Widespread flooding in Tokomaru Bay on the East Coast has forced some families to evacuate and roads to be closed as Civil Defence declares it too "dangerous" to travel.
State Highway 35 is now closed both north and south of the East Coast town as police and Fire and Emergency NZ crews help locals.
The Karakatuwhero River, north of Te Araroa, has flooded, as has the Wharekahika River.
There was now "widespread surface flooding" and Tairāwhiti Civil Defence was urging people to stay home and avoid any travel.
However, Civil Defence said the water appeared to be receding and the worst of the weather was heading offshore.
"We're working with Police and Fenz to check in with families and their homes.
"We advise the community to take care and avoid travel. Conditions will be dangerous for some time.
"Some families have self-evacuated and we're working with those families along with Police and Fire and Emergency.
"Please avoid unnecessary travel."
The Gisborne District Council has contractors out checking roads.
There were at least four roads currently impassable and closed including Anaura Rd, Waiomatatini Rd, Walker Rd and Tuparoa Rd.
UAWA Live earlier reported major flooding between Tolaga Bay and Gisborne at Rototahi station where there's minor slips and debris on the road. Civil defence is monitoring the situation closely.
The MetService says the rain should ease from 1pm, with the deep low that brought the heavy rain already moving out to sea.
Surface flooding had also started to recede about 10.30am.
At 12.30pm today, MetService said the "complex" continued to affect eastern and central parts of New Zealand.
There was "persistent onshore flow" causing heavy rain warnings and watches in place for Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, Marlborough and North Canterbury.
Strong southeasterlies, and gales, were now forcing their way across central New Zealand
Meanwhile, MetService has issued a warning of snowfall hazards in the South Island from 3am tomorrow.
Snow flurries are expected to accumulate on the Lewis Pass above 900m and up to 1cm of snow could land near the summit.
Snow is also expected on Porters Pass between 3am and 8am, also above 900m, but little is expected to get on the road.