UPDATE 8.51PM: Greenpark School, Merivale School and Steiner School have made the call to keep their schools closed tomorrow.
UPDATED 8.04PM: Maungatapu and Tauriko schools have also made the decision to close tomorrow.
They join all schools in Te Puke, Katikati College and Katikati Primary, Oropi School, Greerton Village, Tauranga Primary, Welcome Bay, Te Puna, Kaimai Primary and Selwyn Ridge schools in closing ahead of Cyclone Cook.
Several Bay of Plenty schools are closing tomorrow in anticipation of approaching heavy rain.
In the Western Bay, all schools in Te Puke, along with Katikati College and Katikati Primary, will be closed.
Oropi School, Greerton Village, Tauranga Primary, Welcome Bay, Te Puna, Kaimai Primary and Selwyn Ridge schools are also reported to be closed tomorrow.
All schools and early learning centres in the Eastern Bay of Plenty are also advised to remain closed, with further closures in the Thames-Coromandel, which is now in a civil defence emergency.
Thames-Coromandel District Council mayor Sandra Goudie made the call late this afternoon.
“The main reasons for the declaration are the severity of the storm that is approaching, and it is potentially a category 4-5 storm with a high likelihood that Cyclone Cook will hit landfall on the Coromandel Peninsula sometime tomorrow,” she says.
“In addition as a result of the storm we have concerns for all residents and visitors on the Coromandel who are residing in low coastal areas and may need to implement evacuation, and thirdly it is holiday time and traditionally hundreds flock to the Coromandel and we must seriously advise people to stay away until at least Saturday.
“If people do decide to make the journey they must be prepared to be turned back, isolated and have their journeys severely disrupted.”
KERBSIDE COLLECTIONS POSTPONED
In Tauranga, high winds have postponed Thursday's kerbside collection to Sunday.
As usual, there is no kerbside collection on Good Friday. The Friday kerbside collection will be picked up on Saturday.
Both transfer stations will be closed all day Thursday and Friday 14 April. The closure applies to all users including public and commercial operators.
The council is asking people to refrain from using the transfer stations over Easter at all, due to the potential of cyclone clean-up and catching up on kerbside collections.
Council resource recovery and waste manager Rebecca Maiden says they are concerned bins and bags out for collection and the collection vehicles themselves could pose a hazard to the public if wind gusts reach 150kph as predicted.
“Additionally, for these reasons the transfer stations will also be closed to the public and commercial operators.”
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION SCHOOL CLOSURES
Eastern Bay of Plenty schools: Allandale School, Apanui School, Ashbrook School, Awakeri School, Edgecumbe College, Edgecumbe School, Galatea School, James Street School, Kawerau Putauaki School, Kawerau South School, Kawerau Teen Parent Unit, Kutarere School, Maketu School, Matata School, Murupara Area School, Nukuhou North School, Ohope Beach School, Omarumutu School, Opotiki College, Opotiki School, Otakiri School, Otamarakau School, Paengaroa School, Pongakawa School, Pukehina School, Rangiuru School, St Joseph's Catholic School (Matata), St Joseph's Catholic School (Opotiki), St Joseph's Catholic School (Whakatane), Taneatua School, Tarawera High School, Tawera Bilingual School, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Orini ki Ngati Awa, Te Kura Mana Maori Maraenui, Te Kura Mana Maori o Matahi, Te Kura Mana Maori o Whangaparaoa, Te Kura Maori-a-Rohe o Waiohau, Te Kura o Te Paroa, Te Kura o Te Teko, Te Kura o Te Whanau-a-panui, Te Kura o Torere, Te Kura Toitu o Te Whaiti-nui-a-Toi, Te Mahoe School, Te Wharekura o Ruatoki, Te Whata Tau o Putauaki, Thornton School, TKK Motuhake o Tawhiuau, TKKM o Huiarau, TKKM o Waioweka, Trident High School, Waimana School, Waiotahe Valley School, Whakatane High School, Whakatane Intermediate, Whakatane S D A School, Whakatane Teen Parent Unit and Woodlands School (Opotiki).
Eastern Bay of Plenty ECEs: all ECEs, Kohanga Reo and home-based services
Thames and Coromandel schools: Coromandel Area School, Colville School, Coroglen School, Hikuai, Hikutaia, Karangahake, Mercury Bay Area, Opoutere, Te Rerenga, Whenuakite, Waikino, Whangamata Area, Tairua, Moanatairi, Parawai, Tapu, Matatoki, Thames South School, Puriri School, St Francis Catholic School, Thames High School, Te Puru, Te Wharekura o Manaia and TKKM o Harataunga.
Thames and Coromandel ECEs: A Fun Place To Be Childcare, Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Turua/Hauraki Early Learning Centre, Colville Bay Early Learning Centre Inc, Coromandel Community Preschool, First Steps Whangamata, Kauri Learners Early Education, Kuaotunu Kindergarten, Mercury Bay Preschool, Milly's Educare Limited, Peanuts Childcare & Education Centre, Pukekos Educare Thames, Rainbow Connection Childcare, Rainbow Cottage, Riverlee Early Learning Centre, Rose's Montessori, Sealey Street Childcare, Thames Coast Community Kindergarten Inc, Thames Early Childhood Education Centre, Whenuakite Country Kids, Central Kids Kindergartens – Tairua, Central Kids Kindergartens – Thames, Central Kids Kindergartens - Mercury Bay, Coromandel Playcentre, Tairua Playcentre, Thames/Parawai Playcentre, Turua Playcentre, Whangamata Playcentre, Whitianga Playcentre, Te Kōhanga Reo o Kapanga, Te Kōhanga Reo o Matai Whetu, Te Kōhanga Reo o Te Tonga o Hoterini, Puriri Playgroup and Thames Baptist Churches Ministries Playgroup.