Hundreds of cut-off residents in a West Auckland settlement are still without power or road access, 10 days after the cyclone.
Karekare locals are relying on helicopter deliveries for long-life food and fuel for generators.
With 16 slips in the area, only emergency services and Karekare's 300 residents are allowed to access the roads.
Multiple houses were lost, and harrowing stories are emerging of narrow escapes.
But despite testing times, locals said they were just grateful no lives were lost.
RNZ rode with Karekare volunteer Fire Brigade chief officer Toby Hyman for a tour of Lone Kauri Road.
'There's been such a catastrophe'
Hyman, a marine engineer by profession, worked 37km away in Hobsonville and was getting to Karekare on a motorbike he had borrowed from his neighbour.
"Pretty much everybody I've spoken to that doesn't know someone out here, it's news to them that there's been such a catastrophe in Karekare."
Food and fuel were being delivered at a make-shift community hub, run out of Sarah Cannon's home.
Up to 80 locals stopped by each day to collect long-life food and bottled water, Cannon said.
People were grateful for all of the donated food, but were holding out for some fresh produce, expected in the next delivery, she said.
Hyman said locals, with help from emergency management, had been able to do some work on the road.
"Our locals got into their own diggers and and carved out the road wider so that cars could pass, but as you can see, it's pretty hairy. About three-quarters of the road has slipped down a bank ... It's not my favourite part of the road to drive over."
Down at sea level in an area known as 'The Valley', Hyman navigated past some houses that had slipped away from the hill.
"[The Valley] took the worst hit, really. This is where the majority of the red stickers and yellow stickers happened. You can see the houses that came down the bank there."
Another house had completely slipped across the road and had been bulldozed into a pile in order to open the road - the rubble full of personal possessions.
Up on the hill and above the mess on the road were parked cars, never to be driven again.
Rescuers evacuating family got trapped by landslides
Hyman described the harrowing scenes from about 9.30pm on the Monday when the cyclone hit, when a family escaped just minutes before their house slipped 20 metres.
"We loaded them into personal vehicles to try and evacuate them up the hill, and as we were going up the hill, a landslide appeared in front of the utes," Hyman said.
"It was how I imagine the old kauri diggers, when they'd blocked up their dams and then let them go. A sea of huge logs and rocks and boulders, and just the roar of the water coming down in front of us and a brand new waterfall that never existed before," he said.
"So we're attempting to turn the vehicles around and it [a landslide] happened behind us as well, so we were trapped on quite a small section of Karekare Road, which is a pretty steep gradient.
"It was still raining horrendously and we had some little kids and members of the public in the back of cars. We had to make a split second decision really to put the vehicles in four-wheel-drive and drive through the moving slip to get them out."
Despite the devastation, Hyman realised how lucky his community had been.
"I certainly don't want 'woe is me, our communities so damaged, poor us'.
"There's so many worse off communities right now. In a way, we're really lucky that nobody's died out here. Some people have lost their houses and that's horrific and horrible, but you know we can fix it, we can rebuild it. You can't get people back that you've lost.
"Obviously some communities like Napier and what not have been hit so much harder than us, but it's still important to talk about our stories out here and and what's going on."