Josh Parbery laughed when he first noticed the rising floodwaters outside his ground-level flat in central New Lynn today.
His humour soon turned to terror when the power of the water - which turned a section of Clark St, near the intersection of Great North Rd, into a fast-flowing river - burst through the exterior wall.
He had been watching cars driving through the flooded street, and laughing at their predicament, when water began pouring into his flat.
"My place just burst open and water started pouring through. I just panicked."
As the water rose to knee height he started moving valuables to higher ground, before remembering his pet rabbit, Weenie.
Rescue came just in time for the jersey woolly.
"She was literally drowning."
The pair made their way out the back of the flat, with the power of the mid-thigh deep water almost sweeping him off his feet, Parbery said.
Parbery had planned to move from the rented flat in a couple of months and had that day been taking valuable musical instruments and equipment to his parents' house.
However, the musician had still lost about $15,000 worth of belongings, including a piano, part of his drum kit and furniture.
He is insured, but had also lost irreplaceable items, such as paintings from his late grandmother.
He and Weenie were now homeless but would stay with his parents in the meantime.
And they would stick together now too - plans to rehome the rabbit had been shelved.
"I saved her life, so she owes me her life."