To most people phrases like "please delay your travel" or "avoid the area" are a good reason to stay home, stay warm, and stay safe.

But for a journalist these one-liners usually mean exactly the opposite – something is happening and probably something newsworthy.

Today as weather reached warning criteria and people cosied up in their living rooms in front of the heater, I put on my boots and my rain jacket and headed directly towards the area to avoid – the rain-soaked Coromandel Peninsula.

Laden with camera, notebook, tripod and towel – in case things got really wet – I set out on the state highways and winding roads that lead from Auckland to the Coromandel.


I was prepared with the warnings of closed roads and floods, but kept my fingers crossed as my Toyota Yaris battled the downpours and roads resembling swimming pools.

I adopted a "fingers crossed" method when it came to approaching a section of road submerged in water, not knowing the full extent of its depths, or relied on other daring vehicles to take the risk first.

Along the way it was like playing a real-life dodgems game to avoid the road cones or large clods of dirt dotted haphazardly along the road.

As a reporter on a mission, with the day's light slowly fading – it is me you see curled over a tripod in pouring rain trying to capture cars speeding through flood waters or contractors clutching coffees at road-closure cordons.

I bear the jokes of the stop/go men in order to find out what's going on and the tired exclamations from locals fed up with the rain – or me knocking on their door after sun down.

But all of this - plus the sodden socks and the dripping hair and the late-night drive back to Auckland - mean that hopefully not all will venture out, opting to read about it from the warmth of their homes instead.​