Hundreds of people in Marlborough and Westport are spending the night away from home after being forced out by floodwaters, as rain continues to fall across the centre of the country.
Nelson, Westport, Picton, Murchison, Hanmer Springs and Golden Bay are currently isolated due to the weather.
Buller and Marlborough have declared local states of emergency, as high river levels, flooding, fallen trees and slips close state highways across the top of the South Island.
Buller Emergency Management is evacuating several more streets in Westport as the Buller River rises. Zone 10, under an evacuation order, includes Brougham Street and Eastons Road.
Eight hundred Westport residents evacuated last night have been told they must remain out of their homes for a second night.
Marlborough Emergency Management has evacuated four areas - all of Spring Creek township, Tuamarina township, part of the Lower Wairau and Lower Terrace in Renwick
More heavy rain is expected tomorrow.
On Mother Nature's menu for Sunday:— NIWA Weather (@NiwaWeather) July 17, 2021
️ Periods of rain continue for the soaked areas of the upper South Island
⚡ A line of heavy rain and thunderstorms could cross the upper half of the North Island during the afternoon pic.twitter.com/OA7jopd2dG
People being evacuated from Tuamarina township near Blenheim have been asked to find accommodation with family or friends.
The council says evacuees will be allowed to cross the Wairau River bridge on SH1.
In total, Marlborough District Council said 900 people from 500 households were evacuated.
See how events unfolded this afternoon wtih RNZ's blog: