Northeast New Zealand braces for cyclone

A state of emergency has been declared in northeastern New Zealand as it braces for cyclone Hale.

The measure came into force at 10pm on Tuesday and will expire in seven days unless lifted earlier, the Civil Defence Emergency Management said in a statement.

It also advised the public to stay off roads as surface flooding is expected in many areas across the region.

In the Matawai settlement in Gisborne, almost 400 residents were without power overnight, the agency said.

It recommended the residents at Hikuwai River's Willowflat area leave due to its rising flow.