Aucklanders have woken to near gale east to north east winds gusting to 80km/h and flooding has forced transport officials to close Tamaki Drive in east Auckland as gales and torrential rain batter the upper North Island.

There is extensive flooding along Tamaki Drive on Auckland's waterfront and Auckland Council has urged people to avoid the road.

Auckland Transport closed the road from Kohimarama Rd to The Strand just before 9am saying conditions were terrible.

Buses were being diverted and Auckland Transport advised of possible delays and asked people to be patient.

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WeatherWatch.co.nz said it expects gusts to 100km/h in the city in the coming hours, with isolated gusts in exposed areas over 120km/h.

The wild weather is being fuelled by ex-tropical cyclone Ita which has been pushing heavy rain across the North Island.

Localised power cuts are highly possible across the region.

The heaviest rain is spreading south, although parts of Northland and Auckland may well have another burst of torrential rain this morning - with the gales blowing autumn leaves there is increased chances of drains and gutters being blocked causing flooding.

Wind wise northeasterlies will continue to rise to gale force this morning about Northland, Auckland and Bay Of Plenty in the west. It's likely to surge up this morning before noon then ease back this afternoon.