Flooding has reached the Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga.
Police were called to Parton Rd, Papamoa tonight after a parked vehicle became stranded due to flooding.
A police spokeswoman said there had been multiple 111 calls almost back to back in the past few hours, including two reports of stranded vehicles, one each on Turntable Hill Rd, Whakamarama and West Bank Drive near Aongatete Coolstore on State Highway 2.
The Western Bay of Plenty District Council has fielded between 15 and 20 flooding-related calls as of 7pm from residents in Katikati, Waihi Beach and Omokoroa.
There have also been reports that flooding has entered some people's sections, but no reports so far that the water has entered any houses, the council's deputy chief executive Gary Allis said.
Allis said there had not been any reports of people needing rescuing but often people self-evacuated to neighbours or family living nearby.
MetService's rain radar showed the heavy rain appeared to be passing over the district but council staff were on standby to set up a welfare centre for affected residents if that was needed, Allis said.
Roading crews had been out putting up warning signs for motorists and where they could, clearing away culverts and any debris, he said.
Police told the Bay of Plenty Times there was surface flooding on the Lower Kaimai Range and on State Highway 2 from Tauranga to Waihi.
"The Bay of Plenty is being "hammered" at the moment by heavy rain. There's surface flooding everywhere," a police spokeswoman said.
"If you have to travel, then be very careful, but be warned, you may have to turn around. If you don't have to travel, just stay home. It's pretty dangerous on the roads at the moment."
There has been a rock fall on Beach Rd in Waihi Beach about halfway between the township and the exit road to Waihi, and potentially the road may need to be closed overnight if the heavy rain continues, he said.
At this stage it is temporarily closed, Allis said.
Flooding on State Highway 2 between Highfields Drive and Beach Rd, Katikati has closed the roads until further notice.
A traffic alert on the NZ Transport Agency's website said motorist should expect delays or avoid the area.
Due to a slip on State Highway 2 in the Karangahake Gorge, the road is also reduced to one lane until further notice.
Motorists were urged to take extreme care and follow the instructions of the contractors working at the scene.
Current closures (subject to change, please check the NZTA website for the latest):
- State Highway 2 Katikati is closed because of flooding. The detour for essential travel is via State Highway 26, 27 and then State Highway 29.
- State Highway 25 Hikuai to Tairua
- State Highway 25 between Wade Road and the 309, Whitianga
- State Highway 25 near to 309 Road, Preece Point