Homes flooded in Auckland as rain lashes North Island

Torrential rain and thunderstorms overnight in Auckland have seen fire crews called to 71 flooded or weather-damaged homes.

Up to 100mm of rain fell in places between 9pm and 11pm on Monday, MetService said.

Homes were flooded in the east and south of Auckland, including water pouring through ceilings, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) said. It said it received calls mostly from Kohimarama and St Heliers.

Between 11pm and 2am, fire services responded to about 47 calls to flooding in people's residences, Fenz group manager Phil Larcombe told Morning Report.

He said they did not respond to another 15 calls relating to road flooding which was "prioritised as a lower tier".

Additionally, 28 private fire alarms went off in the time frame, he said.

"So around about 90 calls in that out three-hour window. The troops were really busy last night."

Meteorologist John Law this morning told RNZ that wet weather was now feeding through to the western Bay of Plenty.

"It is a prolonged event.

"We've got some heavy rainfall in places like Hawke's Bay from today, right through to Wednesday - 150mm to 200mm of rainfall possible there.

"But the low-pressure system that brought those thunderstorms continues, this wet weather is lingering with us even through towards the end of the week."

Civil Defence is warning motorists in the Bay of Plenty to take care.

Heavy rain has caused surface flooding and debris on some roads near Rotorua.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in place for Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupō and Gisborne till noon.

MetService meteorologist Dom Barry earlier said the system was a "Tasman Sea Special". 

"A complex low-pressure system - a 'Tasman Sea Special' - is currently approaching Aotearoa/New Zealand, with an extended band of rain already affecting parts of Northland,"

"As the low moves southeastwards across the motu, we can expect areas such as Marlborough and Northern Canterbury to encounter some wet weather from Tuesday, with the rain mainly remaining in the eastern North Island."