Waka Kotahi apologizes after the disaster caused staff to work the weekend.

Extensive flooding occurred on Auckland roads on Friday.  (data photo)

Lawrence Smith/Stuff

Extensive flooding occurred on Auckland roads on Friday. (data photo)

The Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency began the review after staff responsible for updating information during Friday’s storm left work at 7:30pm over a long weekend as highways flooded and caused widespread disruption.

“Waka Kotahi understands that in situations like this, the public needs accurate, reliable and up-to-date information as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.

The agency said in a statement that it was reviewing what happened within its social media team during the “unprecedented weather event” to ensure it never happens again.

“We may advise that a team member returned from vacation that evening to ensure that updates and information remain available to the public.”

Read more:
* New heavy rain warning for flood affected areas including Auckland
* LIVE: The Mayor of Auckland will provide an update as more severe weather approaches.
* Many roads across the North Island still closed after slippage, flooding

They said the Auckland operations center-based transport advisory team had three staff members trained to handle social media posts in the area.

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Heavy rains have created a desperate situation in West Auckland as flash flooding has caused widespread disruption.

The Department of Transportation also “issued an apology” at the end of its update on highway closures on Saturday morning.

On Friday, Waka Kotahi stopped tweeting updates from Aucklanders about the flooded highway, saying it made its last update of the day at 7:30pm. This led to a quick reaction from Twitter users.

thing Journalist Todd Niall tweeted Waka Kotahi asking if the team was really off duty for the night. He tagged Transport Minister Michael Wood.

Wood replied that he had instructed his agency to reopen the channel urgently.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on Monday morning said Waka Kotahi’s team had “definitely underestimated the situation”.

“Of course I’m not happy about that.” Hipkins said.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown also announced on Monday that decisions by various agencies in responding to the event would be reviewed.

In the meantime, Auckland and Northland motorists can use Waka Kotahi’s travel planning page to learn about ongoing closures and disruptions.

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