As wild weather from Cyclone Cook lashes the country we put together a list of the five most important things you need to know right now.

1. Residents of low-lying Coromandel east coast told to evacuate immediately

Residents in nearly a dozen low-lying Coromandel Peninsula coastal communities are being told to get out immediately.

The Thames-Coromandel District Council says areas are now being affected by king tide flooding and people need to get out while they can.

• Full story here: Cyclone Cook: Residents of low-lying Coromandel coastal communities told to evacuate


2. New flooding threats

New threats of flooding with residents of Matata, Pikowai, Ohope and the Whakatane Escarpment area being placed on high alert and told to prepare to evacuate if needed.

Check out the live blog for more updates.

3. States of emergency

Coromandel and Bay of Plenty are under states of civil emergency. The national crisis centre remains activated to coordinate relief efforts to the incoming storm.

• More updates here: Cyclone Cook: What you need to know by region from MetService

4. Traffic and travel disruptions

Planes are delayed, flights are cancelled in Wellington, communities cut off, and the Auckland Harbour Bridge may close.

Conditions are expected to be so hazardous that MetService is advising people to seriously consider altering Easter travel plans and not to "take any chances".

People leaving work and school early have put stress on public transport, crowding buses and trains.

• Harbour Bridge update here: Close watch on Auckland Harbour Bridge as Cyclone Cook brings dangerous winds
Significant disruption to flights expected as Cyclone Cook lashes New Zealand


5. Many schools across the North Island are closed

A growing number of schools, from early childcare centres to universities, are closed today or shutting early as warnings come of high winds, power outages and road closures.

Check the full list here: Major school closures as Cyclone Cook looms: Full list