In a Papamoa driveway, a trailer is loaded with furniture.

Mike Finlayson and Amanda Brown are moving out.

"It started coming up through the kids' room last night," Mr Finlayson says of the water surrounding his home. "We're moving next door until May."

Mr Finlayson, a relief milker, had been renting the home. The children, a 2-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy, had seen the water seeping up through their floorboards after heavy rain on Wednesday night.


The water had dropped 10cm in a few hours since the rain stopped, but was still lapping at the sides of the house and was close to the top of a trampoline in the front yard.

The family is one of many facing challenges in areas around Bell Rd in Papamoa.

Dairy farmer Selina Cook's home was surrounded by water which had crept up the sides of her house and almost, but not quite, made it inside. Her horse had become so stressed it had eaten a 30cm-long chunk out of a wooden fence.

"This is by far the worst flooding I've seen in eight years," she said.

The neighbouring Mr Boysenberry orchard was flooded out.

Further down the road, Steven Kite had been forced to spend the morning at home because rising water had cut off his vehicles from the road.

"It's the worst I've ever seen it," he said. "We got out last night during the rain, but this morning it's much higher.

A carpark at the end of the road was completely immersed by the Kaituna River, which had burst its banks.


Standing nearby was resident Ted Whare, who said he believed the flooding had been worsened by the unhealthy state of local rivers.

He said the floodwaters had risen since the rain stopped.

"It wasn't as high yesterday as it is today," he said. "Look at those poor bloody houses, eh."