Some Dargaville residents forced to evacuate as high tide looms

Wed, Feb 15

For a recap of 1News' live updates on the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle as it happened, scroll down.

What you need to know

10.01pm - That concludes 1News' live updates for this evening. For a recap of the day's events as it happened, scroll down.

9.22pm - Cyclone Gabrielle is expected to move away to the southeast of the country. However, an associated front is set to bring rain with heavy falls to parts of central New Zealand, MetService says.

An orange heavy rain warning is in place for the Wairarapa south of Masterton and the eastern hills of Wellington from 10pm this evening to 11am tomorrow; and eastern Marlborough south of Ward, including the Kaikoura Coast, and Canterbury from Waiau northward until 10am tomorrow.

A heavy rain watch is in place for Wellington, excluding the eastern hills, from 11pm tonight to 11am tomorrow. The rain may be heavy for a period of time, with rainfall amounts potentially approaching warning criteria.

A heavy rain watch is also in place for Canterbury between Waiau and Methven until 5am tomorrow, with periods of heavy rain potentially approaching warning criteria.

9.12pm - Former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern checked on local businesses in Auckland's Sandringham earlier this afternoon.

"Lots of reflection by many that relative to others, this area hasn’t been impacted as badly. It is a community that has been through a lot over the past 12 months, and I feel really grateful to have the chance to spend a bit more time with everyone," she wrote on Facebook.

Jacinda Ardern meets with local business owners in Sandringham, Auckland.

9.07pm - Here's a photo of a large slip on SH25 Thames Coast Rd.

A large slip on SH25 Thames Coast Rd.

9.05pm - Napier residents left without power or phone reception have been using the airport's wifi to contact their loved ones.

Napier residents using the airport's wifi to contact their loved ones.

9.00pm - Helicopter rescues are continuing in Hastings as Hawke's Bay city continues to battle high levels of surface flooding left behind by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Speaking to Seven Sharp this evening, Hastings mayor Sandra Hazelhurst said the devastation across the region was incredible and "really sad".

Read more here.

8.50pm - Coromandel Peninsula's State Highway 25 is now open between Thames, and Matarangi State Highway 2 Karangahake Gorge is also open.

Cleanup works underway on Coromandel roads.

SH25 is open in sections, meaning people in towns on the east coast, like Whitianga and Tairua, can leave the peninsula.

SH25 is still closed between Ruamahanga Bay and Tapu on the Thames-Coast Highway due to a slip with suspended trees.

State Highway 2 Paeroa and Waihi through the Karangahake Gorge is now open for essential travel.

Some sections have 30km/h or 50km/h temporary speed limits, with more cleanup work expected tomorrow.

SH25 Te Rerenga to Kūaotunu is still closed due to significant slips between Matarangi Road and Kūaotunu.

8.40pm - Isolated Gisborne is beginning to run low on crucial supplies.

Rationing is being introduced to make sure supplies last until roads reopen.

1News Chief Correspondent John Campbell is there, covering the situation.

8.26pm - State Highway 51 between Napier and Clive has reopened following an assessment by engineers.

"The cyclone had left a lot of surface flooding and debris along the road. Our contractors have worked tirelessly to ensure the road is cleared of debris and safe to travel on," Waka Kotahi NZTA journey manager for Hawke's Bay Andre Taylor said.

Much of the road is still under a 30km/h speed limit, with stop/go management in place between the Clive River Bridge and Farndon Road.

"We are mindful SH50; the Napier-Hastings Expressway remains closed. The good news is contractors are likely to be in a position to start clearing debris from tomorrow morning," Taylor said.

8.14pm - The State Highway network to and from Coromandel Town is expected to be up and running with restrictions in place from tomorrow, the Thames-Coromandel District Council says. 

Damaged roads in Coromandel.

Coromandel to Thames and Hikuai to Whangamatā should have one lane open to vehicles by the morning but extreme caution is advised. 

However, motorists have been advised to drive with caution as the road may be slippery due to mud from slips and debris. 

8.10pm - The Wairoa District Council has updated how the region is doing.

They said electricity is still patchy in town, and some outer districts are still without power. In addition, there is no internet or phone reception.

"As roads are re-opened, we are reconnecting with our rural whānau. However, there are areas we have not yet been able to contact.

The Te Reinga Bridge is still closed to vehicles and pedestrians and will be reassessed.

Government assistance is starting to trickle in, limited to a few agency representatives.

"Bridges on SH2 to Napier have been washed away; we are prioritising access to Gisborne and SH 38. The road between Wairoa and Mahia is open."

8.00pm - Road closures and blackouts have become ongoing issues for Northland.

Many families are still unable to check on loved ones as communities remain isolated.

7.41pm - Dargaville residents and businesses are being forced to evacuate in the lower-lying town area across from the Northern Wairoa river, with high tide expected at 9pm.

The army and firefighter crews have been going door to door, ordering people away and have closed off Main Street.

Takeaway and restaurant workers have been instructed to shut down and sandbag up.

7.30pm - Cyclone Gabrielle is currently northeast of the Chatham Islands.

7.20pm - There's a growing concern for powerless Coromandel communities.

Tairua and Pauanui have spent their third day without electricity, while the water supply is critical.

7.08pm - The Hawke's Bay townships of Otāne, Waipukurau and Waipawa are still under boil water notice.

The entire region has been hit hard by the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle.

"We are pumping back into the Waipukurau Reservoir; it is roughly 5% full," the council said on Facebook.

"We are also doing the same at the Johnson St supply in Waipawa, which means there is water coming from taps in Waipukurau and Waipawa, BUT it is not safe to drink!"

7.00pm - Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says he plans to travel to affected areas as soon as it becomes safe.

"I don't want to be diverting resources to transport me around when those resources are required for the emergency response.

"In terms of my response to it, it is one of gratitude to the first responders who are on the ground doing an incredible job, enormous empathy for those who are experiencing significant disruption and resolve that we will absolutely get through this."

6.50pm - Here's a photograph of a boat making its way through heavy flooding on a street in Hastings.

A boat travels through heavy flooding on a street in Hastings.

6.47pm - A factsheet with information on the support available for those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle has now been translated into a further eight languages with more on the way, NEMA says.

The factsheet can be found here.

6.33pm - Here's a satellite loop of Cyclone Gabrielle as it made its way across the country.

6.27pm - Senator Murray Watt, Australia's Emergency Management Minister, said help from across the ditch is ready if New Zealand needs it.

"New Zealand has declared a state of emergency due to Cyclone Gabrielle - for only the third time in history.

"At least three people have died. My heart goes out to those impacted.

"Australia stands ready to help our friends across the ditch & talks are already underway."

6.18pm - Fire and Emergency New Zealand will fly flags at its fire stations at half-mast to acknowledge the death of the firefighter who died in a landslide in Auckland's Muriwai on Monday.

The volunteer firefighter and their colleague had been investigating flooding inside a property on Motutara Rd on Monday night when they became trapped after a landslide caused the house to collapse.

"My heart goes out to his family and to his friends and colleagues in the brigade. His death is being felt by our Fire and Emergency whānau right across the country," Fire and Emergency chief executive Kerry Gregory said in a statement.

Read more here.

6.16pm - Communications Minister Ginny Anderson said Northland, Coromandel and Hawke's Bay have had their connectivity affected worst.

There have been five main breaks in fibre, and two have been restored. Coromandel and north of Taupō are now restored.

Crews are working on getting power restored to Northland to assist in getting telecommunications back up.

"I appreciate people would like to get in touch with loved ones," she said.

6.06pm - Housing Minister Megan Woods says there are currently 564 households accessing temporary housing in Northland. 

She called it "the largest emergency housing project that the country will have had to undertake".

While Woods doesn't know the exact number, she said, "I would not assume it's going to be 1000s and 1000s."

6.02pm - Several roads across Northland are still closed, with repair crews working to make them accessible again.

State Highway 1 Dome Valley currently has crews onsite working to clear slips.

Waka Kotahi NZTA says one slip was equivalent to 35 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

They are working to open up to all traffic by Friday.

State Highway 1 Brynderwyn to Waipu is still closed, with several overslips and underslips blocking the road.

A local detour is in place for light vehicles via Cove Road / Mangawhai.

Northland Transportation Alliance has confirmed access to Paparoa / Oakleigh Road for lifeline freight until flood water recedes.

"The roads are fragile, and we urge travellers to use extreme caution, given how critical these routes are for the region."

State Highway 12 Dargaville to Taheke, SH14 and SH15 remain closed.

"Waka Kotahi is also urging anyone who does need to drive in areas affected by severe weather to adjust their driving to the conditions, which means slowing down, increasing following distances, switching headlights on and watching for flooding and other debris on the road."

5.50pm - Energy Minister Megan Woods said 65,000 households have had power restored.

Currently, 160,000 households are without power - the peak was 225,000 yesterday.

In some places, restoration may not happen until later in the week when it is safe to restore lines.

She had asked electricity retailers if they had the personnel to assist power restoration.

She called the cyclone's aftermath "a level of damage to our electricity infrastructure that we have not seen since Cyclone Bola."

"We will keep information flowing as soon as it comes to hand. I acknowledge this can be frustrating for people, and it can be upsetting."

5.46pm - When speaking to media this evening, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said, "the devastation is widespread."

"It's taken a toll beyond property and livelihoods."

He paid tribute to the firefighter killed in Auckland's Muriwai, saying, "he lost his life protecting others in his community."

The Government's focus has been on response today, with Hipkins calling it an "enormous logistical effort", which is being led by NEMA and NZDF.

He said there are seven outstanding requests for evacuation - but all those stuck on roofs have been rescued.

The NZDF now had over 700 people involved in efforts, an increase from 250 yesterday

They will move a water treatment facility into Wairoa - with HMNZS Te Mana bringing this in.

"I know the need in affected communities is great", Hipkins said, reassuring Kiwis the Government is doing what it can to get help to where it is needed most.

5.17pm - There are "grave concerns" for some of the more than 1400 people reported uncontactable after Cyclone Gabrielle, police say.

It comes after police today confirmed the deaths of four people during the devastating weather event.

Among the dead are a child whose body was found in Eskdale shortly before 2pm today and a firefighter who had been missing following a landslide in Muriwai.

A third person died following a landslip in Matahorua Rd, in Putorino, yesterday afternoon. The body of a fourth person was found on the shore in Bay View, Napier, yesterday evening.

As of 2.30pm today, 1442 people have been reported as uncontactable, police said. The figure includes duplicate reports of the same person being reported uncontactable by different people.

Read more here.

5.08pm - Powerco says there are currently 8819 customers across their network without power.

The bulk of them are in Coromandel, with 5426 households experiencing outages - which is down from 6883.

"We've made some good progress in reconnecting customers but continue to face issues around access. It’s really difficult for us to give estimated restoration times when we’re still impacted by the conditions on the ground, but we also appreciate this is the information our customers want," Powerco head of network Caz Haydon said.

"While we are doing our best to reconnect as many of our customers as possible, we’re asking those without power to prepare to be without supply until the end of the week. If any customers have welfare concerns, they should reach out to their local Civil Defence for support."

4.46pm - The body of a child has been found in Eskdale this afternoon.

Flooding in Hawke's Bay.

The child was found at around 2pm and is believed to have been caught in rising water yesterday.

It means the death toll of Cyclone Gabrielle now sits at four.

Police have received reports that over 1400 people are uncontactable across the North Island.

The vast majority of reports come from Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti.

4.41pm - Tararua District Council is asking residents to conserve water where they can.

We are currently unable to source water from the Tāmaki River due to the turbulent waters after the storm.

This is because the water is too turbid for us to treat to a high enough standard to meet the New Zealand drinking water standards.

This means we are solely relying on the impounded water supply.

4.32pm - The Kaipara District Council is urging residents Mangawhare area of Dargaville along River Road, Victoria Street, Logan Street and side streets, as well as Finlayson Park Avenue, to evacuate.

"The latest hydrology report we have just received gives us new information on expected peak river flows into the Dargaville area, with a risk of flooding starting from 6pm tonight and again around 8am tomorrow."

Council staff and services are door-knocking and assisting with the evacuation.

4.30pm - A family with a six-week-old baby have lost their home, vehicle, stock and farming equipment after water flooded parts of Napier.

Mitchell Barnett, 29, and his wife Caitlin are still coming to terms with the extent of damage to their Awatoto home after Cyclone Gabrielle.

Read more here.

4.23pm - Vodafone says they currently have 260 cell sites out of action.

They said most of them are in Northland, Coromandel, Napier and Gisborne, with mobile and broadband being impacted.

"Our network teams are doing everything possible to get these sites back up and running where safe to do so, including deploying generators and even arranging cargo planes and helicopters to aid in the fixes required," a spokesperson said.

4.13pm - The northern Hawke's Bay town of Wairoa is urgently requesting assistance amid fears their food, water and fuel supplies could run out in "the next few days", mayor Craig Little said today.

Intense flooding in the northern Hawke's Bay town of Wairoa.

The hard-hit town has been left isolated after Cyclone Gabrielle caused intense flooding which saw the Wairoa River burst its banks.

"The river rose at an unprecedented rapid rate, within a very short time frame, and spilled its banks in what is being described as the most catastrophic weather event to hit Wairoa in living memory," Little said in a Facebook post this afternoon.

The town has been cut off following Cyclone Gabrielle.

"We are geographically isolated with roads into the district closed and bridges washed away on State Highways."

Read more here.

4.03pm - A horse has died after being stranded by floodwaters on the roof of a stable in Hawke's Bay.

A horse stranded on a roof by floodwaters, Hawke's Bay.

An image shared by New Zealand Equestrian Scene yesterday on Facebook showed the horse on the roof of a property on Dartmoor Road in Puketapu, surrounded by floodwaters.

In an update this afternoon, the page said that the horse had died after the roof reportedly collapsed.

Read more here.

3.53pm - Napier Port will remain closed until at least midday tomorrow.

A spokesperson said that while damage to the port itself is only minor, damage to regional transport is limiting access.

The port is also providing facilities to the Army, which is assisting the region's response.

3.42pm - MetService has released an animation showing Cyclone Gabrielle's path across the North Island.

3.33pm - Lorde's upcoming shows in Lower Hutt have been moved to a new venue.

The shows will still be on their original dates, Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 February, but at TSB Arena instead of Days Bay.

"This is always a difficult decision to make, but the current conditions at Days Bay post-cyclone mean that for the safety of ticket holders, band, and crew, we have made what we think is the right call, and I am confident that Lorde at TSB Arena will be an exceptional live experience…. let’s have some much-needed fun!" An Eccles Entertainment spokesperson said.

3.26pm - GNS Science says Cyclone Gabrielle likely caused thousands of landslides across Aotearoa.

More than 2000 landslide-related insurance claims have been filed, which guided GNZ to their prediction - along with aerial surveys.

"This cyclone has caused significant damage to property and national lifeline assets, like roading and rail, and water and power services, and it's not over yet," he explains.

"GNS Science is working around the clock to provide emergency response agencies with information on where we can expect the most severe impacts from land movement to occur."

3.16pm - Dairy NZ believes 300 farms across Northland have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Other farmers across Waikato, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Lower North Island have also been impacted.

"We are working closely with local industry bodies and representatives to coordinate support on the ground where needed, as we always do when weather events like this affect our farmers," Fonterra told 1News.

"Our local Farm Source teams have been reaching out to farmers to check in on them and reminding farmers that they can call our 24/7 Farmer Support Team to get any on-farm support they may need."

"We’ve also been encouraging farmers to contact the Rural Support Trust if they feel like they’re struggling. We’re currently in a three-year partnership with them, which includes a real focus on wellbeing and resilience."

3.09pm - FENZ has confirmed that they have been able to recover the body they found in the Muriwai landslide this morning.

3.03pm - Air New Zealand has resumed all flights, including those to flood-hit areas.

A spokesperson said 6500 disrupted customers rebooked flights following yesterday's disruption, with a total of 821 flights cancelled and 49,000 travellers impacted since the cyclone began.

"With aircraft and crew displaced around the network, our morning operations were a little bumpy. But we're largely back in the swing of things today and are completely focused on customer recovery.

"We got halfway there yesterday with our restart, but, as we have throughout the recent weather events, we put safety first. It's the right thing to do – every time.

Air New Zealand has extended flexibility for customers affected by cyclone disruptions up to 17 February.

International customers can now change travel up to 8 Marc without a change fee, service fee or fare difference applying.

For those travelling domestically, flexibility applies until 22 February.

2.53pm - Here's a photo of a train bridge damaged by slash in Wairoa.

A damaged bridge in Wairoa.

2.39pm - The New Zealand Telecommunications Forum says 2degrees has 119 cell sites offline due to power outages, Spark has 252 sites down, Vodafone has 165 offline, and the Rural Connectivity Group has 118 down, impacting all 3 mobile operators.

"Where there have been fibre cuts from bridges being washed away or landslides, Chorus and others are working to restore those connections to where possible," a spokesperson said.

2.32pm - Foodstuffs say two New Worlds and 17 Four Squares are currently unable to trade with a store potentially closed due to a power outage.

They said their teams are switching from full-time crisis management to a combination of crisis management and recovery.

"We have a focus on getting essentials to communities that haven't had a delivery for a couple of days and reopening and replenishing our stores where we can make deliveries,"

In Wairoa, Hawke's Bay, the New World is the only full-service supermarket in town. The store is open and has enough stock.

"Our priority today is on getting essentials to this community by means, including helicopter, plane, or sea."

2.24pm - Auckland Emergency Management has released a series of tips for if your mental health is struggling after the cyclone.

2.13pm - Ground operations at Auckland Airport have restarted as winds begin to ease.

It comes after operations were suspended due to the high winds the city was receiving during the height of the cyclone.

"We will be supporting airlines and airline ground handlers as they work to clear the backlog of travellers at Auckland Airport, but it may take a couple of days for schedules to get back to normal,"

"Certainly, our arrivals and departures boards are showing several cancellations and delays, particularly flights to and from those regional destinations that have been seriously impacted by flooding," Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport's chief customer officer, said.

Terminal operations, including retail, dining, car parking and transport, are operating as normal.

2.02pm - The Government has announced it will provide an additional $4 million to help farmers, growers, whenua Māori owners and rural communities mobilise and coordinate recovery efforts.

"The breadth of this storm's impact is unprecedented, with milk collection disrupted, orchards inundated and livestock losses across much of the North Island. This is a dynamic situation, and we are responding accordingly to help the rural sector to respond with this initial funding of $4 million," Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.

"This is a difficult time for many, with thousands of people's homes and businesses affected by this large-scale adverse event - the Government is here to provide support."

1.57pm - Spark is flying satellite equipment into Napier to assist with the restoration of communications in the area.

Northland, Coromandel, Gisborne, and Hawke's Bay have all been hit hard by the cyclone, making it challenging to get communications back online.

Spark has dispatched satellite units via helicopter to affected regions to assist with backhaul where fibre is impacted.

"Using satellite for backhaul doesn't provide the same capacity as fibre so that communication will be limited to voice and text messaging and congestion will occur – however, the priority is to reconnect the region as quickly as possible," a spokesperson said.

"We continue working closely with electricity providers on power restoration for key cell sites. We will also continue to offer whatever support we can to our telco peers to prioritise restoration for all New Zealanders."

Spark said 114 of its cell sites are down due to power outages and fibber cuts.

"Mobile cell towers are connected back to the core network through fibre links and 'powered' through electricity. Cell towers are impacted when fibre cuts or power outages occur."

Vodafone engineers are also flying into Gisborne.

1.49pm - Road maintenance crews continue to work in Auckland and restore access to the network for isolated communities.

More than 500 people are out on the roads, working to remove slips and restore infrastructure.

"The scale of damage to Auckland's networks is huge," Auckland transport general safety manager Stacey van der Putten said.

She said 75 roads are fully closed, and 60 are partially closed.

Crews are working to restore Piha, Muriwai and Karekare, which are particularly affected.

"We have a lot of feedback coming from our crews, and they've never seen anything like this," van der Putten said.

1.38pm - Aerial footage shows destruction from massive slips on Auckland's west coast. 

Muriwai and Piha were hit hard by Cyclone Gabrielle.

1.36pm - Power outages across Auckland continue to be widespread.

Counties Energy said there are currently 2000 households without power.

Vector chief operating officer for electricity, gas and fibre Peter Ryan said it was another tough night for crews, but good progress has been made.

Outages in Auckland are now down from 44,000 to 25,000.

The worst affected areas are rural and coastal regions, including Warkworth, Wellsford, Coatesville and West Coast beaches.

Ryan said urban areas are holding up well.

He told media that repair crews continue to encounter difficulties, with fallen trees, slips and debris blocking roads

"It is likely to be several days until power is restored to these areas," he said.

In Helensville, 20 power poles have been damaged.

"This is on a different scale to anything we've seen on our network."

1.16pm - Fire and Emergency New Zealand Response Co-ordinator Vaughan Mackereth said they have only received 82 calls since midnight this morning.

He said communication is still an issue for first responders, with Gisborne and Hawke's bay particularly struggling with communication.

In Auckland, there have been 27 calls since midnight this morning.

Vaughn took the opportunity to remind Aucklanders that while the cyclone has moved on, "many risks still remain".

"Fallen trees, slips, loose debris and other hazards are all a risk for the public."

He said the body found in Muriwai this morning is yet to be identified, and FENZ are working to identify the body with police.

12.50pm: Fire and Emergency responded to a a stop bank that had burst in west Tangowahine, Kaipara, about 11.40am today, a spokesperson said, adding that the responding crew are assisting with evacuations.

12.45pm: Video from Piha, on Auckland's west coast, reveals the "complete devastation" wrought by Cyclone Gabrielle over the last few days. Read the full story here.

And the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has released photo of staff working in the National Coordination Centre.

12.40pm: Northland Regional Council has released a list of where to get help in Te Tai Tokerau.

The council's flyer outlining assistance available for cyclone-affected Northlanders is available here.

12.35pm: Palmerston North City Council is urging people to save water.

"We're asking residents to put off showers, baths, dishwashing and laundry for the day. You can still use water for drinking, cooking, hygiene, medical and business needs, and making formula," the council wrote on Facebook.

"Our Wastewater treatment plant is currently operating well, but the pipe that usually discharges our highly treated wastewater is currently under water due to the high river levels.

"Our stormwater system is at full capacity, but it is working. If the rain continues, we are expecting to see surface flooding in some parts of town."

12.25pm: National Party leader Christopher Luxon is speaking to media from flood-hit West Auckland. Watch live here.

National's Christopher Luxon at Auckland's Trusts Arena.

12.20pm: About 144,000 households were without power this morning, McAnulty said, down from about 225,000 yesterday.

12.15pm: McAnulty said: "The thing that's hit me the hardest, to be honest with you, is the volunteer firefighter getting trapped.

"That's just an absolute tragedy."

12.05pm: McAnulty said the impact of forestry slash on the weather event's effects is an area he's "particularly interested in".

"There's no doubt that slash in some areas is causing an unneeded addition to the weather event.

"That has been a long standing issue for Tairāwhiti in particular."

Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty and NEMA's Roger Ball.

12.00pm: Asked about particular areas of concern, McAnulty said: "They're all of concern but they're of concern for different reasons.

Lack of communications into and out of some regions caused a lot of anxiety for people, he added.

"There are certainly isolated communities but that's not unusual in a response."

He said 9000 people have been displaced in Hawke's Bay alone, with "roughly" 10,500 people displaced in total.

11.55am: Asked if he expected the death toll in Cyclone Gabrielle's wake to rise, McAnulty said: "It wouldn't surprise me.

"Obviously we hope that doesn't happen."

Watch the full video here: McAnulty, Little give update on Cyclone Gabrielle response

11.50am: Defence Minister Andrew Little also expressed his condolences over the body found in Muriwai.

He acknowledged the "incredible work" of the Defence Force in the response to Cyclone Gabrielle, and said more than 250 personnel from the Navy, Army and Air Force were involved, as well as four NH90 helicopters.

A fifth NH90 is on the way, he added, and a C130 Hercules is also in use for reconnaissance over Tairāwhiti and Hawke's Bay.

The helicopters have been involved in a number of rescues, including those of "about five dogs", Little said.

READ MORE: Multiple rescues carried out in Hawke's Bay

11.45am: McAnulty added that Wairoa remains cut off but NEMA has been able to establish comms with the town.

He said he has been in touch with some but not all mayors of the main areas affected.

"Safety first. Look after yourself and your families," he stressed. "We have a long path ahead of us.

"This is a significant disaster."

11.40am: Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty has offered his "deepest condolences" after a body was found in the search for a missing firefighter in Auckland's Muriwai.

McAnulty said he believes New Zealand is through the worst but "not out of danger yet".

More than 300 people were rescued in Hawke's Bay yesterday, he said, but there were no further calls for rescues coming through in the region.

Defence Minister Andrew Little and Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty.

11.30am: The Emergency Management Minister and Defence Minister are speaking from the Beehive shortly. Watch live here.

11.25am: A body has been found in the search for a missing firefighter in Auckland's Muriwai.

In a statement, Fire and Emergency Chief Executive Kerry Gregory said the Urban Search and Rescue team and police had located the body in the area where they had been searching.

Gregory said the body has not yet been identified, but FENZ would be working with police to retrieve and identify the person.

Read the full story here: Body found in search for missing firefighter at Muriwai

11.05am: The New Zealand Defence Force have shared more photos of the flooding in Hawke's Bay.

"In some cases, flood waters were up to the second story of homes where people were being rescued," the NZDF said.

Flooding in Hawke's Bay.

Second Lieutenant Judge Gregory said there were "heaps of waves and smiles but there’s quite a bit of heartbreak when we are driving past... When we pick up people they are pretty grateful".

Flooding in Hawke's Bay.

10.55am: The National Emergency Management Agency have shared advice for people stuck at home without power.

"Eat the food from your fridge first, then your freezer. Then the food in the cupboard," the agency wrote on Twitter.

"Drinking water may be in short supply so conserve water wherever possible.

"Listen to the radio to keep up to date with the latest news and alerts."

Advice for anyone who may need to evacuate their homes is available here.

10.40am: Gisborne "remains disconnected from the outside world with patchy power service and a severed fibre optic cable taking down internet, email and phone services," Tairāwhiti Civil Defence wrote on Facebook.

"Work now begins on assessing roads, bridges and properties.

"Good news is all our rivers have receded overnight."

To "the best of [the organisation's] knowledge", there are no flood-related injuries or deaths in the region, the update read.

10.35am: Here's the latest from MetService on Twitter.

10.30am: "For those that are wondering, Raumai Bridge is still closed until further notice," Manawatū District Council wrote on Facebook this morning.

Raumai Bridge, east of Palmerston North, closed due to flooding

10.25am: A pilot has shared photographs of the flooding in Napier today with 1News.

Flood damage near Napier on February 15

The Hawke's Bay region has been severely impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Flooding near Napier on February 15

10.20am: Speaking to Breakfast this morning, National Party leader Christopher Luxon said global warming is creating and impacting extreme weather events. Read the full story here and watch the interview below.

10.15am: Bruce Glavovic, a professor of natural hazards planning at Massey University, told Breakfast earlier: "I want to draw attention to the longer term implications and the challenges that come with what we are experiencing now.

"We've allowed development in highly exposed locations, and that is deeply problematic going forward.

"And climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of these extreme weather events."

10.00am: Cyclone Gabrielle may have bypassed most of Northland, but parts of the region are still feeling the storm's effects.

Read the full story here: Northland clean up underway as weather rages

9.50am: Here's an image of Cyclone Gabrielle's position at the moment.

Cyclone Gabrielle's position at 9.45am this morning.

9.40am: Te Whatu Ora in Hawke's Bay have provided an update on healthcare in the flood-affected region.

Elective surgeries, endoscopy services and outpatient (Napier, Hastings, Wairoa and Central Hawke's Bay) appointments have been cancelled for today: "Affected patients are being contacted and offered a telehealth appointment if appropriate or rebooked as soon as possible."

Two urgent care clinics are open, at Napier Health Centre and at Hastings Health Centre, while the following pharmacies remain open: Napier Health Centre, Unichem on Munroe Street at The Doctors Napier, Hastings Health Centre, Unichem on Russell Street at The Doctors Hastings, Gilmours Pharmacy in Havelock North, Flaxmere Pharmacy and Unichem Waipukurau.

"Staff who are based in Napier and have the availability to assist are asked to phone 06 873 2158 or present to Napier Health Centre to be added to a roster... Napier-based pharmacists are also asked to report to Napier Health Centre if they can assist."

Hastings-based nurses are asked to phone 06 873 2158 or present to the hospital Operations Centre if they can assist.

9.25am: MetService has added an orange heavy rain warning for Wairarapa south of Masterton and the eastern hills of Wellington from 10pm tonight to 6pm tomorrow, after its earlier update.

A reminder, full details of all the latest severe weather warnings and watches are available here.

9.20am: Minister of Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty joined Breakfast to give an update on the response to Cyclone Gabrielle.

"Whilst the worst has passed, it's not over," he said. Watch the full interview below.

9.10am: MetService has shared an update on Cyclone Gabrielle's track via Twitter.

9.00am: Tairāwhiti Civil Defence have reminded people to stay out of flood waters.

"Always assume flood water is contaminated with farm run-off, chemicals and sewage," the organisation wrote on Facebook.

"Even water just 15cm deep can sweep you off your feet, and half a metre of water will carry away most vehicles."

8.45am: NIWA's Chris Brandolino earlier explained the weather ahead for Aotearoa, and it's a mixed bag.

Watch the full video at the top of the page.

8.25am: A helicopter pilot has described the rush to rescue hundreds of people trapped on roofs across Hawke's Bay.

Read the full story here: Helicopter pilot describes roof top rescues in flood-hit Hawke's Bay

8.20am: Here's the latest for the North Island from MetService on Twitter, with "more settled weather today" expected.

The agency have provided an update for the South Island as well, forecasting heavy rain for parts of Marlborough and Canterbury.

8.15am: Minister of Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty told Breakfast this morning: "It causes a lot of anxiety for people when we have communities where we don't know what's going on and we can't get in contact.

"I was incredibly relieved this morning when we got our 6 o'clock update to say that, on the whole, power has been restored to Wairoa and we've got communications through to the Civil Defence centre there, including through fire and emergency and police.

"Obviously the job is not done, but restoring communications to them means that we can establish what the need is and get them what they need to carry on."

8.00am: The firefighter hospitalised after a landslide in Auckland's Muriwai has been named. Read the full story here.

Slip in Muriwai.

7.45am: Tairāwhiti Emergency Management Group earlier urged Gisborne residents to "save water now or your taps will run dry".

"Cyclone Gabrielle wreaked havoc on our main water pipeline... and there's no quick fix," the organisation wrote on Facebook.

"This is a significant crisis for our city. The only treated water we have now is the limited amount in the reservoirs.

"Only use tap water for drinking, food preparation and hygiene – no outside water use."

7.40am: Thames-Coromandel mayor Len Salt spoke about Cyclone Gabrielle's impacts earlier on Breakfast.

Read the full story here and watch the interview below.

7.30am: FENZ chief Kerry Gregory is giving an update shortly on the search for a firefighter missing in Auckland's Muriwai after a landslide and house collapse. Watch the media conference live here.

7.20am: Chatham Islands mayor Monique Croon told Breakfast earlier: "I think we've got off fairly lightly.

"It's still pretty grey and dull at the moment when I'm looking outside my window, and you can hear the sea roaring," she said.

"But... for us, we are considering ourselves very lucky."

7.10am: Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group said in a statement late last night that the key concern for Wairoa is dwindling food and water supplies, with the town completely isolated.

"Wairoa only has one day's worth of food, and enough drinking water for two days," HB Civil Defence controller Liz Lambert said.

"We have made a request to NEMA for enough food and water to supply the district for seven days."

The town will be relying on supplies coming in by air, the statement added.

7.00am: MetService has updated its severe weather warnings and watches.

A number of warnings were lifted overnight across the North Island.

MetService's severe weather warnings and watches at 7am this morning.

An orange heavy rain warning is in place for eastern Marlborough south of Seddon including the Kaikoura Coast until 4am tomorrow.

A heavy rain watch is in place for the Canterbury Plains and foothills north of the Rakaia River until 1am tomorrow.

And a heavy swell warning is in place for Wairarapa - Turakirae Head to Mataikona until noon today.

6.50am: For the Auckland region, here's the latest from Waka Kotahi on Twitter.

And Auckland Airport have warned airline schedules may be disrupted for several days.

6.45am: Great Barrier Island resident Orla Cumisky said "it's been very wild and intense" on the island during Cyclone Gabrielle.

"Really we have a lot of damage around the island," she told Breakfast.

6.40am: Hawke's Bay resident Yvonne Lorkin joined Breakfast earlier this morning, her house lit only by candlelight and "a little torch".

"The torturous thing... the crazy thing about the power is that it's kind of really sporadic, just like the phone lines.

"We have no power at our place but I'm looking at my neighbours over the road, they've got power."

6.35am: And here's the latest from NIWA Weather on Twitter.

6.30am: Here's the latest from MetService.

6.25am: Counties Energy report about 2000 properties are still without power in their region.

"The wind gusts have reduced for us to work safely and we're just waiting for some light to navigate badly damaged, flooded or slipped roads so we can send out our crews.

"They are well-rested after being stood down for safety in the early evening last night and ready to tackle the huge job of restoring a severely damaged electricity network."

6.20am: Thames-Coromandel mayor Len Salt told Breakfast this morning that the region's road network is "absolutely smashed".

"That is obviously an ongoing concern for us; for us, this is our sixth major weather event since November."

6.15am: Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is urging Te Awa Estate residents to evacuate.

"Due to rising flood waters, we are requesting residents in Te Awa Estate that have not already evacuated to do so now.

"This covers Kenny Drive north to Hurunui Drive," the organisation wrote on Facebook.

"Please stay with friends and family where possible. Alternatively, the Rodney Green Events Centre is the Napier Civil Defence Centre."

6.10am: Amid flight cancellations, 50 people were transferred from Auckland Airport to the Trusts Arena civil defence centre overnight, Auckland Emergency Management wrote on Twitter.

5.55am: The Royal New Zealand Air Force have shared photographs of rooftop rescue efforts in Hawke's Bay.

A rescue amid severe flooding in Hawke's Bay.

"Three NH90 helicopters responded to the Hawke's Bay area as part of a multi-agency response being led by the Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand," a post on the Air Force's Facebook page late last night read.

A rescue amid severe flooding in Hawke's Bay.

"One of the tasks involved recovering people from the rooftops of their homes in Esk Valley, Napier.

People on a roof amid severe flooding in Hawke's Bay.

"Other tasks have involved the movement of around 60 to 100 people from Hastings, as well as move medical supplies around the region," the post read.

5.45am: A reminder, a map of state highway closures around Aotearoa can be found on the Waka Kotahi website.

5.30am: Here's an update from MetService overnight.

5.20am: Here's a picture of the flooding in Wairoa from yesterday.

Flooding in Wairoa, Hawke's Bay.

Wairoa River burst its banks, inundating parts of the town.

Flooding in Wairoa, Hawke's Bay.


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