A family are happy to simply be alive after a tornado ripped through their home north of Auckland, snapping 50-foot pine trees like toothpicks.

The powerful winds hit Dan Tudman's home on Young Access in Dairy Flat on Friday night as a weekend of wild weather produced multiple tornadoes and caused widespread damage across Auckland.

The storms tore roofs from homes, brought flooding and power cuts and flung trampolines skyward across the city on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Dan Tudman, and his daughter Eden, survey the damage of their family's Dairy Flat home which was badly damaged by a tornado on Friday night. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Dan Tudman, and his daughter Eden, survey the damage of their family's Dairy Flat home which was badly damaged by a tornado on Friday night. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Photo / Sylvie Whinray

Businesses in East Tamaki had their storefronts ripped open, while one woman was interrupted during birth when debris smashed the windows of her ambulance.

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Tudman had been out on Friday night when the tornado hit Dairy Flat, but his daughter phoned in hysterics from their home as she sheltered in the bathtub.

"She was screaming," Tudman said.

"I thought there was an intruder in the home because she was incomprehensible."

The powerful winds hit Dan Tudman's home in Dairy Flat as a weekend of wild weather produced multiple tornadoes. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
The powerful winds hit Dan Tudman's home in Dairy Flat as a weekend of wild weather produced multiple tornadoes. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

Finally, he was able to make out a tornado had ripped through their house.

He rushed home, but found his way barred.

Wires from a powerline had collapsed across the property's front gate and Tudman almost drove straight into them.

"I nearly got nailed there," he said.

Making his way up the driveway on foot, he passed giant pine trees snapped like twigs and waded through waters spilling over from the property's flooded dam.

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"Everything was destroyed, absolutely everything," Tudman said.

Wild weather as tornados lifted roofs and tore down trees in Auckland. Video / Mark MadeMan / Caleb Paterson / Phillip Boughey

That included his bedroom.

"If I was in my room [at the time], I would have been dead because my room is in pieces," he said.

Speaking today, Tudman was still dressed in wet shoes.

"Because that is all I've been able to recover, we've just got the clothes on our back."

The family spent Saturday morning combing through the wreckage. They hope insurance will cover the damage.

But that will take time and in the next weeks they are without a place to sleep or any of their possessions.

The St John ambulance where a woman giving birth was interrupted by flying debris. Photo / Hayden Woodward
The St John ambulance where a woman giving birth was interrupted by flying debris. Photo / Hayden Woodward

Well almost none. Tudman's daughter was due to celebrate her 21st birthday on Monday and she managed to save her birthday dress.

The family hoped her party would go ahead as planned.

Tudman said the tornado cut a noticeable path through his property and drone footage from Dairy Flat dramatically showed how the storm picked its way over paddocks, felling some trees and sparing others.

A trampoline sent flying into a power pole near Victoria Dairy in Papatoetoe. Photo / Emma Lunny
A trampoline sent flying into a power pole near Victoria Dairy in Papatoetoe. Photo / Emma Lunny

Residents in the area took to Facebook in its aftermath.

"I love a storm but that was . . . terrifying," one resident wrote.

A resident from Pine Valley said it was the "loudest thing I ever heard" as their home was "hit full-on".

"Our fences got shredded, my car's been bashed in, the walls of our garage are gone, we have multiple big trees down on our drive and we can't leave."

Fire and Emergency NZ's Craig Dally said crews raced about Auckland on Friday night responding to 24 calls for help in the city's north and west from about 10pm.

Damage to Elite Bathroomware Showroom in East Tamaki. Photo / Hayden Woodward
Damage to Elite Bathroomware Showroom in East Tamaki. Photo / Hayden Woodward

Silverdale and Dairy Flat in north-west Auckland were hit first.

Then the heavy winds moved to Te Atatu, West Auckland and Waimauku.

"There was flooding, roofs lifting and trees and powerlines down," Dally said.

The dramatic storm followed another tornado earlier in the day at Mangawhai, further north.

Yet Auckland's wild weather wasn't done then. Another tornado hit East Tamaki and Otara on Saturday morning, while a further storm was reported in Tauranga around the same time.

A woman who was in labour in an ambulance at her property escaped serious injury when the windows of the vehicle were smashed in by debris from a shed.

Thousands of dollars of damage was done on Allens Rd in East Tamaki where the tornado ripped an entire wall off the Elite Bathroomware Showroom.

Metal sheeting and wood were left strewn on the showroom's carpark along with office furniture and electrical equipment that had been sucked out by the winds.

Next door, skylights and roof panels were blown out on the Electric Motor Group-Brooks MTL stores, leaving up to $2.5 million of weather sensitive stock exposed to the elements.

Further south in Papatoetoe, one trampoline was photographed comically out of place bent around a power pole at the front of the Victoria Dairy.

In the Bay of Plenty, a small tornado also tore through Papamoa.

Local man Gregg Conning filmed as debris was lifted into the air as the tornado passed through.

"I live right on the edge of town so I watched the whole thing tear through the farm. The neighbour's playground is gone, their fence is gone, it's left quite a trail in its wake.

"I first spotted a big black tramp floating through the air and just as I was thinking 'what the heck, is that a tramp?' a second tramp flew past."

Tornado caused widespread damage in Dairy Flat overnight. Photo / Caleb Paterson
Tornado caused widespread damage in Dairy Flat overnight. Photo / Caleb Paterson

Further rain and possible thunder had been expected across the top of the North Island late Saturday.

But that was expected to clear into fine spells and isolated showers tomorrow.
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Forecaster WeatherWatch said the weekend's rain was part of June being a "game-changing" month weatherwise.

"For New Zealand the rain isn't over just yet," WeatherWatch said.

"More northern rain and showers are coming in the days ahead, while another week from now, around Monday July 6, there may be another brief burst of heavy subtropical-fuelled rain for northern New Zealand followed by more showers and west to south-west winds kicking back in."

It also tipped a cold change to hit the South Island this weekend and North Island next week that would bring snow dumps at higher altitudes to both islands.

More settled weather was expected across the country by mid-July.