Cyclone Pam hits New Zealand video

John Cowpland/Fairfax NZ

Strong winds and high waves have lashed the East Coast region as ex-tropical cyclone Pam hit New Zealand.

Ex-cyclone Pam is bearing down on the Chatham Islands after sweeping across northeastern New Zealand, bringing heavy rain but relatively little destruction.

Gisborne Civil Defence evacuated more than 100 people in the northern part of the Gisborne district on Monday and more were ready to go as a precaution against the rising sea, flooding and slips overnight.

Heavy rain fell across the region and strong offshore winds created nine-metre high waves but only minor damage was reported, Civil Defence said.


Cyclone Pam stirring big swells to the Coromandel even at mid tide there are concerns for beach front homes, we visited Tairua and Whitianga.

Are you in a storm-affected area? Send your photos, video and newstips to

READ MORE:   * What you need to know    * Catastrophe in Vanuatu   * NZ sends planes, relief supplies to Vanuatu

Freedom campers were given "strong encouragement" to get out of flood-prone areas by Gisborne police.


Civil Defence keep an eye on Cyclone Pam from the Beehive's emergency bunker.

Although the weather was not as destructive as expected in most areas, residents of Waihau Bay, 140km northeast of Whaktane, saw the high swells send sea water up State Highway 35 and onto nearby houses, although the road remained open. 

Autahi Callaghan, a resident near Raukokore School on SH35, said on Monday morning it was worse than they thought it was going to be.

"We didn't expect it to be this bad, especially the wind and with [even] low tide being high. We're just worried about high tide now," she said.

DELUGE: Heavy rain covers Gisborne and Hawke's Bay as well as the western Bay of Plenty and the tip of Great Barrier ...

DELUGE: Heavy rain covers Gisborne and Hawke's Bay as well as the western Bay of Plenty and the tip of Great Barrier Island in this 11.28am rain radar image.

"It's low tide now and the sea's come up to the road."

Ad Feedback

It had even "arrived at some people's doors", she said.

Callaghan had seen the sea wash up that far once before, but at high tide. This time rocks and logs were strewn across the road, she said.

Rebekah Parsons-King/Fairfax NZ Kirk Hargreaves/The Press David Hallett/Supplied Jane Jeffries/Supplied Rebekah Parsons-King/Fairfax NZ Rebakah Parsons-King Rebekah Parsons-King/Fairfax NZ Rebekah Parsons-King/Fairfax NZ Clinton Llewellyn/Fairfax NZ Clinton Llewellyn/Fairfax NZ PAULINE HOUIA PAULINE HOUIA SARAH DONNELLY METSERVICE BAY OF PLENTY CIVIL DEFENCE TRENT FEARNLEY MIKE SCOTT SANDRA WALKER

Kids get dangerously close to the roaring ocean.

Surfs Up. New Brighton Pier Christchurch starting to take a hammering from swell generated by Cyclone Pam.

Surfers at Taylor's Mistake Canterbury experience the aftermath of Cyclone Pam.

Surfers enjoy Cyclone Pam's swell at Milford Beach, North Shore.

Swells at high tide at Buffalo Beach, Whitianga, Coromandel - effects of Cyclone Pam. Ray Blackler Managing Director of Road Works Ltd on a digger at work to build the eroding bank being thrashed by the waves

Swells at Tairua from Cyclone Pam

Swells at mid tide in Tairua, Coromandel effects of Cyclone Pam

Swells at high tide at Buffalo Beach, Whitianga, Coromandel - effects of Cyclone Pam. Ray Blackler Managing Director of Road Works Ltd on a digger at work to build the eroding bank being thrashed by the waves

A man with a Go Pro camera tries to get up close to the swell along the Hawke's Bay coast at Haumoana.

Freelance photographer Andrew Brunton snaps away as waves crash in the background along the Hawke's Bay coast at Haumoana

A boulder lies on the road in Omaio, Bay of Plenty.

Heavy seas crash in on Omaio Bay, in the Bay of Plenty.

As the remnants of Cyclone Pam hit Gisborne, a tree is uprooted - narrowly missing a house.

DELUGE: Heavy rain covers Gisborne and Hawke's Bay as well as the western Bay of Plenty and the tip of Great Barrier Island in this 11.28am rain radar image.

Large seas crash into Moturiki Island, Bay of Plenty.

Flotsam on the beach at Te Araroa.

ROUGH SURF: Sweels get big at Mount Maunganui as Cyclone Pam bears down on the East Coast of the North Island.

Large swells roll in at Orewa Beach, north Auckland.

1  of  18
« Previous « Previous Next » Next »

Several roads across the Gisborne region were closed and the rough weather was expected to continue through the night before clearing on Tuesday.

Gales were expected to gust to 130kmh about parts of Gisborne and Hawke's Bay overnight.

Earlier in the day, Northland and Coromandel avoided much of Pam's wrath and the sun started to shine on Whangarei by late afternoon.

Around 1.30pm on Monday MetService said Pam was about 230km north and east of East Cape.

The attention had shifted to the Chathams, 750km to the east of the South Island, where the weather would deteriorate overnight and be at its worst by midday on Tuesday.

A state of local emergency was declared by Mayor Alfred Preece just after midday on Monday. "The reason for the declaration is the imminent arrival of Cyclone Pam combined with rural fires on the islands," he said.

Preece was in Christchurch on Monday morning and flew home on a charter flight due to the approaching ex-cyclone.

He arrived, with three extra civil defence staff on the plane, about 9am. The brunt of the event was expected between morning and midday on Tuesday, with average winds of between 90kmh and 110kmh, he said.

"It was very calm this morning and [the wind] has slowly picked up all day."

Low-lying areas had been evacuated — mostly private properties, including about half of Kaingaroa village, Preece said.

MetService spokesman John Law said a close watch was being kept on the Chathams.

"The low pretty much runs right down towards them."

Severe gales with gusts up to 160kmh were expected from Monday night through to Wednesday morning, MetService said.

Peak winds were expected on Tuesday morning and early afternoon.

Meanwhile, the cleanup in Vanuatu continues, where winds reached 300kmh over the weekend and at least eight people died. 

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said an air force Hercules would be used to transport New Zealanders in urgent need of evacuation from Vanuatu.

Key said the Government had so far pledged $2.5 million to help with immediate relief and its efforts so far were focused on emergency relief.

Animated graphic shows Pam's course on Monday morning. Source: NOAA

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers

Death at rowdy Auckland party

Police are investigating a suspected homicide after a party turned ugly on a "relatively quiet" Auckland street.

Police treating death of 25-year-old as suspicious after "noisy" party turned fatal in the early hours.

Alzheimer's sufferer missing

72-year-old Minnie Holloway went missing on Friday evening.

Police urging people to check their sheds after a 72-year-old woman went missing in Auckland.

Ardern fixes English's fallen sign

Jacinda Ardern put up her own, then fixed Bill English's.

When National's billboard fell during her unveiling, the Labour leader decided to play nice.

Masked men come forward

Video showed men masked and dressed in Mr Four Square costumes apparently attacking two teens on a train from Auckland's ...

The mother of one allegedly assaulted teen girl wants police to prosecute.


Tory St's imaginary makeover

Wellington's takeaway coffee cups would be re-used in a unique way in this Victoria University student design.

Victoria University landscape architecture students reimagine quake-hit Wellington street.

Books behind bars

Research shows study can "significantly reduce the risk of re-offending following release" according to Corrections.

Two inmates invite us into their world to show how study is transforming them.

Electric car runs on $10 a week video

Nathan Murrell says his Nissan Leaf is "dirt cheap" to run, and loves Wellington's hills.

Owner sings praises as electric vehicle numbers in Wellington double in a year.

Council ticket fiasco

A contractor to Wellington Water, which is partially owned by the Wellington City Council, was given a $60 infringement ...

Traffic control trailer gets $60 ticket - while working on Wellington council project.


Missing women, young girl found

Chris Coory, of LandSAR, with the rescued group, from left, Melissa Bowley, Lauren Rees, Meg Pidegeon and Skyla Bowley, ...

Light from phone screen helps helicopter find missing women and child in the early hours.

Red zone protest bid video

The couple moved into the suburb 15 years ago.

Martin Francis makes last stand in red zone by running against Brownlee in Ilam.

Couple left in cold video

John and Bona Sinclair have been trying to resolve suspension of John's pension payments leaving them $55 a week to live ...

Christchurch man who married US woman "disgusted" as pension is cut to $80 a week.

Ballantynes' rebuild details

18082017 news supplied
Supplied pics of Ballantynes Lichfield st rebuild. Embargoed still saturday 19 aug 2017.

 Ballantynes releases pictures of planned rebuild of part of its Christchurch store.


Sir Colin Meads 'very unwell'

Sir Colin Meads in Te Kuiti at the unveiling of his statue in June.

Sir Colin Meads unwell, his wife says, and the family is requesting privacy.

Shops under siege

Police at the scene of a robbery on Rifle Range Dairy.

Manning the counter of the corner dairy these days merits combat pay.

Garden Place redesign mooted video

The new design was created and funded property investors Matt Stark, Steve McLennan and architect Brian White.

Cars and parking would be part of it but green space would stay, designers say.

Political thoughts from Benneydale

Benneydale was a purpose-built government town.

Benneydale locals share their ideas on the upcoming general election.


Community fridge launches

Sean Warren organised the fridge as a way to help people in the Inglewood community.

Instead of throwing away their spare food, Inglewood's residents are being encouraged to pass it on to those who need it.

Burglar sleeps in bed

Chris and Val Meier's Urenui Beach bach was broken into twice in seven months.

He stole their TV, their heater and then slept in their bed.

Dancing fails to raise cash video

Council/government workers, politicians, QC's, and emergency services turned out to dance Poi E as part of the Taranaki ...

Naive organisers got thousands of people, including John Key, dancing for a fundraising video which has made very little money.

It's a funny old Earth Planet World

Ben Hurley has been joking about the world.

Review: Ben Hurley's show visits 195 countries in 90 minutes. And it's hilarious. 


Roller derby dreams come true

Swamp City jammer Helen Burke, aka Menace, on the burst against the Dead End Derby at CET Arena 3.

Roller derby is one of the fastest-growing women's sports in the world and it's on a roll in Palmerston North.

More signs needed

Jodeci Day, 6, was hit by ute on Highbury Ave and her mum Casey Bush is now calling for more school sings down the road.

The mother of a young girl hit by ute while walking home from school is calling for more signage.

Volunteering in Jordan

Zoe Dekker will head to Jordan to help Syrian refugees. She is walking 100km with her father, Paul Dekker, to raise money.

Zoe Dekker is heading to Jordan to help Syrian refugees.

What happened to good manners?

Horowhenua District Council chief executive Davd Clapperton: "Right now, our community is highly politicised."

OPINION: Horowhenua council CEO defends controversial monitoring of emails.


Bennett in back-up role at Vuelta

George Bennett became the first Kiwi to achieve a top 10 finish on a Grand Tour when he placed 10th at the Vuelta last year.

Nelson cyclist given support role for Vuelta a Espana after illness hampers preparations.

Richmond on the rise

Andrew Spittal says he expects the first stage of The Meadows residential development will have either 66 or 80 sections.

A whole new community will spring up in Richmond, with more than 1000 homes and a new school.

Canterbury too good for Tasman

Fullback George Bridge scored the first of Canterbury's tries against Tasman.

Tasman are outclassed in their first NPC game of the season at Nelson's Trafalgar Park.

'Baby step' for bypass

Woolshed Corner on SH60 north of Motueka. River Rd is to the left and has been floated as a possible joining point of a ...

It might take some time, but plans for a heavy-vehicle bypass in Motueka are under way.


Her brain said they wouldn't survive

Dan and Andrea with son Andre and daughter Yasmina. The Nelson family are recovering from the impact of a serious road ...

Andrea screamed "like a banshee" as the car ploughed into her family at 100kmh. Then, a moment of reason.

Man named after logging death

The fatal accident happened near Blowhard Ridge in the Wairau Valley, about 40 kilometres west of Blenheim.

The Marlborough man who died in a logging accident has been named by police.

OK children, back in your couches

Whitney Street School pupils, from left, Paige La Frentz, Mason Moffatt, Blake Shefford and Danae Perkin work at a group ...

Gone are traditional desks and chairs, it's all stools, cushions, teaching tables and group desks these days.

Family wins $1 million

The winning ticket for Wednesday's draw netted a Blenheim family syndicate $1 million.

Playing the same lottery numbers week in, week out for 30 years finally pays off for family syndicate.

South Canterbury

Timaru man eyeing Tai Chi gold video

David Thew will be attending the World Kung Fu Championships in China this November.

A Timaru man has his eye on bringing home his third gold medal when he competes at the World Kung Fu Championships in China.

Hospital services key 

Timaru Hospital.

Services key to Timaru Hospital rebuild, observers and sector groups say.

Pye Group supreme winner

South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wendy Smith said the Business Excellence Award finalists were named ...

South Canterbury businesses recognised at gala awards function.

480 pieces of plan feedback

People were given the opportunity to comment on the Timaru District Council's future spending commitments, what kind of ...

Instead of formal submissions to Timaru's long-term plan, residents were invited to answer an online survey entitled "Our Place, Our Future?"


Robotic seal helping dementia patients

Enliven Southland quality of life co-ordinator Shannon Tokona and nurse Julie Worner with Paro the robotic seal, who is ...

Meet Paro, the robotic seal helping elderly dementia patients.

Teen murder accused can be named

Name suppression has been lifted for teen accused of murder in Invercargill.

An Invercargill teenager accused of murder can now be named.

Bottled water improvisation

Invercargill woman Christine Brown, with husband Lee, before her face reconstruction at Dunedin Hospital on Tuesday.

Surgeons reconstructing Christine Brown's face were thrown curveball when operating theatre's water was contaminated.

Railway heritage value questioned

The Wairio Terminus.

 Western Southland locals are urging officials to take steps to preserve a newly designated heritage railway site in the district.

Ad Feedback