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Cyclone Gabrielle One Year Anniversary

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A day of remembrance will be held on Wednesday, February 14, to commemorate the first anniversary of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Events and activities are planned throughout the day, starting with a Memorial Hikoi and Mokopuna Day and including a minute’s silence and an evening whānau concert.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said as Wairoa transitions through its cyclone recovery, the first anniversary is a time to reflect.

“We know we still have raw memories and hundreds of displaced people. By remembering what Wairoa has been through and reflecting on the challenges still ahead of us, we are able to acknowledge our progress and plan for our future.”

Recovery Manager Benita Tahuri said the commemoration theme is Hinatore – our community working together towards the dawning of a new day. “Let us reflect as we travel the road to recovery together and join the journey to commemorate the first anniversary of Cyclone Gabrielle.”

The commemorations will begin with a Memorial Hikoi walking the whenua engulfed by the awa and acknowledging the journey our people have been on. Join the 1.8km hikoi, starting with a karakia at the Wairoa A and P Showgrounds at 6am. All whānau are welcome to ‘hikoia te hikoi’ from Ruataniwha Road to Crarer Street, Mahia Avenue, Freyberg Street and onto Hunter Brown Street, ending at Memorial Park/Tapuae Grounds and collecting whānau along the way.

A four-piece memorial taonga representing Whanau, Whenua, Waiora, and Wairoa will be collected along the way, gifted to Wairoa District Council, and followed by speeches and acknowledgements.

Te Kura Kaupapa will sing whānau onto the park, where breakfast will be waiting.
A Mokopuna Day will follow, which will see Memorial Park/Tapuae Grounds transformed into an inflatable world to acknowledge Wairoa’s amazing, resilient children.

The aim is for tamariki to enjoy being tamariki in a fun, safe and whanaungatanga environment with an obstacle course, Teko Teko, sumo suits and bubble soccer. Due to health and safety regulations, all schools and pre-schools must register their attendance.
A regionwide One-Minute silence will be held at midday. Wairoa and Hawke’s Bay will unite as one community to remember those precious lives lost during Cyclone Gabrielle with everyone encouraged to pay tribute wherever you are.

During the evening, a Whānau Concert featuring local and New Zealand artists will be held from 5.30pm-8.30pm at the Tapuae Grounds. This is a chance for the Wairoa community to come together to reflect on being proud Wairoa people with music, kai and whanaungatanga.

Community groups are encouraged to set up stalls and sell food, and providers will promote their services and mahi. To register, please email


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1 February 2024

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