Holiday homes stink of rotting fish bait, dirty washing piles up, septic tanks over flow, roads are as narrow as footpaths and power lines teeter on the edge of cliffs, ready to fall into the sea.

As the rest of Auckland moves on from last week's destructive Cyclone Debbie, some people in the coastal settlement of Kawakawa Bay, almost an hour - or 50km - southeast of the CBD, barely have enough power to boil an egg.

The area was hit by dozens of land slips and flooding during the March downpours, leaving a block of 18 houses without power for nine days.

Just four homes of the 18 are permanently occupied - many are holiday homes owned by Aucklanders.


Last week's rain sent more mud tumbling down hillsides, and the same homes have again gone nearly a week without power after the weather made the only road in impassable.

Vector says it's doing all it can to get residents up and running but parts of the Kawakawa Bay Coast Rd have been undermined by the slips, making it too dangerous for company vehicles or emergency services to drive on.

Homeowners have been surviving on small generators that Civil Defence brought in by boat.

Lorraine McLeod, whose home is on the dead-end road, said that was "a kind thought" but that they are barely enough to boil an egg.

"If you have two little appliances going, that's it: you can't have your lights on."

The slips cut the McLeods and their neighbours' road off completely, meaning they were unable to reach the village's only dairy, let alone supermarkets in the city.

They shared food until they could get out to civilisation.

Mcleod and her husband Jim are lucky - they have a huge generator in case of outages in order to run the cable car that gets them to their house. But other residents are struggling.


"They can't do their washing, they've got no hot water - some have no water at all because they depend on a bore."

Another has a septic tank that is computer-run; it has overflowed.

Everyone lost the contents of their deep freezers, including the holiday homes which now stink of rotting fish bait.

"We get very cranky because we believe people in the council don't understand what country people have to deal with," McLeod said.

Fixing the power would mean stringing lines back up but with power poles now teetering on the edge of cliffs and cracks widening around them, it's a matter of time until they fall into the sea.

Vector says it's doing it's best but McLeod feels they have given "absolutely zilch" in terms of communication.

She says she warned many times that trees above the road were unstable; many have fallen onto power lines in the last six weeks. She says she is "too tired" to argue with the company any more.

Residents were braced for another two weeks without power but Vector now says it has an interim solution that should see the lights back on within 48 hours, using a helicopter to avoid the road.

But the issue will continue, Vector says, because the road is unstable and shrinking by the day.

"Sections along the edge of the coastal road have either come away or are looking unstable," a spokeswoman said.

"Cracks are widening by the day and some roads, once cleared, will still only be as wide as a footpath. Our power poles and lines in this case are either damaged or on unstable ground over the water's edge."

She said it would be "a real challenge" to find a long-term, permanent solution to keep the power on.

This morning Vector said it had worked with Civil Defence to keep affected residents updated, contacting full-time residents directly in the aftermath of the storm.

"On April 6, our two community liaison officers spent the day out at Kawakawa Bay and spoke with all fulltime residents about the situation," a spokesman said.

"The app and website were kept updated and we worked with Civil Defence on updates when they headed into the area to talk with residents."

Last week, the remnants of Cyclone Debbie battered the east coast of the North Island, leaving Edgecumbe underwater and causing havoc in Auckland.

As it rained for the third time and more mud fell, the McLeods sat on the road outside their house and watched the trees and mud "like cold porridge" as it "plopped" down from in front of their house.

Forecasters now say tropical Cyclone Cook is currently in the Pacific and is headed for New Zealand. With a possible cyclone on the way residents are fearful about what more rain could bring.

"As soon as we knew that rain was coming last week we were terrified," said McLeod, who has already seen her trailer flattened and car buried in tonnes of mud.

"It's just scary thinking your house could come down."