One dead after bank collapses into Hawke's Bay property

Wed, Feb 15

Scroll down for a recap of 1News' live updates from Tuesday and overnight, as Cyclone Gabrielle impacted much of the North Island.

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Live updates

11.55pm - A woman has died in Putorino, about an hour north of Hastings, after a bank collapsed into her home.

Hawke's Bay Civil Defence announced the death in a media release a short time ago:

Hawke’s Bay has reported a fatality in the region following the death of a woman in Putorino, after a bank collapsed onto her home. Police visited the property following a missing person’s report and undertook rescue efforts but were unsuccessful.

Wairoa is completely isolated following the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle overnight, with a loss of lifelines to Napier and Gisborne, including power, phones, internet and roads. A NEMA rep is on route to Wairoa via helicopter from Napier to support the team and the response effort.

Evacuations took place in Ruataniwha, Waihirere and Ormond Rd earlier in the day. Those areas are now accessible but are covered in silt. Takiwa is isolated by water.

Evacuation Centres were activated at Taihoa Marae, War Memorial Hall and Presbyterian Hall. An Evacuation Centre in Nuhaka has been established at the Mormon Church.

With power back on to most of Wairoa by 5pm, with the exception of Mahia/Tuai, the key concern for the welfare of the community will be dwindling food and water supplies.

HB Civil Defence Controller Liz Lambert said that with the loss of roads, they would be relying on supplies coming in by air.

“Wairoa only has one day’s worth of food, and enough drinking water for two days. We have made a request to NEMA for enough food and water to supply the district for seven days.”

The district had been inundated and although levels are receding there is a lot of silt and forestry slash, which will leave the community with a lengthy clean up.

In Hastings and Napier, the cause of power outages has been linked to the flooding of the Redclyffe substation causing the Transpower network to go down. Unison reported outages for 60,000 customers across Hastings, Havelock North, Napier, north along east coast to Tūtira and south to Waimārama. It is expected to take some time before power is fully restored across the region.

A number of the region’s cell towers are being operated on battery supply allowing some network coverage although this is still intermittent. Mobile communications are still out in Wairoa with response teams relying on radio and FENZ communicating via satellite phones. A significant area of Haumoana was advised to evacuate out of precaution ahead of high tide during the evening [Feb 14]. In Napier, residents of house numbers 210 – 274 Te Awa Avenue were requested to evacuate with residents in the adjacent Hunter Drive told to be on high alert and ready to evacuate if requested.

Police and FENZ have carried out numerous rescues and continue to respond to stranded residents. Evacuations have occurred across Eskdale, Taradale (lifted at 4pm), Porangahau village, high risk areas of Waipawa township, Waipukura, Awatoto, Te Awa, Brookfields, Wairoa and Haumoana.

A number of bridges remain impassable and there is still no access between Hastings and Napier.

Much of Hawke’s Bay remains flooded as the region braces for continued rain. Met Service has issued an Orange Heavy Rain Warning for the 21hr period from 13:00 Tuesday 14 Feb to 02:00 Wednesday, 15 Feb. Expect 40 to 70 mm of rain especially about the ranges. Peak intensities of 10 to 25 mm/h.

Evacuation centres are in operation in Central Hawke’s Bay, Hastings, Napier and Wairoa with additional sites being added as required.

An updated list of Civic Defence Centres will be released at 1230AM.

11.45pm - The Horizons Regional Council has opened flood gates between Foxton and Shannon to relieve pressure on the Manawatū River. Here is the latest update from the council:

The Moutoa floodgates located between Foxton and Shannon are now open to relieve pressure on the bottom stem of the Manawatū River.

Horizons Regional Council regional group controller Ged Shirley says the floodgates divert water down a spillway that acts as a short cut to the sea.

“The bottom stem of the Manawatū River is windy and slows water down. As this happens the channel fills and risks significantly overtopping into adjacent properties.

“Diverting flood flows down the spillway reduces that risk but this doesn’t have any impact on water levels upstream. There’s a common misconception that opening the gates acts like a plug, draining upstream and dropping levels in the likes of Palmerston North and the Tararua District.

“We also can’t operate the gates until the river is within the operating range of 8.2 metres at Moutoa as there needs to be enough flow left to not deposit heaps of silt into the lower channel. So it’s a bit of a balancing act but the gates were opened at 10.40pm which was a bit later than we initially predicted.”

Mr Shirley says river levels in the Rangitīkei, Ōroua and Tararua District are all starting to peak and recede.

“The Rangitīkei River is reaching its peak at Tangimoana now and the water level is below the top of the stopbanks. We have staff onsite monitoring the stopbanks on both sides of the river tonight so that if an overtopping occurs, we can inform Manawatū District Council as they would coordinate any necessary evacuations.

“Overall the Rangitīkei River is remaining within its active flood channel, meaning there is some water in low-lying land adjacent to the river. This is the same alongside the Ōroua and Manawatū, and there is water in the Taonui Basin as the Kopane spillway is operating.

“There is still an orange rain warning in place for the Tararua District overnight and there may be some scattered showers in other parts of the region. While we don’t expect this rainfall to cause rivers to rise significantly, we will have staff in the Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) and on the ground overnight monitoring the situation.”

Mr Shirley says that Horizons and city/district council emergency management staff have been working long hours last night, today and will continue to do so over the coming days.

“We understand that our communities can feel anxious when events like this happen and we’re working really hard to provide as much reassurance as we can. The situation is also constantly changing so we’re adjusting our response as required.

“Finally we’d like to remind people to stay away from the water once daylight comes, rivers will still be high and fast flowing. We don’t want people to fall into the water, injured by debris lying around or get swept away unexpectedly.

“At this stage we’ll provide our next update in the morning unless the situation changes.”

11.22pm - A large number of roads across the Coromandel are closed leaving some communities cut off. See the list of state highways closed below.

- SH 25 Thames to Coromandel Town. Road Closed, slip

- SH 25 Te Rerenga to Kuaotunu. Road Closed, slip

- SH 25 Hikuai to Onemana. Road Closed, slip

- SH 2 Paeroa to Waihi (Karangahake Gorge). Road Closed, slip

- SH SH26 Between SH2 and Paeroa-Tauhuna Rd. Road Closed, flooding

- SH 25A Kopu to Hikuai. Road Closed, slip

A full list of local road closures in the area can be found on the Thames Coromandel District Council website.

A slip blocking SH25 in the Coromandel between Kūaotunu and Matarangi.

10.35pm - Here's a photograph of vehicles submerged in flood waters in Whakapara, north of Whangārei.

Cars submerged in flood waters in Whakapara, north of Whangārei.

Another photograph shows a boardwalk damaged following flooding at Ruakākā Beach.

A damaged boardwalk at Ruakākā Beach.

10.07pm - A person has been found dead on the shore in Napier's Bay View amid intense flooding in the region this evening.

Emergency services were called to the scene about 7.45pm, police said.

Formal identification is yet to take place. The coroner has been notified.

10.03pm - The search for a firefighter missing following a landslide in Muriwai has been stood down this evening due to the unsafe conditions.

The search will resume tomorrow.

"We are doing everything we can to get our missing firefighter, friend, colleague and loved one back in what is a very challenging operation," Fire and Emergency chief executive Kerry Gregory said this evening.

"The focus now is on planning for work to restart tomorrow morning with a keen focus on safety given the current conditions at the Muriwai site.

"We are also ensuring we support the whānau of the affected firefighters and the other members of their brigade as the impact of this situation is still very raw."

9.44pm - Cyclone Gabrielle is now east of East Cape, and is expected to continue moving slowly away to the southeast of New Zealand.

While the cyclone is moving away from the country and severe weather is forecast to ease in most places before dawn tomorrow, heavy rain continues to impact parts of central New Zealand through until Thursday, MetService says.

A heavy rain watch is in place for the Canterbury Plains and foothills north of the Rakaia River until 1am on Thursday. The region can expect to see periods of heavy rain, with rainfall amounts potentially approaching warning criteria, especially about the foothills and Banks Peninsula.

A strong wind watch is in place for Gisborne until 2am tomorrow, with southwest winds potentially approaching severe gales in exposed places; and the Chatham Islands until 3am tomorrow. Easterly winds may approach severe gales.

9.33pm - Aucklanders have been advised to be prepared for delays and travel disruptions tomorrow as "flood damage, sea conditions, power outages and fallen trees continue to affect our roads and public transport network", Auckland Transport said this evening.

"Bus services will be operating but there may be delays and cancellations due to conditions on the roads. Slips are continuing to cause disruption to train services and conditions on the water are affecting ferries," AT’s executive general manager of safety, Stacey Van Der Putten, said.

"We will prioritise school bus services tomorrow, however, ongoing road closures will affect some school bus routes."

Meanwhile, work is ongoing to assess and repair roads damaged following the storm. While dozens of roads have reopened, more than 100 roads are closed or partially closed.

9.08pm - There'll be some reprieve for Napier tomorrow, with the region forecast to see some early rain with the chance of a further shower, and "gradually easing" gusty southwesterlies.

8.53pm - There are widespread road closures in Auckland due to cyclone damage.

Slips and fallen trees are the major issues, and for some, it’s the second punch in less than three weeks.

8.42pm - The 50 orchard workers who were trapped on a rooftop in Hawke's Bay have been rescued, Mr Apple director Andrew Borland told 1News.

8.30pm - Coromandel highways are closed with power out across the region.

After hitting the eastern side of the peninsula, today Cyclone Gabrielle gave the western shores a battering.

8.20pm - This image shows Cyclone Gabrielle's latest position.

Cyclone Gabrielle's latest position.

8.05pm - Evacuations and rescues have become commonplace, with Hawke’s Bay being decimated by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Large parts of Napier, Hastings and the wider cape have been left without power or communications.

7.55pm - Waka Kotahi NZTA says Northland remains largely isolated, with multiple slips on State Highway 1 and flooding on State Highway 16 and State Highway 14.

Flooding has also caused SH15 at Maungatapere and SH12 at Taheke to close.

There are several slips in the Dome Valley, with crews working to remove an overslip safely.

SH1 Brynderwyn to Waipu remains close, with a local detour in place for light vehicles.

Crews are working to open a detour for heavier vehicles.

Teams have been stood down from the sites overnight but are ready to respond to emergencies if needed.

7.45pm - East Coast rivers are rising to unprecedented levels as Cyclone Gabrielle lashes the country.

The Hikuai River rose to 14.2 metres overnight, two metres higher than Cyclone Bola in 1988.

John Campbell went to see the damage firsthand.

7.35pm - Auckland council's non-essential council facilities are set to reopen within the next two days.

They have been closed to support Auckland's emergency management's response to the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Early childhood centres will reopen from 9am tomorrow, with some libraries, customer service centres, pools and leisure centres will open from midday on Thursday.

"This has been a tough few days for many Aucklanders, compounded with the impacts of January's flooding, and I want to extend my sympathies to anyone who has been affected," Auckland Council Chief Executive Jim Stabback said.

"At Auckland Council, we are doing all we can to support affected communities, and many of our staff from our libraries, early childhood, leisure and contact centres have been deployed over the last couple of days to where they have been needed most," Auckland Council Chief Executive Jim Stabback said.

"Starting tomorrow, our redeployed staff members will be able to resume their usual jobs, and our early childhood centres will reopen tomorrow morning to help ease the burden for parents and caregivers who may be trying to juggle the demands of their work with looking after their whānau."

Kerbside rubbish collections are also set to resume on Wednesday.

The normal collection cycle will be in place, meaning some residents will have to wait until early next week for their rubbish collection.

"If your collection was cancelled and your rubbish is unsafe to store, you can take it to one of the 15 participating Auckland waste transfer stations free of charge when it is safe to do so."

The Kerbside collection of flood-damaged items will also resume from Wednesday.

7.17pm - A business owner in Auckland's Kumeū, who has had his premises flooded three times in 14 months, says he's at a loss at what to do, as the latest weather event has dealt a final blow to the building he leases.

Charlie James' business has been flooded three times in 14 months.

Charlie James told 1News his business CJ Steel was flooded in August 2021 during the Covid pandemic, over the Auckland Anniversary floods and again overnight as Cyclone Gabrielle tore through the property.

"It's devastating... bulls**t," he told 1News.

Three of his four work vehicles have been written off by flooding, leaving him with one car.

Read more here.

7.02pm - The long-range forecast is looking brighter for the North Island, NIWA says.

"Higher than normal pressure is expected to reduce rainfall chances in the North Island starting on Friday & it could stick around for a week or two," NIWA said on Twitter.

6.50pm - And here's a graphic of how the weather system is forming to the south and east of the country.

6.48pm - Here's how the thunderstorms are forming over Southland this afternoon.

6.47pm - Ground handling operations at Auckland Airport have been suspended from now until midnight, meaning no international or domestic passenger flights can depart or arrive until tomorrow.

Cargo flights, medical emergency flights and private charter flights can still arrive and depart.

6.45pm - The effects of Cyclone Gabrielle saw air pressure around the North Island "drop to historically low levels", NIWA said on Twitter.

"As a point of comparison, Bola was around 980 hPa & Giselle 964 hPa. Our station at Whitianga likely saw values in the upper 960s hPa, but the power went out Monday evening."

6.40pm - Operations at Auckland Airport have been suspended for the rest of the day following high winds and "safety reasons", the airport said on Twitter this afternoon.

"This means no international or domestic flights will be taking place for the rest of the day."

Travellers who are currently at the airport's terminals have been asked to return home if possible and to reschedule their flights with their airline.

6.30pm - Prime Minister Chris Hipkins addressed media this evening, giving updates on the current situation.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Emergency Management Minister Kerian McAnulty address media.

He said Transpower had declared a grid emergency following the loss of power across 225,000 households.

"This is a very significant event for the electricity network," Hipkins said

"They're working hard to restore power as soon as possible."

He said the country hadn't seen weather like this since Cyclone Bola in 1988.

When it comes to cellphone and internet service, high winds and ongoing extreme weather have affected getting cell towers back up and operational, Hipkins said.

He acknowledged many communities, especially upper and eastern North Island, for their response effort.

"Some pretty tired people" had been working on the response for a long time.

"It's been turning people's lives quite literally upside down", but many had stepped in to lend a hand to others."

The PM also praised first responders saying they are "putting in the hard yards".

"Our thoughts and hopes are with all of you," he said in a message to FENZ.

Hipkins acknowledged the work of marae around the country. "In difficult times, they are always there."

When asked if he would do something about slash from the forestry industry, Hipkins said "yes". "I have heard that message."

"We're still in for a bumpy time ahead, but calmer weather is coming."

6.10pm - Waipawa in Hawke's Bay has suffered significant flooding after the nearby river breached its banks this afternoon.

Waipawa in the Hawke's Bay was flooded on Tuesday.

Photos and footage show streets and homes submerged in water.

The town has also run out of fresh drinking water. Fonterra is delivering water tankers, but it’s believed it could be a couple of days until the water is back up and running.

6.00pm - Surf Lifesaving say they've assisted more than 200 members of the Murawai community overnight, temporarily housing them at the local surf club.

At Oiha, Surf Lifeguards have assisted police and FENZ in conducting welfare checks on residents affected by the extreme weather. Pika Surf Club has also been open to residents who had to evacuate.

In Karekare, lifeguards have been assisting residents whose homes have been damaged.

Regional lifeguards at Bethells beach had to be evacuated this morning after the swollen estuary carved away more than 50 meters of sandbank overnight.

The estuary has caused significant damage to the clubhouse, with the deck being washed away and the main clubrooms being threatened.

In Northland, Surf Lifeguards have been assisting residents in Dargaville.

Lifeguards from Whangārei Heads, Ruakākā and Baylys Beach Search and Rescue squads responded with two IRBs to assist with evacuations and flood rescues.

Surf Life Saving Northern Region Lifesaving Operations Manager James Lea has urged the public to stay away from all coastlines in the region.

"Our ability to respond to any incident has been severely impacted, and at this stage, we are expecting that coastlines in western Auckland will have limited services for quite some time.

"We urge the public to stay away from all coastlines as we respond to the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle. Please stay home, and stay away from the coast. We are not currently resourced to support you if something should go wrong."

5.45pm - Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown has proposed an additional $20 million a year for storm response activities.

He said the fund would help to improve prevention and mitigation measures to prepare the city for future weather events.

"The impact of Cyclone Gabrielle, on top of unprecedented rainfall and flooding in late January, has strengthened my resolve to fix Auckland's infrastructure and stop wasteful spending," Brown said.

The proposal will be tabled by Auckland Council's Governing Body to vote on whether it should go to public consultation ahead of next year's budget.

"Having inspected stormwater drains myself while visiting sites across Auckland with building inspectors, I fully support increased maintenance and will revisit the capital projects list to ensure that stormwater is a priority for the next financial year," Brown said.

The announcement comes as Auckland Council faces an estimated operating budget gap of $295 million for the 2023/24 financial year.

"Severe weather events have not made it any easier to bridge the budget gap of $295 million. In fact, it highlights the need to think very seriously about selling underperforming assets, so we can make investments that matter," Brown said

"In the long-term, we need to significantly increase our capital investment in stormwater to address years of underinvestment, which will be dealt with in the long-term plan."

5.30pm - A West Auckland family have been left shaken after their home began slipping down a hillside amid heavy flooding overnight - while they were still inside.

Amber and Paul Rhodes lost all of their possessions after their house in the small coastal settlement of Karekare was battered by heavy rain, before collapsing into a heap on the roadside below.

"We heard the impact of sand on the back of the house and I suggested to my husband and 14-year-old daughter that we might need to evacuate and shortly, that was followed by another thud.

"There was a big shift of mud and soil coming into the back of the house, at which point everything became a lot more urgent.

"I said, 'We have to get out of here' and as I said that, we sensed or heard the house shifting and all of this mountainside coming down behind us and I said, 'We've got to get out. Go, go, go!'"

Read more here.

5.14pm - Here's a photo of a fallen tree in Auckland's Domain.

Fallen tree blocking road in Auckland's Domain.

4.55pm - The Navy has released photos of a dramatic rescue when crew aboard HMNZS Te Mana rescued a boatie whose vessel broke from its mooring on Monday night.

The frigate found the missing vessel after an emergency locator beacon was activated.

Navy boat conducting the rescue mission.

The crew had to wait for weather conditions to settle before they could deploy a rigid inflatable hull seaboat with four crew.

The missing sailor, wearing a lifejacket, left his vessel where he was pulled from the sea by two Navy divers.

"We're very pleased this joint search and rescue has been successful, and the person is now safe on board Te Mana," Maritime Component Commander Commodore Garin Golding said.

He said the rough conditions made the rescue challenging and praised the efforts of everyone involved in the mission.

Rescue effort to save the missing boatie.

The boatie will be disembarked at Devonport Naval Base this evening.

Navy boat conducting the rescue mission.

4.40pm - Police say they have established a major Operations Center (MOC) at the Police National Headquarters to respond to Cyclone Gabrielle.

The MOC will be providing logistical, resource and communication support for all districts under emergency management.

An online form has also been set up to help register the names of family or friends in storm-affected areas.

"Cyclone Gabrielle has severely impacted electricity supply and communications in parts of the North Island, particularly Tairawhiti and Hawke’s Bay," police said.

"During the first 72 hours of an emergency, all resources — including telecommunications — are stretched.

"Police urge people to try their usual methods of communication first, whether that’s a phone number, email, social media or a pre-planned emergency meeting place.

"When all means of contact have been exhausted, anyone with genuine concerns for a person’s safety is asked to provide as much information as possible via the 105 online form."

4.27pm - Parliament has agreed to suspend its business for a week in light of Cyclone Gabrielle - with all but one party in support

The Act party opposed the motion put by leader of the house Grant Robertson. It was supported by all other parties, including National.

Act deputy leader Brooke Van Velden said her party appeared to be the only one "willing to hold the Government to account".

She said a check on the executive's power was especially, not less, important because of the national emergency.

"When the Government, in an emergency, takes on extra powers we should be here to hold those powers to account," she sais

"We cannot suspend democracy because of the weather."

Grant Robertson, who put the motion, said he did so "reluctantly" but believed it was "the right thing" to do.

He said the prime minister's statement - which was due for Tuesday - was usually a "very political debate".

"Now is not the time."

Read more here.

4.18pm - All domestic flights in and out of Auckland Airport have been cancelled for the rest of the day due to high winds.

Air NZ say this will affect around 55 flights.

They also said the strength of the wind around Auckland Airport is making it difficult to service aircraft.

4.09pm - This photo shows a road blocked by trees after a slip in Waipukurau, an hour south of Napier.

A slip in Waipukurau.

3.51pm - Domestic and international flights to and from Auckland Airport are currently suspended due to high winds.

Runway at Auckland Airport (file picture).

3.48pm - A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for inland parts of Fiordland, northern Southland, and western parts of Central Otago, including Queenstown Lakes.

3.42pm - FENZ say they are working hard to locate the firefighter who went missing in Muriwai - they are providing support to their family.

3.37pm - These before and after images show flooding and damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in the Whakapara area in Northland.

This image shows the flooding and damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in the Whakapara area in Northland.
This image shows a view over an area near Whakapara, Northland, before Cyclone Gabrielle hit.

3.28pm - State Highway 2 between Waipawa to Waipukurau is now closed due to flooding.

SH35 is now open between Ōpotiki and Hicks Bay. SH35 remains closed between Gisborne and Hicks Bay.

3.24pm - Parliament has now been adjourned until next Tuesday, with MPs heading home to support their electorates.

3.22pm - Drone footage has captured the extent of flooding in Hawke's Bay left by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Napier and Hastings are cut off after rising rivers burst their banks this morning.

In the footage, State Highway 51 can be seen awash with a sea of muddy water.

Read more here.

3.18pm - A spokesperson for the office of Senator Murray Watt, the Minister for Emergency Management across the ditch, says Aussie support is still on the table if requested by the NZ Government.

3.14pm - Vodafone CEO Jason Paris said close to 300 of their service sites are down.

The outages are mainly located in Northland, Coromandel, Napier and Gisborne.

He said tough access is making them difficult to fix.

3.12pm - As of 8.30am 250,000 homes across the country are without power, NEMA told 1News.

3.09pm - Desert Rd has now reopened following fallen tree removal efforts.

3.01pm - Here are some photos of a washed-out road in Manukau Heads.

Road washed out in Manukau Heads.
Road washed out in Manukau Heads.

2.53pm - Auckland Transport says they have received 206 calls from Aucklanders advising them of roading issues over the past 18 hours.

Across the whole region, there are currently 80 road closures, including those on Waiheke Island and Rakino.

Communities across West and North Auckland are currently isolated, with Auckland Emergency Management, Police and the Army working to open them up.

"We appreciate how difficult it is for these communities to be isolated, so we want to assure residents that restoring some form of access is our top priority,” Auckland Transport executive general manager of safety Stacey van der Putten said.

Trains on the Eastern and Southern lines are set to start running shortly after 3pm.

The Onehunga Line and the Southern Line between Newmarket and Ōtāhuhu are still being replaced by busses.

Bus services are continuing to operate across Auckland, with some cancellations, delays and detours.

Most ferry services are on reduced schedules, with many being suspended early tonight.

2.37pm - State Highway 2 between Taradale Rd and Meeanee Rd is now closed due to flooding.

2.34pm - Auckland Emergency Management Deputy Controller Rachel Kelleher said 113 people stayed at the city's Civil Defence Centres overnight - including some who had to evacuate in Mt Eden last night.

2.30pm - A person that was stranded aboard a vessel that drifted from Great Barrier Island on Monday night has now been rescued.

The person is now aboard the Navy frigate HMNZS Te Mana, being transported back to Auckland.

2.25pm - Counties Energy says 44,000 households across Auckland are currently without power, with more outages expected as the day continues.

Counties Energy's Peter Ryan told media that crews are working tirelessly to restore power, but as areas are fixed, more outages appear.

He said one crew had to abandon a crew when floodwaters started rising.

"Please bare with us while we work through this information."

2.19pm - Watercare is urging Murawai, Helensville and Wellsford residents to restrict their water use immediately.

Water treatment plants in those regions have been affected by power outages.

Water is still safe to drink, but Watercare says any non-essential water use, like washing machines and dishwashers, should be restricted.

"Crews are working at pace to get them up and running, but disruption to road access has made it more difficult to access these plants."

They expect to have the Helensville water treatment plant up and running by this evening and will provide an update on the other two plants "in due course".

2.11pm - Fire and Emergency New Zealand Deputy National Commander Steph Rotarangi said there have been around 18,000 storm-related calls in the last 24 hours.

She also said one of the firefighters who went missing after a landslide in Auckland's Muriwai last night is still missing.

FENZ is working with other agencies to find the missing firefighter safely.

She also said Taranaki and Manawatu are being hit as the cyclone travels the country.

2.01pm - There is no longer safe road access in and out of Masterton's eastern and coastal communities, with a number of roads closed due to flooding.

Flooding on Te Kanuka road, on the way to Castlepoint Beach in Wairarapa.

The Masterton District council is asking people not to travel unless it is essential.

Te Parae Rd, Masterton Castlepoint Rd, from Tauweru, Blairlogie/ Langdale, Tinui Valley Rd, Mataikona Rd and Masterton Stronvar are all closed until further notice.

Masterton Castlepoint Rd, Kokiri place, Masterton Castlepoint Rd, Mataikona Rd, Masterton Castlepoint Rd, Puketiritiri Rd, Ngahape Rd and Whangaehu Valley Rd all have lanes closed.

Moeraki Rd and White Rock Rd in South Wairarapa are closed.

1.55pm - Auckland Airport says terminal operations, including retail, dining, car parking and transport, are running as usual, with some flights experiencing delays.

They said around 104 international flights and 96 domestic flights were set to arrive and depart today, but it's up to airlines and pilots to decide whether it is safe to do so

"It’s still possible that over the coming days, there may be some short-notice flight delays or cancellations, so travellers will need to carefully monitor for any updates from their airline or travel agents."

They said travellers might expect delays in the next several days as operations gradually return to normal.

"We recommend you pack any essential medication and a change of clothes in your carry-on baggage just in case your travel is disrupted midway through your journey."

1.48 pm - AA Insurance say they have received 150 cyclone-related claims across home, motor, contents and small business insurance.

Many of those claims relate to damage or loss caused by power outages.

"With continuing heavy rain from the cyclone falling on already saturated ground, slips and existing damage may be vulnerable – and strong winds can also cause damage to fences, roofs, and vehicles, with trees or powerlines falling over," AA Insurance general manager Aaron Dickenson said.

"AA Insurance wants to remind customers that its contents insurance policies include cover for spoiled food and electronics due to power outages and surges.

"If you lose power, turning off electronics at the wall can help avoid damage to devices and appliances once the power comes back on. For refrigerated or frozen food spoiled by power outages, AA Insurance can support customers with our excess-free spoiled food benefit."

1.43pm - Here's a photo of a flooded rugby pitch in Thames.

Flooding in Thames

1.39pm - The national state of emergency has been extended to cover the Tararua District.

It now means the declaration applies to Northland, Auckland, Tairāwhiti, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group areas and the Tararua District.

1.34pm - The Privacy Commissioner (OPC) says the declaration of a national state of emergency means agencies will be allowed to collect, use or disclose personal information when it's directly related to the Government's response to Cyclone Gabrielle.

"It is an incredibly stressful time for many people, especially those in the six regions. This code of practice was created to make it easier for government agencies and local government teams to work together in a safe, planned way," said Privacy Commissioner Micheal Webster.

It means government agencies can use, collect or disclose personal information when an individual is involved in an emergency or when it relates to government response.

"In the case of a disclosure, the personal information is disclosed to one of the following agencies: a public sector agency; an agency that is, or is likely to be, involved in managing or assisting in the management of the emergency; or an agency directly involved in providing repatriation, health, financial or other humanitarian assistance services to individuals involved in the emergency."

Authorities can use the Civil Defence code to seek important information.

"It is important to note that agencies are only permitted the additional latitude under the Civil Defence Code in order to manage or respond to the emergency. There are limits in the Privacy Act on using this personal information for any other purpose."

1.24pm - Air New Zealand has restarted flights today but says conditions "remain difficult".

Flights are planned to resume today for all airports other than New Plymouth, Napier and Gisborne.

While flights are running, high winds remain challenging for airport operations in parts of the country, with ongoing disruptions expected.

Air New Zealand is adding extra flights to get customers where they need to be as soon as possible.

Domestic and international flights started from mid-morning but have been temporarily paused due to strong winds at Auckland airport.

Air NZ intends to resume turboprop flights from mid-afternoon today. However, high winds are making this difficult.

Overall, 11 flights have been added to the domestic schedule to help with recovery efforts.

“While its good news that planes are able to start flying again across the North Island, unfortunately, conditions at New Plymouth, Napier and Gisborne airports mean flying isn’t possible until tomorrow at the earliest," a spokesperson said.

The airline said 592 flights have been impacted by the cyclone, with 35,000 customers having their travels disrupted.

Around 1500 international customers are still to be rebooked.

"Flights are very full but we’re working as fast as we can to rebook these remaining customers into the next available seats, and we've been in touch with them to let them know we're pulling out all the stops to get people flying again. This includes getting all our customer teams to support the rebooking effort.

"This includes adding extra flights where possible to get our customers where they need to be as quickly as possible. We’re looking at all available options, including adding larger planes, working with Star Alliance partners, converting cargo flights and adding additional services where possible. These aren't easy to stand up, but they're the right thing to do."

Air New Zealand is also extending flexibility for customers affected by the cyclone to February 17.

"International customers can now change travel up to 8 March 2023 without a change fee, service fee or fare difference applying. If travel is only available in a higher cabin, the fare differential will apply. Tickets can also be put into credit towards travel within 12 months.

"For those travelling domestically, flexibility applies until 22 February 2023.

"Customers who booked through a travel agent or third-party online agent should contact them directly about making changes to their bookings or credit validity."

1.03pm - Leader of the House Grant Robertson has proposed changes to how the first day of Parliament for 2023 will play out.

The Government is proposing to postpone this week's sitting programme as many MPs are focused on assisting their communities.

The house will be briefly sitting at 2pm this afternoon, where they will consider a motion on the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Following this, the Minister for Emergency Management will deliver a declaration of a state of national emergency.

"I will then move a motion for Parliament to adjourn until Tuesday, February 21. That week will follow what was the original plan for this week. The House will begin with the Prime Minister’s statement and debate. Wednesday will be the first day of oral questions," Robertson said.

12.45pm: A surf club on Auckland's rugged west coast had its deck washed out to sea by the cyclone.

Read the full story here: 'There's our deck' - Part of Auckland surf club washed out to sea

And a boatie missing after their vessel broke from its mooring at Great Barrier Island yesterday has been rescued.

Read the full story here.

12.35pm: A tree is blocking the northern end of Waipu Caves Rd in Northland.

A tree is blocking the northern end of Waipu Caves Rd in Northland.

12.30pm: A slip has closed the main road into Auckland's Bethells Beach.

Emergency services at the scene said they expect the first slip to take about an hour to clear, but there is another slip further down which could take much longer.

Approximately 300 homes are completely cut off, as it's the only road in and out of the area.

12.25pm: Reduced speed limits and lane reductions are now in place on the Auckland Harbour Bridge due to severe wind gusts.

It comes as a number of ferry services in the city have been cancelled due to the weather.

And NIWA have released some figures on the impact from Cyclone Gabrielle.

12.20pm: Waka Kotahi have continued to urge people in the upper North Island to avoid all non-essential travel.

"Conditions are hazardous on many roads, and communications outages in the most-affected regions are preventing us updating electronic roadside signs — so stay home unless it's absolutely necessary," the agency said.

"If you have to travel, watch for flooding, slips, tree falls, and other hazards."

It comes after the agency earlier said the Coromandel peninsula is in "complete isolation" after the storm.

12.10pm: Footage has shown one vehicle almost completely submerged in Hawke's Bay earlier.

12.05pm: A "grid emergency" has been declared by Transpower following the loss of electricity supply to Hawke's Bay and Gisborne.

"Due to the current situation, we are not able to obtain communications from our substation, but it is likely the Redclyffe substation is under water," the power provider said in a statement.

"Until we are able to gain access to the substation we will not have a clear picture of how long the region will be without power, but we are advising that the community should be prepared to be without power for days to weeks, rather than hours."

Elsewhere, Powerco said 29,991 customers are without power across its network, including over 12,000 in Coromandel.

"If you see our crews out in your community, please be kind and patient with them," the company's head of network operations Caz Haydon said. "They are doing everything they can in extremely challenging conditions, but it will take time for power to be restored."

In Auckland, Vector said that 38,000 were without power at 10.30am.

12.00pm: Footage has shown a business in Drury, south of Auckland, completely wiped out by Cyclone Gabrielle. 

Owner Andrew Schouten said between him and another man in the same yard, they've lost six truck and trailer units and three six-wheeler trucks. "Our offices are gone, they're all portacom offices, they're all lifted up and sitting on top of cinder blocks."

11.50am: Here's a photo of flooding in the Whakapara region, north of Whangarei this morning.

Flooding in the Whakapara region, north of Whangarei.

Elsewhere, SH2 between Napier and Hastings has been breached by the Tutaekuri Waimate Stream.

The Tutaekuri Waimate Stream breaching State Highway 2 between Napier and Hastings.

The road has been closed. For full details of state highway closures around the North Island, see the Waka Kotahi website.

The Tutaekuri Waimate Stream breaching State Highway 2 between Napier and Hastings.

11.45am: MetService has updated its severe weather warnings and watches.

11.35am: A total of 44,000 properties are without power in Northland this morning. Northpower reported outages for 30,000 of its customers and Top Energy 14,000 outages.

In an update, a spokesperson for Northpower said several main high-voltage feeders suffered damage overnight.

"Winds gusting to 140km/h, flooding, slips, and major damage from trees through lines are making restoration attempts difficult and impossible in some situations.

"We have seen damage across our whole region, and so most areas outside of the main townships of Whangarei, Mangawhai, and Dargaville are currently experiencing outages due to considerable damage."

Northpower said customers who don't have power now should plan to be without power for a week.

Customers are encouraged to keep up to date via its website and Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Top Energy customers in rural regions of Northland are most affected according to CEO Russell Shaw.

"We know people are having a hard time and this storm is testing their resilience."

11.25am: Prime Minister Chris Hipkins is about to speak to media with the latest on Cyclone Gabrielle.

Watch live here: Hipkins speaks from Auckland as national emergency declared

11.20am: Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) have issued an update on the response to Cyclone Gabrielle: "Helicopters aren’t currently able to rescue people trapped on roofs due to the high winds. This is an ongoing situation and we are monitoring it closely.

"Around 1700 incidents related to Cyclone Gabrielle have been received by Fire and Emergency in the past 24 hours.

"Fire and Emergency logged 82 storm-related incidents between 10am and 11am this morning, bringing the total for the previous 12 hours to 999 incidents (in a rolling 12-hour period)."

FENZ is prioritising incidents where life and safety is at risk, the statement read.

"We are still in the process of restoring radio and cellular contact with firefighters in Tairāwhiti."

11.15am: Here's a photo of flooding in Dargaville this morning.

Flooding in Dargaville this morning.

And in Waikato, a slip has fallen on the coast road between Whakatete Bay and Ngarimu Bay.

A slip between Ngarimu Bay and Whakatete Bay.

11.10am: Here's a photo of a slip on Sunnyvale Road in Auckland.

A slip on Auckland's Sunnyvale Road.

Elsewhere, a group of orchard workers have scrambled onto the top of roofs to escape rising flood water as they wait for help to arrive in Hawke's Bay. Read the full story here.

11.05am: Air NZ chief executive Greg Foran told RNZ that 20,000 people's flights were disrupted by Cyclone Gabrielle domestically and 10,000 international passengers were affected. He said the international backlog could take up to two or three weeks to clear.

11.00am: Two women have described their harrowing escape from flooding in Auckland's Muriwai overnight.

Mary Ann Paterson and Jane Scott received an emergency alert at about midnight and made their way down flooded steps to the local surf club. The pair described the experience as "pretty scary".

Army trucks eventually arrived at the shelter where they spent a couple of hours before transferring to the Waimauku War Memorial Hall, which is an official Civil Defence centre.

Paterson told 1News she doesn't feel safe enough to go home despite her cat being stranded there: "They are not letting us back in."

10.55am: Here's a composite picture of a power pole in Auckland's Hauraki last night.

A composite picture of a power pole in Auckland's Hauraki about 6pm in Auckland last night.

10.45am: Footage shows the large slip in Auckland's Muriwai which led to evacuations last night.

10.30am: Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty earlier further explained what a national state of emergency looks like.

Read the full story here: 'No effort will be spared' following national emergency declaration

Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty (right) and NEMA's acting director Roger Ball (left).

10.25am: Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group are urging all Taradale and Omahu residents to evacuate immediately: "If possible, stay with family and friends.

"Check that your evacuation route is safe, check the Waka Kotahi website for road closures.

"If unable to stay with family and friends, Omahu residents are being asked to go to Hastings Sports' Centre.

"Taradale Community are being asked to go to St Joseph's Māori Girls' School."

"Defence Force assets are on their way to Hawke's Bay and active rescues are underway."

10.10am: A national state of emergency has only been declared three times. including today.

The previous two times were for the Christchurch earthquakes and the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This declaration enables the Government to support the affected regions, coordinate additional resources as they are needed across multiple regions, and help set the priorities for across the country for the response," McAnulty said.

He added that a "pretty high bar" needs to be met for a national state of emergency to be declared.

10.05am: At this morning's media conference, emergency management minister Kieran McAnulty said Cyclone Gabrielle is "a significant disaster with a real threat to the lives of New Zealanders".

"Today, we are expecting to see more rain and high winds," he said. "We are through the worst of the storm itself, but we know that we are all facing extensive flooding, slips, [and] damaged roads and infrastructure."

9.55am: Emergency crews were seen at flooding in Auckland's Howe Street this morning.

Emergency crews were seen at flooding in Auckland's Howe Street on Tuesday morning.

9.50am: A number of workers are trapped on the roof of farm buildings in Hastings.

A number of workers are trapped on the roof of farm buildings in Hastings.

9.40am: Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty's press conference is about to start. Watch live here.

9.30am: More than 40 households in Eskdale in the Hawke's Bay are trapped due to Cyclone Gabrielle, Fire and Emergency NZ have said. Read the full story here.

Flooding in Eskdale, Hawke's Bay.

And around 200 people took shelter at Auckland's Muriwai Surf Club overnight, Auckland Emergency Management said.

"About 50 people from 33 households remain evacuated from their homes in an apartment building in Mt Eden, due to danger posed by a nearby unstable structure," they added.

9.25am: Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty, will speak to media at 9.30am.

It comes after he signed a declaration of a national state of emergency this morning.

Watch the conference live here: National emergency declared, minister speaks to media

9.20am: British prime minister Rishi Sunak has called Chris Hipkins about the weather, a UK government spokeswoman said.

"Discussing Cyclone Gabrielle, which has hit the country in recent hours, the Prime Minister said that the UK stood by to support in any way possible and his sympathies were with all those affected."

9.10am: It's been a wild and frightening night for many in the North Island.

See photos of the damage here.

8.55am: MetService have shared a photo of Aotearoa from above.

8.45am: A state of national emergency has been declared.

The Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty, signed the declaration at 8.43am.

The prime minister and opposition spokesperson for emergency management both supported the declaration.

"This is only the third time in New Zealand history that a National State of Emergency has been declared," a statement announcing the declaration read.

McAnulty will hold a media conference in the Beehive Theaterette at 9.15am.

The conference will be livestreamed here on the 1News website.

8.30am: Colonel Mel Childs from the NZDF said this morning that navy vessel HMNZS Te Mana is conducting a search and rescue operation to rescue an individual in distress and adrift at sea in a yacht.

"Overnight, Te Mana has completed a search north of the Hen and Chicken Island group and east of Bream Head.

"I have just been advised a locator beacon has been activated on the vessel and Te Mana is making best speed with an ETA of 2 hours.

"I have no further update on that task but as soon as we do, New Zealand Defence Force will provide immediate advisory."

8.20am: Dargaville recorded a peak wind gust of 127km/h overnight, NIWA said this morning.

8.10am: MetService has updated its severe weather warnings and watches.

NZ's severe weather warnings and watches at 7.30am this morning.

Red heavy rain warnings are in place for Northland south of Kaitaia until noon today and Hawke's Bay until 11am today. A red heavy rain warning for Coromandel Peninsula was set to end at 8am.

Red strong wind warnings are in place for Northland until 9pm tonight, Auckland including Great Barrier Island and other islands in the Hauraki Gulf until midnight tonight, Coromandel Peninsula until midnight tonight, and Taranaki until 9pm tonight.

For full details and the latest, people are advised to monitor the MetService severe weather page.

8.00am: Auckland Civil Defence are providing an update after a night of wild weather from Cyclone Gabrielle.

Watch the conference here: Auckland Civil Defence gives update on Cyclone Gabrielle

7.55am: 200mm of rain fell at Maunganui overnight, MetService said in a tweet this morning.

A number of other stations saw overnight rainfall over 100mm.

7.45am: 1News meteorologist Dan Corbett joined Breakfast to talk through the forecast for today — and "there still is a lot to come" from Cyclone Gabrielle, he warned. Watch the full video at the top of the page.

Cyclone Gabrielle's position at 5.10am this morning.

7.35am: Gregory said there are "grave concerns for the safety" of the firefighter trapped inside a collapsed house in Auckland's Muriwai after a landslide last night.

He said it was a "highly technical" operation to rescue the second firefighter, currently in a critical condition in hospital.

7.25am: Fire and Emergency chief executive Kerry Gregory will provide a media briefing at 7.30am.

It comes as a volunteer firefighter is missing and another has been rescued after a landslide destroyed a home in Muriwai.

The briefing will be livestreamed here on the 1News website.

7.20am: Auckland Transport warn the roads around Tāmaki Makaurau have been impacted by the weather overnight.

"You may find you can't drive your usual route. Our team are out there assessing the road network and we will keep you updated throughout the day. We recommend you stay at home if you can," the agency tweeted.

And MetService have warned "impacts will continue today".

7.05am: The state of emergency earlier declared for Napier and Hastings District has been widened to the entire Hawke's Bay region.

7.00am: The owner of the Valley D'Vine restaurant in Napier is trapped in his house this morning, he told 1News.

Flooding at the Valley D'Vine restaurant in Napier this morning.

6.55am: Here's a photo of the flooding in Auckland's Runciman.

Flooding in Auckland's Runciman this morning.

6.45am: A firefighter is in critical condition in hospital and another is missing after an incident in Auckland's Muriwai last night.

The pair were investigating flooding in a house on Motutara Road when a landslide occurred on the slope above, and the house collapsed, Fire and Emergency Chief Executive Kerry Gregory said in a statement.

"The search for our second firefighter was suspended in the early hours of the morning due to the instability of the land.

"A full rescue operation was initiated as soon as the landslide occurred, involving 10 crews from seven brigades and including Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Police and St John.

"A geotechnical assessment of the area will be carried out as soon as possible so decisions can be made about resuming the search.

"Our thoughts are with our firefighters, and with their loved ones. We are also providing support to the other members of their brigade.

"This is a very difficult time for them, and for every member of Fire and Emergency NZ when we are also focused on responding to the continuing need in so many communities across the North Island today."

6.40am: It's set to be another rainy day for Te Ika-a-Māui.

6.35am: The Mangawhare area of Dargaville is the latest place where people are being urged to evacuate.

"Police and FENZ will be in the area door-knocking and assisting with the evacuation," Kaipara District Council wrote on Facebook.

"If you need to go to the evacuation centre, we have set up at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 58 Hokianga Road.

"If you can please stay with friends and family. You will be more comfortable there."

A reminder, a round-up of NEMA's advice is available here and a full list of local civil defence groups is available here.

States of local emergency are in place for Auckland, Northland, Tairāwhiti, Bay of Plenty Region, Waikato Region, Napier City and Hastings District, with local updates being provided by the local civil defence groups.

6.25am: The Auckland Harbour Bridge is currently open with reduced speed limits.

However, Auckland Transport warn "it is expected to open and close throughout the day".

6.15am: Auckland Emergency Management are reminding people to only call 111 when life and safety is at risk.

6.10am: The people earlier trapped in a car in Ruakākā, Whangārei have been evacuated, FENZ have confirmed.

6.05am: Roads are closed around the North Island as Cyclone Gabrielle's effects continue to be felt.

A full list of State Highway closures is available on the Waka Kotahi website.

6.00am: Here's a photo of Port Waikato Rd in Waikato this morning.

Port Waikato Rd about 5.15am this morning.

5.50am: People in Napier and Hastings District are waking to a local state of emergency this morning.

Mayors of the two areas signed the declaration at 4.31am this morning.

Anyone in danger is urged to call 111 immediately.

5.45am: Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group have issued an emergency mobile alert for the Esk Valley.

"There is serious flooding in the ESK VALLEY from the ESK RIVER, which is still rising," NEMA tweeted.

"LEAVE NOW if you are in a low-lying area near the ESK River in Bay View."

A reminder of the National Emergency Management Agency advice to people in affected areas.

"Put safety first. Don't take any chances. Act quickly if you see rising water," the agency advises. "Floods and flash floods can happen quickly. If you see rising water do not wait for official warnings. Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater.

"People in areas being impacted by [Cyclone Gabrielle] should be prepared to evacuate and keep your grab bag near. Listen to emergency services and local Civil Defence authorities. Follow any instructions about evacuation of your area.

"If you have to leave, take your pets with you. If it's not safe for you, it's not safe for them."

5.30am: Fire and Emergency logged 55 storm-related emergency calls in one hour between 3am and 4am this morning.

"Fire and Emergency is being kept extremely busy with the Cyclone affecting a growing number of areas. We have lost radio and cellular contact with our people on the ground in Tairāwhiti and are working to regain contact by other means.

"Fire and Emergency is prioritising the response to calls where life and safety is at risk," FENZ said in a statement.

These include a person trapped in a car in Whangārei, and assistance with evacuations in Auckland, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.

4.30am: 2500 homes on Counties Energy's network in Auckland are currently without power, the provider said in a statement.

"It is expected the network will continue to suffer more damage for at least the next 24 hours.

"The conditions are too dangerous currently for our crews to try and restore power, however, if conditions allow, they will start restoring from first light.

"Our fault crews are currently simply making safe, isolating power to any safety concerns such as lines and poles down and damaged equipment."


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