More than 100 homes were without power as wind and rain pounded the Bay of Plenty this morning.
MetService spokesman Lewis Ferris said 47.8mm of rain had been recorded at Rotorua Airport since midnight. 26mm had fallen in Tauranga, and 14.4mm in Whakatāne.
Unison reported outages in the Hamurana, Okere Falls and Lake Okataina areas.
Flooding has also been reported around the region.
Unison relationship manager Danny Gough said the cause of the power outages was trees and branches damaging lines as a result of the weather.
"There are about 89 homes affected by the one around Okere Falls," he said.
"At Lake Okataina there are only four customers and on Te Waerenga Rd there are 37, so that's about 135 customers in total."
Gough said Unison crews were on-site and power would be progressively restored by 2pm.
A Rotorua Lakes Council spokeswoman said council staff had two weather-related callouts, both for surface flooding on Hamurana Rd and State Highway 33 in Mourea.
MetService has issued heavy rain and strong wind watches for parts of the North Island, including the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel.
A deepening low is slowly moving over the Tasman Sea, directing a moist north-to-northeast flow over central and northern New Zealand, MetService said.
An associated front has moved across central and northern areas from the west and will move to the east later today.
This front is preceded by heavy rain and strong to galeforce northeast winds, with watches and warnings in force for many parts of central and northern New Zealand.
A heavy rain warning is in place for the eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty until 4pm today. Expect 60 to 90mm of rain to accumulate, with localised downpours of 25 to 40mm/h this afternoon.
A strong wind watch is in place for the coastal Bay of Plenty east of Te Puke, until 2pm. The forecast is for northeast winds, which may approach a severe gale in exposed places.
Meanwhile, the forecast for Rotorua today
is for rain, heavy at times, turning to showers in the afternoon, some heavy and thundery until late evening, easing at night. The high is 15C and the low 8C.
Tauranga residents can expect rain, heavy at times, turning to showers by afternoon, some heavy and thundery until evening, easing at night. The high is 17C and the low 10C.