Flooded roads remain closed today as the eastern North Island continues to be hammered by heavy rain, but residents elsewhere are in for a brief respite today.
Heavy rain in the eastern North Island is forecast to continue until Monday, turning particularly nasty for Hawkes Bay and Gisborne on Sunday.
Surface flooding yesterday forced the closure of State Highway 53 near Martinborough and SH56 at Opiki near Palmerston North. The roads remain closed this morning and detours are in place.
WeatherWatch head weather analyst Philip Duncan said today would be a "breather day" between yesterday's heavy rain and a cold snap from tomorrow.
Showers in Auckland and Tauranga could be heavy, but most parts of the North Island would be much drier today - with the exception of eastern areas, which would get rain all weekend.
Mr Duncan said there could be more issues on the east coast of the North Island today.
"It's been surging though, off and on, over the last few days - it's absolutely pouring down around Gisborne. So there could be more slips and flooding along the east coast of the North Island."
Heavy rain yesterday caused the Manawatu River to rapidly rise.
The Moutoa floodgates would remain open until 2pm today, but Horizons Regional Council last night said the worst of the wet weather had passed.
Council operations group manager Allan Cook said its emergency operations centre had been deactivated, but staff would continue to monitor river levels throughout the weekend.
The Desert Road from Waiouru To Rangipo reopened yesterday afternoon after being closed due to heavy snow during the week.
The wild weather also forced the closure of the rail line between Wellington and the Hutt Valley yesterday as urgent repairs were carried out on the storm-battered seawall, which was damaged by southerly swells and stormy weather since Wednesday.
KiwiRail cancelled off-peak trains between 9am and 3pm while workers repaired the seawall along the Ngauranga-Petone section of the rail line.