Auckland's annual Santa Parade has been postponed due to bad weather.
Organisers confirmed that the parade will be delayed until next Sunday, December 2 due to severe weather warnings.
The parade has not been cancelled since the 1990s, the organisers said.
The rain check follows the news that parade organisers The Auckland Children's Christmas Parade Trust was ditching its longstanding Santa for the parade, after the man behind the beard said he wouldn't hire women to play Father Christmas.
For the past five years, Baker had personally played Santa on the main float in the Farmers Santa Parade, and was booked to do so again this year.
However, in the wake of Neville's comments, organisers announced it was no longer employing their Santa through the My Santa company.
Thunderstorms and heavy downfall were brewing in Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty.
"Flooding is certainly a plausibility today in those Northern areas given the nature of the showers that are developing," forecaster Tui McInnes said.
McInnes said big low-pressure system was pushing up through the country, bringing rain to a lot of places.
"In the North Island, a big front is barrelling its way down. Currently, that front is sitting at the southern part of Northland and that's just migrating down as the day goes on."
For the South Island, persistent rain was expected for the east coast but showers were expected to clear for the lower part of South Island and the west coast.
People were being advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts in case parts of this watch is upgraded to a full warning, or other areas are added.
An earlier version of this story indicated that Farmers dropped its longstanding Santa for its Christmas parade. This was incorrect. Farmers is the naming rights sponsor of the parade. Employment decisions are made by the Auckland Children's Christmas Parade Trust. We apologise to Farmers for the error.