State Highway 2 has reopened this evening after surface flooding forced its closure at Nūhaka earlier today.

Heavy and persistent rainfall in the area saw SH2 at Nuhaka between Bartletts Hill and Wharerata, two kilometres south of the township, close at 3pm. The section of road reopened at 5.30pm.

The complex system has seen weather warnings issued by MetService.

“NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi is continuing to advise road users to avoid travel if possible and drive to the conditions if driving in the area,” NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi said.

Crews in Tairāwhiti will continue to monitor the state highway network around the region this afternoon and overnight, following heavy rainfall today.

NZTA also advised road users to drive to the conditions around the region, be prepared for delays and expect higher-than-usual water levels in some areas.

Meanwhile, State Highway 35 has also reopened after being previously closed due to surface flooding from a subtropical rainmaker today.

In a post to X just before 1pm, New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi said the road has reopened between Tokumaru Bay and Te Puia Springs.

“Please continue to take extra care through the area,” the post reads.

A heavy rain watch remains in place for the Gisborne region until 4pm today.

Evacuations at Ngongotahā

Rotorua Lakes Council emergency management earlier asked residents of Western Road in Ngongotahā, near Rotorua, to evacuate.

The council said the evacuation was a “precautionary measure” in case the nearby river rises higher.

In a post to Facebook, Bay of Plenty Civil Defence said: “It is easier and safer for people to leave before a potential flood.”

“This is not a declared state of emergency, but we are closely monitoring the situation to do whatever is needed to keep people safe.”

Teams from civil defence are door knocking in the area.

Residents who are asked to evacuate are asked to bring something warm to wear and essentials such as baby food and medication, along with pets.

If possible, go to friends and whānau, the post read.

“Otherwise, move away from the river to a dry, safe location.”

Further updates will be provided on the Rotorua Lakes Council Facebook page.

Rain hits the East Coast

In Gisborne, MetService has issued a heavy rain watch from 9am to 4pm today, with thunderstorms possible this afternoon.

MetService also issued an orange heavy rain warning for Hawke’s Bay south of State Highway 5 from from 9amam Tuesday, May 21 to 6am Thursday, May 23. Hawke’s Bay north of State Highway 5 has a heavy rain warning from 9am to 1pm today.

About 150mm to 200mm of rain is expected to accumulate with peak rates of 25 to 30mm/h north of State Highway 5. Peak rates were expected this morning and afternoon.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council rainfall page showing rivers across the region have been slowly rising but nothing of concern yet.

NZTA also issued a reminder to take extra care when driving around both Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti today.

“NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi is advising all road users to drive to the conditions, take care and adjust your following distances as the rain is set to continue.

“High-sided vehicles in particular need to take care as the high winds will continue during the day.

“Please keep up to date on NZTA’s Journey Planner, in case there is any need for short notice closures – as we have seen this morning with the State Highway 35 closure between Te Puia township and Tokomaru Bay.”

Tararua and Wairarapa issued later warning

After Hawke’s Bay, MetService expected the storm to move south along the East Coast.

A heavy rain warning has been issued for the Tararua and Wairarapa regions from 9am today to 3pm Wednesday.

“Expect 130 to 160 mm of rain, mainly about the hills and ranges. Peak rates of 15 to 20 mm/h. Note, there are large variations in the timing of heavy rain and total accumulations,” MetService said.

“Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous.”

Auckland mops up

Overnight there was flooding in parts of Auckland, with Fire and Emergency NZ saying there was 67 weather-related events between 11pm and 2am. Police also recorded calls for 36 weather-related events in Auckland between 6pm Monday and 6am Tuesday.

Houses were flooded in St Heliers and Mount Wellington.

In Meadowbank and Remuera, the Waiatarua Reserve has overflowed, blocking a path in the area.

Flooding in Christchurch

Christchurch is also experiencing surface flooding, according to a Facebook post by city councillor Celeste Donovan.

“Flooding has been reported at the top end of Marine Parade, particularly at the corner of Pacific Road and Marine Parade and also near Cygnet Street,” said Donovan.

“Crews are currently working to clear the outfall pipes. Traffic management is on site to limit traffic, as the water is being pushed onto nearby properties. Please take an alternative route if possible.”

Donovan asked residents to limit travel along the north end of Marine Parade, and urged people to “please go slow” when travelling through any water clogged roads.