We visited it again today and it now looks like this:
It drains an area known as the Hikurangi Swamp which always floods in wet weather. (It is now 4 days since the rain stopped).
The main highway north is closed due to a slip and the road that goes past this falls is now the only route north. Although I have heard that trucks are now able to deliver supplies to the north the sign at the beginning of this road said "No trucks" so I am not quite sure what the story is.