Cyclone Evan has left a trail of devastation in Samoa and Fiji and is heading towards New Zealand.
New Zealand's MetService says the cyclone is tracking south away from Fiji, with flights to and from the country are expected to resume.
Thousands of people took refuge in evacuation centres, as the cyclone pounded northern parts of Fiji causing flooding and extensive damage. Roads are closed and power and water supplies are cut.
The cyclone earlier battered Samoa, leaving four dead, and a New Zealand Air Force Orion is continuing to search for 10 fishermen from four boats who are still missing.
Damage to the main island of Upolu appears to be worse than from the 2009 earthquake and tsunami that killed 135 people.
Cyclone Evan is expected to pass within kilometres of NZ's northern North Island over the weekend, by which time it is unlikely to be a tropical cyclone - 'but this is by no means certain', MetService chief forecaster, Peter Kreft said.
'We're very conscious of the possibility of a track which takes Evan near East Cape. This would be a totally different ball game.'
A large amount of tropical air from the cyclone means potentially heavy rainfall in places, including Northland, Auckland and Coromandel over the weekend, and strong onshore winds. - AAP