Many Auckland schools, services to close Monday

Much of Auckland will be closed on Monday as Cyclone Gabrielle storms through the motu.

Auckland Airport has prepared itself for further flooding and has sandbags waiting. The airport was severely affected during Auckland's January deluge.

Auckland Airport has prepared itself for further flooding and has sandbags waiting. The airport was severely affected during Auckland’s January deluge. Photo: RNZ / Jonty Dine

Auckland Council will close all non-essential services across the region on Monday and Tuesday, as the region prepares for Cyclone Gabrielle.

Follow RNZ’s live blog for the latest weather updates.

The non-essential services affected include libraries, community centres, early childhood education centres, and active recreation centres.

Only critical services, such as building assessments, will take place.

Essential services, such as contact centres and cemeteries, will remain open.

Aucklanders are being urged to stay home if possible on Monday and Tuesday.

The Auckland Harbour Bridge has been closed due to high winds and will remain closed overnight.

The prime minister said earlier today it is up to individuals to decide if they work from home tomorrow as Cyclone Gabrielle moves closer to New Zealand.

Chris Hipkins said people should continue to minimise non-essential travel as the country heads into the working week.

“I think the message at the moment is minimise the traffic on the roads as much as possible.

“People can make their own decisions about that, but if they’re in a position to work from home, yes, they can do that.”

Air New Zealand is cancelling all flights, to, from or through Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Taupō until midday on Tuesday.

The InterCity bus network has cancelled three day-time services today and overnight services between Auckland and Wellington tonight and tomorrow as a precaution.

KiwiRail has decided to proactively close the rail network in the top half of the North Island on Sunday night, until at at least 3pm Monday.

KiwiRail said commuter trains in Auckland, the Northern Explorer train and the Te Huia train between Auckland and Hamilton will not be running tomorrow.

Rail lines from Auckland to near Marton will also be closed.

While the Ministry of Education hasn’t officially ordered schools to close, most schools in Auckland will be closed Monday and some Tuesday as well.

Please check with your local school directly or via social media to confirm their status before Monday morning.

Very few schools are confirmed to be open, although Auckland Grammar School has said in a statement that they will remain open for on-campus learning tomorrow.

The University of Auckland will also be moving to online exams Monday and Tuesday.

Jury trials in Auckland and Whangārei are being postponed until Wednesday.

Among the other closures are Auckland Zoo, which announced it is closing Sunday afternoon until further notice, and Auckland War Memorial Museum and Auckland Art Gallery, which will be closed Monday. Rainbow’s End amusement park is closed today and Monday.

Several Auckland libraries are being closed or used as emergency centres, so please check their website for information.

Kerbside waste collection has also been cancelled for Monday and Tuesday in Auckland.

Multiple Countdown stores are also closing early tonight. Countdown Waitangi, Warkworth, Tikipunga, Regent, Whangārei, Whitianga, Gisborne, Katikati, Kaihohe and Kerikeri are all closing between 7 and 8pm. Countdown Paihia Central has already closed early.

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