An Auckland woman has described moments of terror during a fatal tornado.
The tornado struck the west Auckland suburb of Hobsonville about 1pm on Thursday, killing three workers at a construction site, injuring seven others and causing damage to scores of homes.
Sharon White stood gripping her youngest son as windows in her Hobsonville home smashed around her and the children's trampoline was flung through her lounge window.
The 38-year-old had just returned home from collecting her son from kindergarten when the tornado hit, AAP reports.
"It all went really dark ... then there was so much wind and rain. The whole house was rattling."
Ms White said she wasn't sure how to react so she stood her in lounge gripping her son Bradley, aged three.
"You just don't know what to do in these situations. It was crazy. I don't know why I stood in the lounge because there are so many windows."
She then heard a loud crash as her children's trampoline was picked up by the wind and smashed through a nearby window.
Other windows were smashed by flying debris and pot plants and small trees in her garden were toppled. "It felt like it went on for hours and then it was all over."
After the bad weather subsided, her thoughts turned to her other children, Olivia, 10, and Charlotte, 8, who attend nearby Whenuapai School.
"Thankfully they were all okay and just spent the afternoon watching movies," she said.
"We just don't know what we're going to do. I just can't believe this has happened."