning.

AT Chief Executive Mark Lambert said there are currently 45 road closures or partial road closures left to be fixed.

He said extra time for travel is advised and people should rethink if they really do need to travel or not.

AT said it's implementing temporary bridges over the next two days.

Lambert added that seven roads reopened last night and the focus is now shifting to local and rural road networks.

He said the 14 buses that were stranded on Friday have all been recovered and repaired.

11.20am: Clean-up efforts are underway in Sunnynook on Auckland's North Shore.

Clean-up efforts are underway in Sunnynook.

Volunteers are helping those worst impacted by the wild weather.

11.10am: A 57-year-old man has been arrested after he was caught stealing from a flood-damaged vape store in Wairau Valley, Auckland.

Police said at 8.30 last night they arrested the man after receiving reports of "suspicious activity".

The man and a woman were allegedly seen putting a "significant" amount of products into a van.

10.50am: Fire and Emergency have said they are continuing to help people in Auckland, Waikato, and the Bay of Plenty with weather related call outs.

There have been 348 calls in the past 24 hours. 273 of these calls were from Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.

10:25am: Auckland Emergency Management says a pop-up community and agency information hub will be open at the Māngere Memorial Hall through to Friday 8am to 8pm. Needs assessments and support, including accommodation, are being provided.

10.10am: MetService have given an update on today's weather.

9.50am: NIWA has announced Auckland now recorded over 769% of its January monthly normal rainfall and over 38% of it's entire annual rainfall.

9.30am: State Highway 26 north of Te Aroha is now open but there is still some water on the road.

Motorists are asked to drive with extreme care in the weather conditions and avoid travel if possible.

9.15am: Several roads remain closed across the North Island. Waka Kotahi has given an update:

In the Northland region, SH1 Brynderwyn to Waipu is closed from the SH12 intersection to Waipu.

Motorists should expect delays with a detour via Waipu / Mangawhai. Freight and heavy vehicles are advised to detour via SH12. Light vehicles should detour via Waipu/Mangawhai.

In the Auckland region, SH16 Helensville to Waimauku is closed due to flooding near Bradly Rd.

NZTA are urging people to expect delays and use the detour available.

In the Waikato/ Coromandel region, SH2 from Mangatawhiri to Maramarua between Mangatawhiri Rd and Kopuku Rd. is closed due to slips.

There is a detour available and Waka Kotahi ask motorists to allow an extra 30 minutes travel time for the detour and expect delays.

SH2 from Pokeno to Mangatarata and SH25 between Coromandel and Whitianga are also closed.

SH25A from Kopu to Hikuai is closed until further notice following a large section of road collapsing.

The Tapu-Coroglen and 309 roads are also closed. There is a detour on State Highway 2 via Karangahake Gorge.

SH37 Waitomo, SH37, SH5 Napier-Taupo are also closed.

In the Taranaki region, the large drop out remains on SH43 Stratford to Taumarunui but the road is now open and under stop/go traffic management.

9am: The petition for Wayne Brown to be removed as Auckland Mayor has reached 8900 signatures.

8.30am: Footage has emerged showing the extent of damage in Titirangi after four homes were evacuated due to landslips overnight.

8.05am: Auckland Council's Rachel Kelleher says a total of 440 stranded cars have been towed and around 88 are still stuck on the roads.

Speaking at a media conference this morning, she says there was up to 60mm of rainfall overnight with extensive surface flooding.

Around 130 Council inspectors were out yesterday, 40 red placards, 151 yellow placards, and 366 white placards have been placed on homes.

There have also been 125 tree-related callouts since beginning of floods with 66 classified as critical and needing immediate attention, she said.

Kelleher said there is a potential for more bad weather tomorrow and Wednesday.

7.55am: AMI, State and NZI insurance have so far received more than 3500 claims for property damage and flooded vehicles.

New Zealand Insurance Council's Tim Grafton says it's an ongoing situation and there will be more claims.

Major flooding has led to widespread damage for parts of Te Ika-a-Māui.

He said AMI, State and NZI are just three insurance companies and the number of 3500 could be "at least doubled" to cover all claims being made across the country.

"We've got more weather coming through so we won't have the final number of claims for quite sometime," Grafton told Breakfast.

He says damage costs will be significant, " I don't want to hazard a guess at how much, but it is in no doubt the largest single extreme weather event this country has faced."

7.50am: Four properties were evacuated in Auckland's Titirangi last night due to slips.

Four properties were evacuated in Auckland's Titirangi last night due to slips.

Engineers are expected at the site this morning.

Police are unable to confirm the number of emergency call outs overnight.

7.40am: Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says the Auckland floods are a result of climate change.

Speaking to Breakfast this morning, Hipkins said: "Climate change is real, it's with us, it's having an impact on our weather, we are seeing more of these extreme weather events, we're going to have to deal with more of these extreme weather events in the near future and we need to be prepared for that."

He added: "It's a 1 in 100 year weather event and we seem to be getting a lot of them at the moment, and I think people can see that there's a message in that."

7.25am: The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the Kaitaki interisland ferry engine failure is concerning.

Maritime Union secretary Craig Harrison says finding out the cause of the failure is a priority.

He said the actions of the captain and crew of the Kaitaki were "commendable" in managing the situation.

"The failure of previous governments to invest in upgrading our interisland ferries has led to an ageing fleet where this kind of problem occurs.”

6.55am: Chlöe Swarbrick says Aucklanders "aren't out of the woods yet".

Speaking to Breakfast this morning, the Green MP for Auckland Central said there will be a time and a place to discuss the flood response, but for now the focus needs to be on keeping people safe.

“People cannot forget what has occurred here, and I think it’s also really important that we reflect on the fact that what we’re facing is a climate crisis.”

6.45am: Community advocate Dave Letele is calling for Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown to resign.

Speaking to Breakfast this morning, Letele said Brown is "out of his depth".

"This was his opportunity to really stand up and deliver and he just hasn't so I'd go as far to say he needs to resign over this".

6.30am: Passengers are being asked to wait for confirmation on their flight before travelling to Auckland Airport.

"Travellers are much better to get in touch with airlines or their travel agency via phone or online to reschedule flights, rather than seeking to rebook in person at the international terminal. Airline representation outside confirmed check-in times can be very limited," Auckland Airport said in a statement.

Only international travellers who are scheduled to fly today are asked to come to the terminal.

More than 25,000 passangers are expected to fly today.

6.15am: State Highway 26 has been closed 5km north of Te Aroha as the Waihou river has burst its banks.

Police are urging motorists to avoid travel in the area.


Aucklanders are experiencing a flood-damaged city after Tāmaki Makaurau saw unprecedented rainfall on Friday.

Flooding on Shore Rd, in Auckland's Remuera.

Thousands of emergency service calls have been made and the Prime Minister is urging people to support each other.

The North Shore Civil Defence Centre was relocated to Massey University's Albany Campus from its original location at North Shore Events Centre on Friday night.

"Those who are displaced or need assistance can access the centre via the main entrance at Gate 1," Auckland Emergency Management said in a statement

The New Zealand Defence Force remains on the ground in Auckland.


More Stories