A pregnant woman and her two young children have asked Gisborne police for help after their home was cut off by the swollen Mata River.
The woman called for help as heavy rain continues to fall on the East Coast on Tuesday, saying her food and supplies are running low.
A police officer from Ruatoria and a volunteer are driving on forestry roads towards the headwater of the river.
They will then cross the river on foot and walk to the woman's home with supplies including food and fuel for a generator.
Police say the weather conditions are too difficult to use a helicopter.