The threat of big winds on their way to Tauranga is causing some event organisers to look at pulling the pin and Powerco to have all its staff ready should powerlines take a hit.
All of the North Island was expected to be lashed by between 120-150km/h winds and Powerco had braced itself for power cuts and advised contractors to rest their workers yesterday.
Powerco network operations manager Phil Marsh was also warning families to be ready by having a battery-powered radio and torch in the house.
Those with smartphones were advised to save Powerco's outage and faults page to their web browser so they would have information about expected restoration times handy.
Powerco was also advising that trampolines should be securely fixed to the ground as they were able to cause power cuts when they took flight.
Civil defence authorities were also warning North Islanders to brace themselves for the weather bomb.
"The only good thing about the forecasted front is that it is expected to pass through quickly. But we can expect it to pack a punch," said the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management civil defence director John Hamilton.
"The event is expected to start showing its teeth by midnight tonight and will be with us until about dark on Saturday.
Preparations were also being made in case the severe weather stirs things up around the wreck of the stricken cargo ship Rena off Tauranga.
Salvage company Svitzer has brought the barge Smit Borneo and other support vessels into port as a precaution.
Salvors have also removed some equipment and scaffolding from the bow section of Rena, to ensure it is not damaged or washed overboard in the heavy seas. Some event organisers have already taken the precaution of putting off their event.
The Little Big Markets said the market due to be held today would now be held tomorrow instead..
Today's New Zealand Beach Tennis Summer Series was still scheduled to go ahead last night but organisers said they would be keeping an eye on the weather and would cancel in the morning if needed.
Weatherwatch analyst Philip Duncan said winds were now predicted to be stronger than initially forecast for much of the country, with gusts of up to 150km/h predicted for many rural and coastal areas.
"We had initially thought the wind and rain would be about equal," he said.
For emergencies like trees in power lines or lines down, people should call Powerco on 0800 272727 and keep well clear of the hazard.