2.54pm:

With the rain still falling, the message from Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio is residents need to stay at home, look after each other and conserve water.

"We just want to urge people to stay indoors, stay safe and don't go out on the roads, don't go to the rivers. Other than the water danger, there's also the danger of trees coming down.

"We are expecting heavy rain until 3pm and so we're still very much in the response stage. We have well over 150 slips in the Nelson city district area itself so we're busy trying to get to those people there who do need urgent help,'' he says.

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2.33pm: WeatherWatch.co.nz head analyst Philip Duncan says the heavy falls are expected to continue in Nelson until later this afternoon.

"Heavy rain has returned there and is really stepping in again so we're seeing some very heavy rain clouds and satellite images are backing this up,'' he says.

2.18pm: People are being evacuated from their homes in the Wood area of Nelson because of the threat of a major land slip.

Incident commander Steve Caldwell says residents are being evacuated from Grove Street.

"There's all sorts of rumblings going on at the back and we're not taking any chance at all, so people have been asked to leave their houses and they're being very co-operative with us,'' he says.

Around 40 to 50 homes have been evacuated.

2.05pm: Newstalk ZB reporter Tyler Adams said it has just started raining heavily again in Nelson.

"It eased off a bit about 12, and now it has just come down heavy again."

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1.34pm: The Earthquake Commission (EQC) is sending a team of five assessors to Nelson today to assess residential property damage from the current downpour

EQC National Operations Manager Reid Stiven said that the commission has received 28 claims for landslip damage to residential property.

The commission covers landslip damage to both homes and sections, and flood and storm damage to land.

1.18pm: Heavy rain has eased in a number of parts of Auckland City, according to weatherwatch.co.nz, but heavy downpours are likely in some areas until the end of the day A storm alert for Auckland, predicting a further 20 to 40mm, and 10 to 20mm more for Auckland City up until 6pm - remains in force.

12:51pm: The Nelson Mail reports gridlock in and out of the city with traffic blocking roads, as a result of damage caused by flooding.

Nelson Police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn said the gridlock of traffic on the roads into the city was causing concern for emergency services.

The MetService is forecasting heavy rain in Nelson until 3pm.

12:37pm: Steady rain has returned to water logged Nelson reports WeatherWatch.co.nz.

It says significant rain clouds remain to the north of Nelson while the rain front has all but stalled over central New Zealand.

11:45am: Some drinking water warnings are in place for residents in certain parts of the Tasman area:

A boil water notice is in place for Pohara and Dovedale residents who have a water supply.

Residents Dovedale, Pohara and Mapua are requested to conserve water as much as possible.

11:37am: Updated road closures for the Tasman region can be found here.

11:33am: The NZ Transport Agency says sections of State Highways 1 and 10 in Northland have now been closed by flooding.

SH1 near the Rangiahua Bridge is closed, and SH10 near the community of Kaeo is closed. Flooding at Kaeo could be made worse by a high tide at midday.

The closures will remain in place until this section of the highway is safe for drivers, says the NZTA's Regional Asset Manager, Steve Mutton.

Other sections of the state highway network in Northland remain open, by the NZTA says there is widespread surface flooding and traffic is down to one lane in some places.

11:31am: The bad weather is put a hold on container removal from the Rena.

Maritime New Zealand says there is a strong wind advisory in place for the Bay of Plenty. North east winds are expected to gust around 35 knots, easing this evening.

Winds of around 15-20 knots are forecast for the next couple of days with the weather expected to improve after Saturday.

11:19am: Auckland Transport reports isolated incidents of road flooding, mainly on the North Shore (Sunnyfield Crescent, Easton Park Parade and Manuka Rd in Glenfield), have cleared.

Motorists are still urged to take care and drive to the conditions.

11:04am: Tasman residents requiring sandbags should contact their council call centre. People who have left their homes voluntarily or require welfare assistance, such as accommodation, should also contact their local council.

- Tasman District Council:
03 543 8400
- Nelson City Council:
03 546 0200

10:50am: So far two flights have been cancelled due to a sub-tropical deluge striking Nelson.

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said the flights were cancelled due to poor visibility at Nelson airport.

No other flights had been affected by the front setting in across the country, but the airline was continuing to monitor the situation, she said.

Meanwhile, an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Sydney had to turn back due to a failure with Air Traffic Control systems this morning.

Flight NZ103 was set in a holding pattern off the west coast of the North Island before turning back to refuel at Auckland Airport.

Air New Zealand said the flight would depart for Sydney again soon.

10:28: It's a case of baptism by water for new Civil Defence Minister Chris Tremain.

He'll join Nelson MP Nick Smith in visiting the Nelson region this morning.

"I want to assess the damage firsthand, ensure Civil Defence is appropriately responding, and identify any ways that Government can further assist the region to protect life and property," said Mr Tremain.

Mr Tremain said he spoke to Nelson City Mayor Aldo Miccio last night and will meet Tasman District Mayor Richard Kempthorne this morning to be further briefed.

10:20: Police have provided us with a list of flood-affected streets throughout the Tasman area, but warn road closure information is changing constantly.

Golden Bay
• Abel Tasman Drive to Pohara remains closed but contractors will be
working to clear slips this morning.
• Glenview Rd - Water has receded
• East Takaka Rd - Open to 4WD only.
• Rameka Creek Rd- Still closed at the ford and could take a couple of days
to reopen
• Pupu Valley Road - Closed, but could be open again this morning
• Long Plain -Open to 4x4 only, should be reopened this morning
• One Spec - Should be reopened this morning.
• Bird Rd -Still closed major repairs required, could be opened by lunch
time.
• Collingwood Puponga - road will be checked this morning.
• SH 60 - Upper Takaka to Craigieburn, open
• SH 60 - Craigieburn to Takaka, open
• SH60 - Takaka to Collingwood, still closed - possibly open this
morning
• SH60 - Reported large slip at the end of Puramahoi straight, this will
be checked this morning.
• Pohara Valley Rd - still closed and will be checked this morning.

Waimea
• Oxford Street between Washbourne and Wensley -still closed but will
reopened in the morning once the road has been swept of debris
• Paton Rd - Closed till morning , should be ok flood waters would have
receded
• Ranzau Rd- Closed -still flooded
• White Rd- Closed , likely to reopen with Paton Road this morning.
• Telenius Rd- Closed
• Waimea West- Closed still flooded - may be ok to open by this morning
• Aniseed Valley - Closed and needs inspection at first light, could be
closed for part of the day.
• SH 6 Wairau Bridge is now open
• Wairoa Gorge - open
• Lee Valley - open
• Hill Street South - Closed by a slip - it may take half a day to
clear.
• SH60 - closed near Siefrieds corner, detour in place from Pea Viner
Corner to Maisey Rd.

Nelson
• Kokuroa Rd- Closed until afternoon
• Cable Bay Road- Closed until afternoon
• Brook St - Awaiting water to subside
• Nile St- Awaiting water to subside - passable by 4wd
• Iwa Rd - open to one lane
• Moana Ave - still closed and will be assessed this morning.
• Allan St - still closed and will be assessed this morning.
• Maitai Valley - Awaiting water to subside
• Ridgeway - Down to 1 lane
• Arrow/Quebec- Down to 1 lane
• Chamberlain St - Now open
• Airlie St - still closed
• Rocks Road - closed due to debris on the road

10:10am: Nelson airport says it's open for business, but any disruption to flight schedules is the responsibility of individual airlines.

You can check the status of individual flights by going to Nelson Airport's link.

10:00am: The Mountain Safety Council has urged people to delay any
outdoor trips.

"In light of the recent tragedies where trampers have died in river crossing situations, we strongly recommend people reconsider any planned trip into the outdoors, especially in the worst affected areas, until weather conditions have improved," Bushcraft manager Chris Owens said.

Streams and rivers are forecast to rise quickly with surface flooding and slips possible and even experienced outdoor enthusiasts can strike problems in the outdoors, he said.

"You should never cross a flooded or fast-flowing river or stream. If in doubt, stay out," said Mr Owens.

9:50am: Photos coming into nzherald.co.nz show the extent of the flood devastation being felt in Nelson. You can view them here.

9:40am: If you need to evacuate your home, police suggest you take: raincoats, torches and have essential medications at the ready.

People are advised to stay with friends as a first choice and only go to the evacuation centre at the Suburban Club in Tahunanui if friends or family are not an option.

9:37am: As the heavy rain moves north, it's provided a reprieve for areas in the South Island.

The Metservice says rain in Buller and Westland has eased and the warnings for those areas have been lifted.

9:26am: A further plea from police for Nelson area residents to stay off the roads.

They warn roads into Nelson city are gridlocked making it difficult for emergency services to get to people in need.

9:10am: The NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists in the Nelson/Tasman region to avoid non-essential travel, as heavy rain and flooding continues throughout the region.

State Highway 6 in Nelson City is closed due to a slip. Motorists should take via Waimea Rd (Stoke to Nelson City).

SH60 is closed at Appleby straight/bridge, although is expected to reopen once water recedes. SH60 is also closed at Birds Hill, cutting off Collingwood.

Extreme care is advised at Takaka Hill, which remains open despite slips.

Rocks Road is closed between Bisley Ave and Richardson Street.

8:40am: The National Crisis Management Centre at Parliament has been activated, the Civil Defence says.

8:35am: Now the good news - school's out!

All schools in Golden Bay are closed today, while other schools in the Tasman region may be closed on a case by case basis.

8:30am: There is a major slip on SH60 at Birds Hill, cutting Collingwood from Takaka. Authorities say it could take up to three days to clear.

Police says 25-30 houses at Pohara have been affected by flooding. The Pohara Valley Road is currently inaccessible and Ligar Bay and Tata Beach are isolated.

People evacuated to Onetahua Marae last night will be relocated to more accessible areas this morning.

Residents in Pohara and Dovedale are advised to boil their water, and residents in both the towns and Mapua are asked to conserve water.

8:24am: WeatherWatch.co.nz says while the worst of the heavy rain has eased from Nelson westwards, there are indications in the latest satellite imagery of more pockets of heavy rain returning this morning. The risk will not fully ease until later today.

Meanwhile torrential rain continues in Marlborough - and also the entire northern and western sides of the North Island. Philip Duncan says there is a high risk for flooding in those regions, a low to moderate risk of isolated flash flooding and a moderate risk of slips.

Mr Duncan also advises Aucklanders to stay away from beachfront cliffs due to the real risk of slips and rockfalls.

8:19am: The Nelson Tasman Civil Defence says more than 60 slips have been reported, including one behind the Waterfront Apartment building on Wakefield Quay, which has been evacuated this morning.

8:10am: Police have urged those in the Nelson area to stay off the road this morning.

A Civil Defence emergency is still in place in Nelson Bays as the area is hit by heavy rain.

Police incident controller Inspector Ross Lienert said the rain eased slightly overnight allowing rivers to subside, however the area has had more heavy rain since about 4.30am today and rivers and streams are still in flood.

Inspector Lienert is urging people to consider their safety before venturing out onto the road.

"If you don't need to travel please stay at home. The last thing we need right now is people sightseeing and putting themselves at risk."

8:00am: Tasman District Council Mayor Richard Kempthorne told Radio New Zealand floodwaters were receding and authorities would this morning check the region for damage.

Many bridges in the region are closed to traffic, and although he doesn't expect there to be any damage, abutments would be checked later today.

Mr Kempthorne said people who have voluntarily left their homes should contact either the Nelson City or Tasman District councils to let them know where they have gone.