Congestion is no worse than usual for a Friday evening and "whilst there are some traffic accidents they are of a minor variety," said a police spokesman.

He said motorists could expect congestion on the South East Highway near Mt Wellington and on the Northern Motorway northbound at the Northcote intersection because of minor car crashes which were in the process of being cleared.

NZTA said at 6pm a crash on the Northern Motorway at St Mary's Bay, city-bound just after the Harbour Bridge, has been cleared quickly. However, the crash had added further to delays and NZTA urged motorists to be patient.

Earlier traffic in central Auckland was congested near the Victoria Tunnel after an earlier breakdown in the motorway's northbound lane.

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The New Zealand Transport Agency tweeted to announce the breakdown at about 4pm.

"A breakdown is blocking the right lane northbound in Victoria Park Tunnel. Merge left to pass with care, expect some delays."

Ten minutes later NZTA tweeted the breakdown had cleared, but warned traffic was still congested in the area.