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Cyclone Gabrielle

Below you will find all updates and key information regarding our emergency response for Cyclone Gabrielle. We monitor and update this page frequently so please refer to the below information for the latest updates.


Wairoa is united as we work towards what will be a long road to recovery. We have fantastic teams of local people, supported with regional and national agencies who are stepping up for our district. As essential services are restored, life for many of us is returning to normal, but we still have massive challenges ahead. Please be patient, kind, look after yourselves and your whānau. Stay strong Wairoa, kia kaha.

Wairoa Mayoral Relief Fund - Cyclone Gabrielle

If you would like to apply for funding support from the Mayoral Relief Fund please


If you would like to assist in any way, the best assistance is financial assistance. To make a donation, please click the button below to go to our Givealittle page. Donations over $5 are tax deductible.


You can also donate directly into Wairoa District Council's bank account:

03-0785-0070470-00 reference “FLOOD

If you wish ro receive a receipt, please email us with subject “donation” and include your name, email, donation amount and date paid.



If you need to access welfare services (such as health and wellbeing including mental health, accommodation needs, ongoing food, household goods and services support, animal welfare and rural support) you can call the free helpline:

0800 117 672 (8am – 8pm on weekdays and 8am to 4.15pm at weekends)

People who already having their needs assessed and met through a local marae, welfare centre, or other service, should continue to go there. This 0800 helpline is an additional service, not a replacement of existing ones.

Civil Defence Centres (CDCs)

Are now closed.  If the need arises again, they will reopen and locations will be advised depending on the current situation.

Wairoa Recovery Support


click dated link below for a copy of the newsletter

27th October 2023

27th September 2023

25th August 2023

21st July 2023

23rd June 2023

19th May 2023 


Please contact your insurance company for further assistance. If you have no insurance you can still apply for some types of government assistance (please refer to the information below).

Ministry of Social Development - Civil Defence payments

Civil Defence payments can help cover the costs of bedding, food, clothing, accommodation and loss of income because you can’t work as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle. Please phone MSD's dedicated phone line for Civil Defence payments:

0800 400 100 (Monday to Friday, 7am - 5pm, Saturday 8am - 1pm)

Local support is available at the Financial Literacy Services open Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm.


Additional support for whānau on a benefit/receiving NZ Super

For people who receive a main benefit (e.g. Jobseeker Support, Orphan's or Unsupported Child's Benefit, NZ Super or Veteran's Pension) there is a potential to get additional support in the form of an ‘Advance Payment of Benefit’ to support with furniture, whiteware, etc. This support is income tested, depends on savings available for whānau and other criteria as well, and will have to be paid back by the recipient. For further information please phone the MSD team on 0800 400 100.

Farmers and Growers

Recovery Grants - Ministry for Primary Industries

Farmers, growers, and whenua Māori owners significantly affected by Cyclone Gabrielle are able to get support to kick-start recovery efforts. The Government is providing $25 million for farmers and growers to undertake urgent work, including fencing, and clearing silt to save trees and vines. The grants are to help farmers and growers get back on their feet as quickly as possible. They include:

  • up to $10,000 for pastoral and arable farmers to help with initial recovery, such as repairs to water infrastructure for livestock, and fencing
  • up to $2,000 per hectare (up to a maximum of $40,000) to remove silt from trees and vines, support clean-up, and minimise future losses.


For more information about the recovery grants have a look at the MPI website. They also provide useful links for further support from groups such as DairyNZ, Beef and Lamb New Zealand, Federated Farmers of New Zealand, as well as feed coordination services and much more.

0800 00 83 33

Soil Repair after Cyclone Gabrielle

LandWISE Incorporated have a collection of resources to help growers make decisions about repairing, rebuilding or developing their soils following the  flood events, click here.

Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Fund

Residents and ratepayers of the Hawke’s Bay region who have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle can now apply for assistance from the Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Fund. 

The fund, organised by the Hawke’s Bay mayors and chair, offers one-off hardship grants to alleviate hardship due to such things as flooding, prolonged power outages and landslips. For the rural community, applications can be extended to provide some assistance for emergency fencing requirements for livestock and disposal of dead stock.

Support is available up to a maximum of $1,000 per household or $2,000 for organisations, marae and community groups.


Cyclone and Flood Recovery for Businesses

The Government is providing $25 million in recovery support to businesses in seven regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and January floods in the North Island. Farmers and growers can apply for separate support from the Ministry for Primary Industries, please see heading above.

The grants – up to a maximum of $40,000- will be delivered by local delivery partners, such as the Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce. Our team at the Wairoa i-Site will be available to assist people to fill out the online applications and answer any questions. The i-Site will be open from 8.30am-4.30pm daily with staff available to assist. 

Apply now

The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS)

In response to 2 closely-timed severe weather events at the start of 2023, the Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) was activated for several regions in the North Island. If you require temporary accommodation register your details with TAS and a temporary accommodation coordinator will call you in a few days to discuss helping find a temporary housing solution that works for you. Click the below button to register online.


If you are having trouble registering online, or would prefer to speak to a staff member, you can give them a call.

0508 754 163 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am - 5.00pm, Saturday to Sunday, 9.00am to 5.00pm)

Building & Property Information

Property Inspections - Watch out for scams!

We have received word that there are people out in our community impersonating official Building Inspectors. Please be aware that this is a scam. Things to look out for:

  • All our Building Inspectors carry official identification. If the person visiting you is unwilling or unable to show you identification, ask them to leave your property and call the Police on 105.
  • Our Building Inspectors will NEVER ask you for payment for an inspection or assessment; not beforehand, not while on-site nor afterwards. DO NOT give anyone cash if they ask you to. If someone is asking for payment to conduct an inspection/assessment please ask them to leave and call the Police on 105.

Our staff have been out inspecting damaged properties already and are continuing to do so. If clean and repair work has been carried out on your property and you require another assessment, please contact our offices and an assessment will be scheduled in with one of our Building Inspectors. Please do not agree to any building inspections or assessments of any kind through anyone other than our Council staff.

Placard/Sticker System

Council building staff are inspecting damaged properties. A placard/sticker system is being used.

  • White: liveable
  • Yellow: non-liveable (access for cleaning, but you cannot stay)
  • Red: unsafe (no access)

Yellow Placard

Yellow placards indicate a building has sustained moderate damage and access is restricted. This generally means either some identified areas of the building pose a significant hazard and cannot be used, or that the public cannot enter except under supervision for a limited time on essential business. This could include emergency or assessment purposes, or removal of flood damaged household items, building components, and silt.

When can a yellow placard be removed?

In a flood situation, ‘short-term use’ Yellow placards prevent normal occupancy of a building due to flood damage and the consequential risk to the health of occupants. To enable the yellow placard to be removed and the building reoccupied, the following criteria are required to be satisfied:

  • For your own SAFETY please seek the advice of your insurance company or a licenced builder before you start removing wall linings or floors.
  • The sewerage pipes have been flushed, and where septic tanks are present, the tank has been pumped out.
  • Confirmation the water supply is safe to drink or ensure an alternate supply of potable water is available, e.g. bottled water.
  • Any silt greater than 15mm in depth deposited under piled dwellings has been removed.
  • If flood waters impacted the inside of your house in most cases you may need to remove your wall linings and insulation to at least 300mm above the flood line, but please seek advice from your insurance company or a licenced builder first.
  • Flood-impacted MDF joinery, soft furnishings and whiteware have been removed.
  • All silt has been removed from wall cavities.
  • Wall framing timbers have been cleaned and disinfected.
  • Floors have been cleaned, or if badly damaged removed.
  • The moisture content of the wall framing and floor joists, where the flooring has been removed, has reduced to 24%. Note that flooring, insulation, and internal linings must not be reinstated until the moisture content of the framing timber has reduced to 18%. In both cases, the moisture content must be verified by the Council’s Building Control Officer.
  • Floors have been reinstated where removed
  • An electrician has issued an electrical certificate confirming the electrical system is safe.
  • All specific items mentioned on the yellow placard have been addressed.
  • The Council will grant a building consent exemption for all flood reinstatement work that is not of a structural nature.

For a comprehensive guide on returning to your home please click the button below.


Moisture Testing

Please be aware that the drying-out process could take anywhere from weeks to months depending on weather conditions and how badly your home was affected. Removing wall linings will enable you to clean, disinfect and dry the exposed areas. Failing to clean, disinfect and dry your damp floors and walls may lead to serious health issues due to mould. Timber exposed to prolonged dampness will also begin to decay rapidly and lead to bigger issues within your home.The level of moisture in your walls will need to be below 24% before Council can complete a 2nd assessment of your dwelling. Your insurance company or building recovery teams should have moisture meters so you can monitor the moisture levels and call Council when needed.

Council Payments

No financial penalties will be incurred for late payments relating to the quarterly rates instalment (due 21 February 2023) or water accounts (due 20 March 2023). For red and yellow stickered homes, Direct Debit Payments will be paused until further notice. Direct Debit Payments restart from Tuesday 7 March 2023 with monthly and quarterly payments taken that day. Read more by clicking this link.

Going forward there are a few options for people to make up the missed payments:

  • Phone or email if you would like your direct debit to be recalculated.
  • Manually pay the missed payments (via online banking or pay over the counter at our offices).
  • Continue at your normal amount and the missed payments will be recalculated in the new financial year (after 30 June 2023).

If customers are dealing with hardship, they can also call or email to discuss alternative payment arrangements:

+64 6 838 7309

To discuss water billing please email:


Boil Water Notice - Tuai

There is a boil water notice in place for the Tuai water scheme. As a precaution, all your water should be boiled before use until further notice. Technicians are on site working on getting the treatment plant up and running again, for now water is gravity fed from the source only and all water should be boiled before use.

Looking After Yourself after a Flood

Queen Street Practice is open 9am-5pm weekdays, with free healthcare being provided. After Hours is available at the Wairoa Hospital Emergency Department. If you have a specialist appointment booked between now and Friday 10 March 2023, please get in touch with Queen Street Practice.

It is understandable to feel sad, distressed, worried, confused, anxious or angry at the moment. Wairoa Hospital with support from Kahungunu Executive and Enabled Wairoa are here to help. Reach out to friends or whānau or call:

0800 611 116 (Healthline)

Flood Waters and Injuries

Flood waters are contaminated with toxins, bugs and sewerage which can make you sick, causing an upset tummy, diarrhoea and vomiting. Please stay away from flood water. If you are injured, treat wounds immediately. If you feel unwell after coming into contact with floodwater or a wound becomes infected call your doctor or call Healthline for free.

For more information about preventing illness after a flood event, visit Our Health Hawke's Bay.


If you feel unwell take a COVID-19 test. If you test positive for COVID-19, isolate for 7 days. Take care, wash your hands regularly and wear a mask when going out. We currently have a lot of whānau in need of support and a lot of personnel on the ground working extremely hard to provide this support in many different ways. It is very important we keep on top of COVID-19 so we can keep assisting those who need it most. And given our isolation (due to road closures), any increase in COVID-19 cases would put an extra burden on our hospital.

Wairoa Health Services

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand staff are working hard to bring more healthcare services to Wairoa. We will be scheduling more outpatient clinics in Wairoa and flying staff in to run these clinics.

We are also contacting Wairoa residents with booked specialist appointments in Hastings or at another hospital and arranging flights when we can. You will not be expected to drive to publicly-funded appointments held in Hastings.

At times, telehealth appointments (via video or phone call) may be used if appropriate. Te Tairawhiti will be providing some mental health services and maternity services for Wairoa residents. People who need emergency care will be flown to Hastings. There is no change to this.

Please ring 06 8788109 to talk with our team further if you have any questions.

To view some FAQ's, please see:

District Wide - Welfare and Access

We are very mindful that we still have people in our rural communities who are isolated by road. We would like to reassure you that access to these closed-off and isolated parts of our community is a priority. We are continuing to assess, and where possible coordinate repairs of key infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.

Please reach out to us for anything you need support with - if we can't directly help, we will find the agency who can - contact


Detailed roading information is available on our Roading page, please click the button below.


Waste Management

For up to date information for our Landfill and it's operating hours, please click the button below.

Rubbish and Recycling page 

Power Outages/Faults

Please see Firstlight Network (formerly known as Eastland Network) for any updates.  Click this link to go to their Facebook page 

Animal Welfare

We understand that our furry friends are important, and the weather events affect them too. We have been helping out any way we can ensure positive animal welfare.

Companion Animals

Compliance is currently willing to help those who need housing/shelter for their companion animals (cats and dogs). We have been working closely with local vets to house any displaced animals. We are happy to help animal owners until they are back up on their feet.

Please purchase pet food at local suppliers in the first instance. If you still need kai for your animals you can pick it up from the front desk at the Wairoa District Council office.


Compliance is also willing to help anyone to move livestock to a better area if they have been affected by the floods. We have stock pounds around the district that can be utilized if needed. However, if it is an emergency, please contact your veterinary clinic who also may be able to help.

If you have lost any livestock and are already on farm, farmers may be able to bury their own dead livestock as per normal conditions:

  • Consider proximity to waterways – should be >50 m from a waterway
  • Consider usual pest/ vermin control

If not on farm, or there are too many on the property for the landowner to deal with, please phone Hawke's Bay Regional Council on 06 835 9200 or 0800 108 838. They will coordinate collection and appropriate disposal.

The Compliance Team are here to help. Please come into the Council buildings for any queries regarding your animals.




Wairoa District Council - Copyright © 2024 Wairoa District Council

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While every endeavour has been taken by the Wairoa District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Wairoa District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Wairoa District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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