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Cyclone Gabrielle Update - 17 February

Wairoa has been significantly impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle. A State of Emergency was declared at 8.53am on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. This is the most catastrophic weather event Wairoa has experienced in living memory.

Our main concern is looking after our people. Our focus is reopening roads, bringing water and fuel supplies in. Communications and power are being slowly re-established. This is a trying time for everyone. Please be patient, kind, look after yourselves and whānau.

We are working with national and regional agencies and have a local volunteer response organised. Our situation is constantly changing. We are doing our best to provide you with accurate information.

Further Updates and Support
Daily information flyers will be available from the Council offices, New World, Hinemihi Marae (at the end of Ruataniwha Road) and distributed where possible. Updates are also available via 88FM Radio Te Wairoa, the Wairoa District Council Facebook and Website pages (, Taihoa Marae and the War Memorial Hall. For information, please call into the Wairoa District Council offices - Emergency Operation Centre (EOC).

North Clyde
Providing targeted support to North Clyde is a priority. North Clyde accommodation for those evacuated is available at Hinemihi Marae (at the end of Ruataniwha Road) and Taihoa Marae. These are the only marae providing accommodation in North Clyde. Please stay with whānau or friends if you can.

A BBQ is being provided at the Memorial Park helipad, North Clyde between 12-2pm and 4-7pm. St John Ambulance are carrying out welfare checks onsite.

All Wairoa schools are closed until further notice. We have contacted Napier Boys, Napier Girls, Te Aute, Hato Paora, Lindisfarne, Iona, Woodford, Hereworth boarding schools and have confirmed their Wairoa boarders are safe and being looked after. We understand that boarders at St Joseph’s Māori Girls College and Hukarere Girls’ College have been evacuated to the evacuation centre at the St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College in Taradale.

Volunteer Support
Volunteers should meet at Hinemihi Marae (at the end of Ruataniwha Road) at 9am. Clean-up work is being collated by Wairoa District Council, Smart Environmental and QRS. The focus area is North Clyde.

Waste Management
Contractors are picking up flood-damaged furnishings and household items. The collection point is on Railway Rd, or pick up on the roadside. Please keep whiteware separate. Do not take waste directly to the landfill, this is not open to the public. The next phase of clean-up will include drain cleaning and silt removal.

The limited fuel reserves remain restricted for emergency services and contractors. There is no public supply at this stage, but regaining supply is a priority. Rural residents relying on a generator should go to Wairoa District Council offices (EOC) where their needs will be assessed and a requisition form may be issued for fuel collection at Z Energy 6-10am, 4-8pm.

Kai packs are limited. Up-to-date information is available on the door of the Te Whare Maire o Tapuwae building (on the corner Queen St, Locke St).

Breakfast is available at the War Memorial Hall from 7.30am to 9.30am. Food will be available at the Kahungunu Executive carpark on Queen Street at 12-2pm and 4-7pm.

New World is open, Eftpos is working. Please only buy what you need. There may be wait times, please be patient. New World will close at 5pm everyday until Sunday.

Water supplies are extremely limited. Thank you to everyone who is conserving water. It is crucial we continue these conservation measures. Please only use water for drinking. We have equipment arriving and teams working in order to re-establish supply as soon as possible.

Wairoa town supply water is safe for drinking. Please boil water from other supplies to stay safe.

Please treat all flood water as contaminated as the wastewater system is overwhelmed. Don’t rush to flush – this puts strain on the water and wastewater systems.

Contractors are working to reopen local roads. SH2 South to Napier is closed. The priorities are reopening SH2 North to Gisborne and SH38 to get essential supplies into our district.

Please stay off all roads, as many rural roads are unsafe. We need to keep our roading clear for emergency vehicles, repair work civil defence personnel and essential supply distribution.

Te Reinga Bridge has sustained further significant damage & Opoiti Bridge at Tiniroto is also damaged. These bridges are both closed, please stay away as they pose significant safety risk.

Electricity and Communications
Eastland Group is restoring power to the wider district. Many properties remain without power due to major damage to poles and wires. Updates are available on the Eastland Network Facebook page.

A Vodafone connection is available at the War Memorial Hall and Taihoa Marae. Regaining Spark connectivity remains a priority.

Queen Street Practice is open from 3.00pm - 4.00pm over the weekend. After Hours at Wairoa Hospital ED.

Continue usual medications, and repeat prescriptions requests from QSP. Wairoa Pharmacy is open 10am-12pm over the weekend.

If you test positive for COVID-19, isolate for 7 days. Anti-viral pills are available to people over 50. If you are short of breath or unwell, send a contact to Te Whare Maire o Tapuwae offices to inform us.

Mental health, drug and alcohol support is available in the first instance at Kahungunu Executive and also Wairoa Hospital Mental Health, the War Memorial Hall, Enabled Wairoa or Police.

WINZ support is based at Financial Literacy Services, Queen Street, daily 10am – 5pm. A Civil Defence Support Payment is available for those who can’t work due to the weather event.

Evacuation Centres
Evacuation centres are available at the War Memorial Hall and Presbyterian Church Hall. Please stay with whānau or friends if you can.

Property Damage
Council building staff are inspecting damaged properties. A sticker system is being used. White means liveable. Yellow means non-liveable but access for cleaning, retrieving items, but you cannot stay. Red means unsafe, no access. If your property has been damaged, take photos for insurance claims.

Emergency Services
Emergency Services are supporting whānau with an increased police presence.

17 February 2023

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