A wind that many were describing as a tornado damaged two homes at Cooper's Beach yesterday to the point where they were declared to be uninhabitable, and inflicted lesser damage on 13 others.

A tarpaulin was being placed over what was left of the roof of one of the houses at edition time.

The wind, which struck just east of the Cooper's Beach Bowling Club and travelled up the hill behind State Highway 10 — very close to the scene of a similar phenomenon several years ago — drove a fence pale through a wall of an unoccupied house.

Garage doors were damaged, multiple windows were smashed, fences were flattened and at least one car was damaged.


The Kaitaia and Mangonui fire brigades responded just after 11am, the Kaitaia crew standing down at 2pm, leaving Mangonui, Civil Defence and Fire and Emergency's mobile command unit from Whangārei at the scene.

Earlier in the day the brigades responded to a what was reported as a house fire at Cooper's Beach, which turned out to be a controlled burn. There was no danger to property, but one brigade member questioned the decision to light a fire in such windy weather.