Trees fell on to houses and power was knocked out to parts of the Western Bay of Plenty as wild weather lashed the region.
A severe weather warning was in place for parts of the wider Bay of Plenty, but Tauranga still copped the brunt of a large rain band travelling south east over the country.
More than 20mm of rain had fallen in the Tauranga area by 6pm yesterday. The wet weather was joined by strong northerlies that played havoc with trees, outdoor furniture and power lines. Neighbours of a man who narrowly avoided a tree when it fell on to his house say he was lucky to have left just five minutes earlier.
A large branch of an old oak tree fell on to a house in Herald Way, Welcome Bay, about 3.30pm, creating a loud crash as it landed.
Neighbour Shayne Cotter said he thought it was his neighbour's trailer blowing over at first "but I looked out my window and saw the tree".
"I ran up there in my socks, but the other neighbour shouted out that he went out, so that was good."
Mr Cotter called firefighters to the scene to help try to remove the branch.
The tree's branch landed on the corner of the house at the rear end of the house.
"I was playing Scrabble, and winning, when I heard it," he said.
Neighbour Angela Durham said her deck furniture began to blow all over the place about a minute before she heard the crash.
"It must have just been an almighty gust of wind," she said.
Ms Durham said she was baking in her kitchen when she heard a crash.
"It sounded like it was a car crash. I came running out because we live in a little cul-de-sac, we don't expect to hear cars crashing around here," she said.
"My other neighbour heard the crash as well. We both went out at the same time and saw the tree.
"Luckily, the owner of the house went out just five minutes earlier."
Ms Durham estimated the branch to be about 12 to 13m in length.
"It's a big branch. It's the tree that the kids put a swing in. It's a huge tree," she said. "But it's the neighbourhood climbing tree.
"There's about eight little kids who are going to be very disappointed."
Firefighters were also called to a case of a tree branch falling on to a roof of a house on Levers Rd about 3.15pm.
Te Puke, Maketu and Paengaroa residents lost power about 3.30pm when a large tree pulled power lines down at the intersection of Spencer Rd and Wilson Rd North.
Fire service northern communications shift manager Dallas Ramsay said the tree was left lying across the road, blocking both lanes.
Firefighters were diverting traffic while waiting for power authorities to take care of the lines, she said.
Power was also knocked out to parts of Ohauiti and Hairini earlier in the day.
The intersection of Ohauiti Rd and Poike Rd was down to one lane after a truck crashed and rolled on to its side about 9.30am.
Police sergeant Ben Gallagher said there were only minor injuries involved.