Aucklanders were stunned by the waterspout near Takapuna.
© JARON PHILLIPS/SUPPLIED
Aucklanders were stunned by the waterspout near Takapuna.
After a day of thunderstorms, two massive waterspouts were spotted off Auckland's coastline near Takapuna and also Piha.

Local Aisling Doyle was shocked when she saw one of the waterspouts arching towards land on Sunday afternoon.

"Suddenly, there was a massive funnel coming to the ground between it all. We'd just finished watching a documentary on storms - so we were like, woah! There's one in real life," she said.

"It went for about four seconds after I spotted it. I was at Birkenhead point looking out towards Takapuna."


Local Georgina Packer​ caught the waterspout just as it was forming.

"It formed pretty quick, and it grew bigger and bigger and then started to move along - there was a boat there, which must have gunned it and got out of the way pretty quick.

"It was the weirdest thing. I've never seen anything like it at all. It was actually a bit scary," she said.


Tourist Elinda Weiss saw another waterspout whirling over the ocean in West Auckland near Piha.

"I thought it was a tornado. It got closer and closer, and it looked even bigger. I wasn't taking pictures at the point - I was sacred".

The waterspout dissipated as soon as it reached the land, she said.

MetService forecaster Tuporo Marsters said waterspouts are not uncommon in weather like this.

"It's a rotation of wind, like a tornado, but instead of being over land it's over the sea," he said.

The spout appears to have formed around 4.15pm and travelled for at least 10 minutes.
© JARON PHILLIPS/STUFF
The spout appears to have formed around 4.15pm and travelled for at least 10 minutes.
"It's associated with severe thunderstorms, strong winds and sometimes lightning, and it mostly occurs over coastal regions."

The wave of thunderstorms passing through Auckland today was heading towards the Bay of Plenty region, Marsters said.

"We should expect the weather to clear up in Auckland by late evening," he said.

On Sunday, New Zealand has seen at least 7000 lightning strikes, and severe weather warnings remain in place in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupō and the Coromandel Peninsula until 7pm on Sunday.

A Middlemore Hospital spokesperson confirmed extreme weather caused a "flooding incident" in one of its buildings on Saturday.

The heavy rainfall overloaded the water drainage system in the retail section of the hospital.

"None of our patients or wards were affected by this issue," the spokesperson said.

"Further extreme adverse weather may still provide us with some unexpected events. But we are monitoring this closely and will assess for any further damage as soon as it is safe to do so."

On Sunday morning, a tornado ripped through north Taranaki at the same time a strong thunderstorm was detected in the area, leaving properties damaged and power lines down.

By 7.30pm on Saturday, firefighters had more than 50 weather-related call-outs from Hatfields Beach to Manukau, a Fire and Emergency spokesperson said.

They said they have been responding to "trees that have blown onto houses, trees down across roads, water entering property, and loose roofing iron".