Two major highways have been forced to close overnight after heavy rain caused flooding and slips.
State Highway 5 between Napier and Taupō would remain closed overnight until at least Wednesday morning due to multiple slips and surface flooding.
Deteriorating weather conditions also meant State Highway 1 north and south of Kaikoura closed at 5pm for the night. South of the city it was closed between the Leader Rd/SH1 intersection to Peketa and in the north it was closed from Mangamaunu to Clarence.
Inland Route 70 was closed between Mt Lyford and Kaikoura but access was still available to Mt Lyford from Waiau.
Hastings District Council also closed Taihape Road from 5pm due to surface flooding, and would reassess conditions at 9am tomorrow. Eleven roads were forced to be closed by Tuesday afternoon.
NZ Transport Agency journey manager Oliver Postings said crews were working hard to reopen SH5, but challenging conditions and large amounts of slip material spread across the route were making for tough going.
"No official detour is available so any trip between Napier and Taupō would likely involve having to drive to Palmerston North and then back up."
This would add hours on to your journey and, given the deteriorating weather, NZTA was advising road users to delay any unnecessary travel," Postings said.
"The safety of road user is our top priority so if you can't delay travel, please be cautious and drive to the conditions."
"Next official update is at 10am in the morning.
"We will be endeavouring to open the road tomorrow - but we must stress that safety of road users is our main focus."
The NZTA also thanked road users for their understanding and patience.
The Hastings District Council was reporting the following road closures as at 5pm on Tuesday:
• Taihape Rd
• Soldier Settlement Rd
• Shanley Rd
• Dartmoor Rd
• Crownthorpe Settlement Rd
• Ellis Wallace Rd
• McVicar Rd
• Aropaoanui Rd
• Aropaoanui Rd
• Darkys Spur Rd
• Old Coach Rd
• Te Waka Rd
• Mokamoka Rd
Meanwhile in Wellington, the Hutt River was beginning to flood due to heavy rain in the region throughout the day.
Block Road in Lower Hutt and the Riverbank carpark area are now closed as the river overflows onto them.