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Mayoral Column - 23 April

Denise Eaglesome Karekare LR 2


The Wairoa District Council’s independently commissioned report on why the North Clyde township flooded so badly during Cyclone Gabrielle has been released.

The report by Andrew Newman of Strome Advisory Limited focuses on improving the community, businesses, and governing institutions’ understanding of what contributed to the flooding and putting attention and energy into actions that will further aid recovery and reduce risks for future flooding events.

The investigation identified a combination of triggers contributing to the extreme event and while there is no ‘one silver bullet’ to mitigate the future flood risk, a series of insights have been identified to resolve some of Wairoa’s enduring uncertainties.

Flood warning, utilisation of local knowledge, whole-of-catchment riverbank management, acknowledgment of Wairoa’s highly erodible land, and more than one flood mitigation intervention will contribute to improved community resilience.

Mr Newman said the findings of the post-Cyclone Gabrielle report are not new and were highlighted in a Hawke’s Bay Regional Council flood risk analysis conducted in 1994.

It goes on to acknowledge there is very good local knowledge of regularly reoccurring flood risk issues, such as the closure of the Wairoa River mouth, and that this expertise should be actively utilised and trusted. It also suggested that given the strong cultural affiliation tangata whenua has with living in North Clyde, more than one flood intervention should be considered – i.e. flood protection infrastructure – flood spillways/flood banks could be coupled with consideration of lifting houses above the inundation level.

The report suggested a collective response is ultimately the way forward, acknowledging that future communications and interactions and a visible presence and sign of attention in the community around flood risk response will build confidence.

To read the full report, please click here 


ANZAC Day, this Thursday, April 25, is a significant day when New Zealanders can officially remember and acknowledge those who have gone before them.

Local Civic commemorations will begin with the Kaiuku Marae, Mahia, dawn service at 5:45am, followed by the Taihoa Marae service at 8:30am, the Frasertown Civic Service at 10am, and the Wairoa Civic Service at 11:45am.

Additional community ANZAC services will be held at Mohaka and Nuhaka.

The Mohaka dawn service will be held at Waipapa-a-iwi Marae. At 5am, a march for serving service people returned service people, and those commemorating service people will take place, leaving from the old gum tree on the Mohaka Coach Road.

The ANZAC address will be given by Rev. Graham Sunderland and Te Kura o Mohaka school students will also take part. The Cenotaph at Waipapa-a-iwi was erected over 100 years ago in “Grateful memory of the men of the Mohaka district Māori and Pakeha who served during the Great War.”

The service will be followed by a gunfire breakfast. Everyone is encouraged to attend and commemorate those who have gone before us. The service will go ahead regardless of weather conditions.

This ANZAC Day will be significant for the Kahungunu Marae at Nuhaka, celebrating its 75th anniversary with a service at the marae at 10am on April 25.


It is significant that the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has shifted Wairoa’s Land Categorisation to 2C from 2A. This shift provides more certainty and will allow many people to get on with their lives.

An area of Wairoa, predominantly around the North Clyde area, was classed 2A following Cyclone Gabrielle. This meant further assessment was required. The government then announced $70 million in funding for Wairoa to develop flood mitigation to a 1:100-year level, which would result in shifting Wairoa’s Category 2A properties to Category 2C and, in future, Category 1.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has been working with Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa Trust and Wairoa District Council to identify a short list of flood mitigation options to bring to the community. Engineering firm WSP has been commissioned by the regional council to provide technical support with a number of potential flood mitigation options identified for Wairoa.

The regional council has advised that at this stage, there remains some uncertainty as to which option will provide the best outcome for the Wairoa community. There may be adverse impacts for some property owners as a result of the final flood mitigation solution, which requires further consideration and community consultation before a decision is made on the preferred solution. The regional council will share the preferred solution with the community for further engagement and feedback. If you have any questions about what this change means for you, please contact Hawke’s Bay Regional Council at or visit the dedicated land categorisation website:


Mother’s Day is a chance to treat your mum, reflect on your memories or celebrate the special lady in your life.

To honour Mother’s Day, the Council is running an online competition. All you have to do is head to the Council’s Facebook page and tell us what you love the most about your mum. You will be entered into a draw to win a Mother’s Day hamper. The competition closes on May 8. Good luck!

2 May 2024

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