Homes and roads were left flooded in parts of Coromandel Peninsula this afternoon as heavy rain lashed the area before moving towards Gisborne.
While there were no reports of injuries, several motorists had to be rescued from vehicles caught in rising floodwaters on State Highway 25 near Hikuai north of Whangamata.
In Pauanui, isolated by a large washout on its main access road, the Fire Service was forced to take a boy by boat to Tairua when he developed breathing problems.
The station's fire chief, Len Hughes, said he was then transferred to a waiting ambulance and taken to Thames for treatment.
Mr Hughes said the washout on the access road happened in the same place as an earlier washout in heavy rain a couple of months ago.
He said volunteers had been busy all day clearing water from basements and low-lying rooms of houses and were wound their efforts down late afternoon as the skies cleared.
Pauanui, Tairua and Whangamata on the peninsula's east coast appeared to be the worst hit townships.
Further north, trees across the road blocked access between Coromandel and Whitianga from about 1pm and the debris was expected to take several hours to clear.
Other roads in the area were either temporarily closed or reduced to one lane. Emergency service workers urged people to stay home unless absolutely necessary.
MetService forecaster Bob Lake said in the 24 hours to 2pm today 167mm of rain was recorded in the high country in the south of the peninsula, with 162mm recorded further south at Waihi.
Mr Lake said heavy rain was expected in Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and Taranaki overnight.
A police spokesperson at Whakatane said that by late afternoon the Whakatane and Matata areas had not received any heavy rain.