Steady rain is falling in Tairāwhiti region, with the area still recovering from a storm three weeks ago.
A red rain warning remains in place until late tonight for Gisborne and Wairoa... with up to about 300-millimetres of rain expected.
A MetService forecaster, David Miller, says more than 70 millimetres has already fallen in the Gisborne ranges in the last hour.
There are also orange warnings for heavy rain in Great Barrier Island, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and the rest of Hawke's Bay.
And severe south to southwest gales could reach up to 140-kilometres per hour across much of the North Island.
Reporter Jimmy Ellingham is in Gisborne.