North Island

The New Zealand flood victims too scared to go home

It's triggered a national debate about climate change and whether vulnerable homes should be rebuilt or written off.

"I don't want to go back there," said Amy Bowkett.

The mother of two lived in the Hawkes Bay area, one of the regions worst hit by Cyclone Gabrielle. When the Category 3 storm hit with wind speeds of up to 159km/h (99mph), her home was completely destroyed.

Along with 50 of her neighbours she spent a terrifying 48 hours trapped without power, water or phone signal.  

New Zealand’s North Island shivers in frosty weather

Waiouru in the central North Island plummeted to a chilly -7°C degrees, Taupo went to -5°C, while Rotorua and Hamilton dipped to -3°C, and Whenuapai, in the Waitakere Ranges, was as low as -2°C.

Auckland motorists were faced with the unfamiliar sight of ice on car windscreens this morning as the temperature fell to an unusual 1°C.

That was lower still than Saturday night's 1.4°C - the city's coldest temperature in two years.

Whangarei managed a record of sorts with its 8th coldest morning since 1967, according to NIWA.