Reports are coming in of power outages and toppled trees in the Tauranga and Western Bay areas, as strong winds and heavy rain pummel the region.
The MetService has issued a strong wind watch for Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Waitomo, and Bay of Plenty west of Papamoa.
The watch is valied for 13 hours from 7am to 8pm today.
"West to southwesterly winds may approach severe gale in exposed places at times," says the weather organisation.
State Highway 29, at Tauriko, is blocked in both directions, reports the NZTA.
"Due to strong wind gusts, potential for fallen trees and debris, caution is advised along this route."