National | Cyclone Gabrielle

Rain warnings for flood-hit regions

Heavy rain is on the way for cyclone-hit Hawke's Bay, while Prime Minister Chris Hipkins' planned trip to Wairoa today was cancelled due to bad weather.

Hipkins' flight to Wairoa to witness the damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle lasted 10 minutes before that plane had to be abandoned.

Low cloud along the east coast meant the NH90 he was travelling in had to be redirected to the Napier airport shortly after takeoff from the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds.

Hipkins was afforded a brief look over Hawke's Bay - the chopper travelled up Napier's marine parade where sodden suburbs were in full view.

MetService says frrom now through until 10am on Saturday people in the region can expect 150 to 200mm of rain around the ranges and also north of Hastings - including Esk Valley area and the Wairoa District. Rain to 75 to 100mm is expected elsewhere.

The heaviest falls are likely from 3pm on Friday, with peak rates of 20 to 30mm/hr possible.

Emergency repairs are now underway on damaged stop banks in Hawke's Bay, ahead of the deluge.

Each stop bank breach will under observation overnight.

Meanwhile, other areas also under a heavy rain watch and possible thunderstorm watch include Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty from 2am on Friday until 1am Saturday.

Gisborne can expect periods of heavy rain, with thunderstorms possible in the 36 hours from 2pm today. Rainfall amounts may approach warning criteria, MetService says.

Auckland can also expect to be drenched tomorrow with some heavy rain and possible thunderstorms from midday until 10pm.