RNZ reports Cyclone Gabrielle is likely to hit Northland on Sunday before heading towards Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula - which could both get a month's worth of rain in a day.
Auckland's state of emergency has been extended ahead of the forecast extreme weather.
It comes as flood weary communities continue to deal with the devastation from just a fortnight ago, and 335 families remain in temporary housing.
In Mayfair Place in Henderson smashed fences, ruined clothing and broken furniture are strewn around the cul-de-sac. The suburb was one of the worst hit in the floods with neck-high water ripping through houses.
One local woman, who doesn't want to be named, said it was heart wrenching each time she stepped outside. Hers was one of the few homes that had not been condemned.
The council was urging people to clear debris off the streets before the next storm, but she said the contaminated items were a health risk and should be cleared by authorities with proper protective gear.
"It's dirty water, even my grass alone is kind of dangerous," she said.
"I don't really know what's happening, I don't see any help happening soon ... [an assessment] doesn't get things physically done when we are due for another warning."
The disaster meant she was on high alert for what might be coming next.
"It makes you more aware and where to look and what to look for, to do with weather. It makes you more interested in how it works so that you can be more prepared," she said.
"I'm talking MetService ... even measurements, you want to know."
Over at the Henderson Civil Defence Centre, the Village Community Services Trust was one of a dozen organisations which had been flat out helping people.
Chairman Sir Michael Jones said they were stocking up on groceries in case more people were forced to leave their homes when the storm hit.
"Making sure that we do have an evacuation centre ready, it can't just be a school ... It's got to be a properly set up facility," he said.
"But then it's how quickly can you mobilise the people and the organisations."
Emergency management officials were now working on setting up more evacuation centres.
The Henderson one had just had its busiest day yet, giving out 90 food parcels and dealing with more than 150 people looking for financial help.
Mayfair Place, Henderson was one of the streets hit by flooding. Photo: RNZ / Soumya Bhamidipati