As Cyclone Gabrielle moves away from New Zealand, the country continues the recovery effort from the storm that’s left 11 people dead and displaced thousands.
Police said there is a small number of around 10 missing people they have “grave concerns” for.
The mammoth rescue and recovery effort is ongoing in Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay. However, hundreds of people remain unaccounted for.
Official Government advice:
- Floodwaters may be full of sewage, chemicals and other hazardous materials and should be avoided as much as possible.
- Floodwater can carry bacteria that can contaminate food.
- Protect yourself when cleaning up flood water and mud by wearing a properly fitted P2- or N95-rated mask, goggles, gloves, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and gumboots or work shoes.
- Throw away all food and drinking water that has come in contact with floodwater.
- Do not eat garden produce if the soil has been flooded.
- In power outages use torches instead of candles, and only use camp cookers and BBQs outdoors.
- Conserve water where you are advised to.
- Check the location of pipes and cables before you dig; see Chorus Before you dig website and beforeudig.co.nz for all utilities.
- The best way to assist in the response is through financial donations and not through donated goods.
- Keep up to date with advice from your local CDEM Group or from civildefence.govt.nz
What else you need to know:
- A national state of emergency remains in place
- Tens of thousands of people across the Far North, Northland, Auckland, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay are without power. Civil Defence says it could be “up to a week” before power is fully restored in Hawke’s Bay
- Residents in Gisborne and parts of central Hawke’s Bay are being told to urgently conserve water
- Nine-thousand people are displaced in Hawke’s Bay alone, the Government says.
- There have been 6000 reports made about uncontactable people in Hawke’s Bay, but half of these have been resolved
Where you can donate to help:
- Red Cross New Zealand Disaster Fund
- Mayoral Relief Funds
- Federated Farmers
- Various causes on Givealittle
- Authorities have asked people to donate money, rather than goods, if they’re in a position to help out.
Civil Defence centres and shelters are open in Auckland. A list of where they are is here.
If you need help and support during the emergency, visit the Auckland Emergency Management website.
For a list of disruptions to services and facilities, visit the Interruptions to Service and Facilities page on the Auckland Council website
For the latest on MetService’s weather warnings, click here
For more information on power outages in Auckland check here: Vector – https://help.vector.co.nz/map, Counties Energy – http://app.countiespower.com
For power in Northland click here or the Far North click here
For public transport information visit Auckland Transport here
For nationwide road and travel updates visit here
To register a person who you have safety concerns for click here.
Follow Newshub’s live updates below. App users click here for the latest updates.
8:30pm – Chorus says it’s making good progress in restoring its telecommunications network in the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne regions, with more services restored in Gisborne and Wairoa.
“Following another busy day in the field with crews working on fibre faults from Ruatoria to Napier, Chorus technicians are reporting good optical levels into both Gisborne and Wairoa. Chorus continues to work with retail service providers to restore services into both towns,” they said in a statement.
“As the Chorus fibre network serves many cellphone towers in Gisborne and Wairoa, damage that has resulted in cell coverage outages will continue to be prioritised over broadband faults. This is to maintain mobile communication with emergency services, friends and loved ones first and foremost.
“A regime of generator movements and refuelling runs is also in place alongside the repaired fibre to keep associated fibre nodes up and running.”
6:20pm – The Hastings District Council is asking people not to donate goods any more, but to just make a financial donation to the Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust.
That account number is 02-0700-0010824-002.
6:04pm – Hipkins says he hasn’t seen any indication that petrol companies are raising their prices on purpose, given there’s a higher demand for petrol.
This press conference has now finished.
6:01pm – Hipkins says there have been a significant number of bridges damaged.
He says work is underway to repair them. He adds he recognises that bridges not only carry vehicles, but also things like water pipes.
5:56pm – Hipkins says it’s likely there’ll be a need for a legislative response, and he’ll look at that over the coming week.
5:53pm – Hipkins says the response to this will draw on all parts of government, given how widespread Cyclone Gabrielle is.
He says he wants to make sure it is prioritised correctly and work is sequenced properly between the public and private sector, as well as community groups.
5:49pm – Hipkins says they’re working with health suppliers to help give support to people who need psychological help due to the cyclone.
5:45pm – Hipkins says that “tough calls will be made” and there’ll be “reprioritisation” as New Zealand recovers from Cyclone Gabrielle.
He says there will be changes to the Budget due to the cyclone and recovery effort.
5:41pm – Hipkins says police “aren’t sitting on a large number of deaths”.
He says there is a process of identifying a body and then notifying the next of kin before the death is publicly reported.
5:38pm – Hipkins says the recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle is going to come with a “big price tag”.
He says Cabinet will consider more responses to Cyclone Gabrielle tomorrow.
Here’s Hipkins’ recap:
- There are 28,000 homes without power, most of which are in Napier and Hastings
- Road access remains restricted
- Rail line was badly damaged and will take some time to repair
- Fuel supplies are being replenished but spend limits in place
- Drinking water in Napier and Hastings is safe.
5:36pm – Hipkins says New Zealand has accepted help from Fiji. They will be here in the coming days.
He adds that the US and Australia have helped out with satellite imagery products. The Government is working to accept offer from Australian Defence Force.
5:33pm – Hipkins says no one should underestimate the psychological toll Cyclone Gabrielle has taken on Kiwis.
He says “our resilience is being tested like never before”, but Kiwis are caring and go the extra mile to help people out.
“The kindness shown by Kiwis is amazing.”
Hipkins says monetary donations is the best way to help people out, rather than donations of physical supplies.
5:31pm – Hipkins and Weir have arrived.
Hipkins says 28,000 homes remain without power and telecommunications remain severely disrupted.
He adds that crops have been badly damaged and some have been completely destroyed.
He says that more fatalities are possible.
5:20pm – Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and acting director of Emergency Management Stefan Weir are giving an update on Cyclone Gabrielle.
They will speak from the Beehive from 5:30pm. You will be able to watch that stream in the video player above. Refresh the page if you can’t see the livestream.
5:10pm – The North-Tie power line, which is a power supply linking Hastings to Napier, will be restored Sunday evening.
Unison, which owns and operates the network serving Hawkes Bay, said this restoration means power can be supplied to more areas of Napier from Monday morning.
“This was a very complex repair that was technically difficult and carried a degree of risk for those involved. Our crews worked in very challenging conditions, and with time of the essence, a high level of innovation was required to complete the work,” said Unison incident controller Jason Larkin.
“Firstly, it involved getting into the rivers in a very managed way to remove fallen poles and lines. We then stood up three large river crossing structures using trucks, cranes and a Black Hawk helicopter that lifted them into place.
“Cranes then lifted crews above the river so that conductors could be attached to those poles, before a helicopter carried new lines between each pole for connection.
“I am so proud of what our team has achieved. A job of this size and scale would normally take three months from design to completion, but it was done in one weekend.”
As of 5pm, there are still 15,500 homes without power in Hawke’s Bay – 13,500 homes in Napier and less than 2000 in Hastings. This means 57 percent of homes have been connected in Napier and 94 percent in Hastings
To report an outage, visit www.unison.co.nz/outages in the first instance. Their call centre can still be used for those who do not have access to the internet – 0800 2 UNISON (0800 286 476).
4:50pm – Here’s an update from Waka Kotahi on the SH2 link between Gisborne and Wairoa:
Waka Kotahi has confirmed that night-time closures of SH2 between Gisborne and Wairoa have been lifted and the road will now be open to the public on a 24/7 basis.
“Our contractors in the region have put in a massive effort to make this happen. Opening up critical routes for the people of this region is a top priority, and we’re grateful to our crews for the work they’ve done to get us to this point,” says Waka Kotahi National Emergency Response Team spokesperson Wayne Oldfield.
SH2 between Ōpōtiki and Gisborne will remain closed to the public overnight, from 7pm to 7am, for the time being. With slips still moving and debris coming down on the road surface the road cannot yet be safely opened for travel at night.
Several other state highway routes in the region also remain closed. The on-line Waka Kotahi Journey Planner is being continually updated with the latest available information on state highway closures and restrictions. Those who are unable to access the internet at this stage are asked to tune to local radio for the latest Civil Defence advice. Local programmes are on Radio NZ 101.3FM and 1314AM, The Breeze 97.5FM, The Hits 89.5FM and Civil Defence information on Newstalk ZB 96.7.
Mr Oldfield says contractors are continuing to work in the region to reopen more roads and restore access to communities in the region.
“We are hugely thankful to the hard-working men and women on our contracting crews who are doing the hard yards to re-open these critical transport links. Many of these people live in areas which have been badly affected by the storm, and they are getting on with this vital work even as their own friends and families are affected,” says Mr Oldfield.
4:20pm – Here’s an update from the New Zealand Defence Force:
Almost a week into Cyclone Gabrielle’s impact, the New Zealand Defence Force continues to commit more resources by mobilising and establishing ships, aircraft, vehicles, communications equipment and personnel across the North Island.
At the outset of the cyclone, the Defence Force was deployed to assist in the rescue and evacuation of thousands of people, notably in the hard-hit Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti regions.
The commander overseeing the Defence Force’s response, Colonel Mel Childs, said the Defence Force has responded fully to the disaster, with more than 900 Defence Force personnel currently deployed.
“We have highly-trained and highly-skilled people who are proud to be able to help these communities who have been through so much. Many of our people have friends and family in the area, and we take great pride in responding to the needs of fellow Kiwis,” she said.
“It has been particularly rewarding to see that we can offer help from air, from land and from sea, utilising all of our capabilities and specialist skills. We are a Force for New Zealand and I think the whole country has seen that over this past week”.
Hundreds of other personnel across a variety of capabilities from Linton and Burnham stand ready to be called forward on request including builders, plumbers, electricians, caterers, transporters and others.
“We stand ready to assist other partner agencies and NEMA, and to utilise our skills where they are best placed,” Colonel Childs said.
Over the weekend, HMNZS Manawanui travelled down the East Coast, calling into cut-off communities to deliver supplies before arriving in Gisborne. HMNZS Te Mana also departed Auckland, stopping at impacted communities on its way to Napier, with 26 tonnes of supplies such as food, water, fuel, shelter, and generators.
Multi-role ship HMNZS Canterbury, having completed tasks in the Sub-Antarctic Islands, arrived in Lyttelton on Saturday morning. The ship and its crew are now preparing to take supplies up to the Hawke’s Bay region.
Over the week the Air Force has been involved in transportation of personnel and supplies, reconnaissance of communities and life-saving rescues.
Food, water, medical supplies and communication equipment have become priorities, with No. 3 Squadron, operating NH90 helicopters delivering much needed cargo including a small military water treatment plant to Wairoa this week.
For the bigger lifts, C-130 Hercules aircraft from No. 40 Squadron have moved Army personnel, a military reverse osmosis water treatment plants to Gisborne, support vehicles for vital utility services such as power, as well as urgent medical supplies. These have included medical oxygen and other gases, chemotherapy medication, pharmaceuticals, medical nutritional supplies and blood products, to enable hospitals to provide critical care and support primary and community health providers.
The Army has established a field headquarters in Napier to coordinate the East Coast response, with Army engineers preparing to support the construction of Bailey bridges (temporary, hand-erected bridges) as requested by NEMA.
The Army’s Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles has also checked the inland road route to Wairoa, and are now conducting a check of road access to Napier from Wairoa. Some light armoured vehicles (NZLAV) and personnel will also travel to Wairoa to assist with the clean-up.
Defence Force Reservist personnel are also fully in the fight for their communities, having been some of the first on the scene during the devastating weather event, leaving their own whanau and friends to help the wider communities that they serve.
In Auckland and Northland, Army personnel and seven Unimogs have supported response and relief efforts. This included the support to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, NZ Police and St John at Muriwai on Auckland’s West Coast, through the transportation of two casualties and conduct of evacuations. This week Air Force personnel joined forces with Urban Search and Rescue and Fire and Emergency New Zealand in Northland, tasked with assessing the state of roading near Dargaville. Aviators were involved in the rescue of a family of three, including an eight-month-old baby, from a car stranded in floodwaters near Whangārei.
3:58pm – Supt Park says the best thing for police is visibility, being out in the community and checking homes to make sure people are safe.
The press conference has now finished.
3:55pm – Supt Park says they have everything they need in terms of a police presence in the area.
New people are being deployed every day.
3:50pm – Supt Park did not say the number of unidentified bodies police have found.
She reiterated they had found and identified the bodies of nine people in her area.
3:48pm – Supt Park says she is most concerned about finding missing people across the district.
“The devastation is phenomenal, across the district,” she said.
3:43pm – Eastern District Commander Superintendent Jeanette Park has arrived.
She starts by sending her condolences to families who have lost loved ones in the floods.
There have been over 6000 reports of people who can’t be contacted, but over 3000 have self-reported that they are okay.
The 6000 reports can include multiple reports for one individual.
3:30pm – Police are set to give an update at 3:40pm from Hastings.
The livestream is in the video player above now. Refresh the page if you can’t see the stream.
2:45pm – Here’s the latest from the Gisborne District Council on water supplies:
Gisborne’s water supply is still critically low, says Ben Green, Tairāwhiti Civil Defence Controller. Businesses and residents must continue to reduce their water use to an absolute minimum for at least the next couple of days.
After a failure at the back-up Waipaoa Water Plant on Friday (17 February), an emergency text went out telling residents to stop all water use. Since then water use has reduced but we still need to be able to build up supplies of treated water in the reservoir.
Thanks to all those who are conserving water so that taps do not run completely dry, says Mr Green.
“We are still in crisis mode and need you to keep this up for at least another two days. We know this has involved significant sacrifice, especially for businesses who can’t operate and the impact on their employees.”
“Council staff are working around the clock to stabilise the city’s water supply but there are no easy fixes.”
The city continues to be at an EXTREME ALERT LEVEL for water use. This means all large industries and high water users cannot operate using mains water. Essential businesses such as rest homes hospitals, laundromats, cafes, takeaway and accommodation providers can continue to operate but must have water reduction strategies in place and be able to explain their strategies when asked by Council staff. If the water crisis worsens laundromats and food business will be asked to shut.
Moderate water users like bars, dine-in restaurants, hairdressers and dog washers cannot operate using mains water supply under this extreme alert level. They can still open as long as they are not using water. For example hairdressers can do haircuts but not wash hair.
For all other businesses and Gisborne residents using the city’s reticulated water supply, the message remains to reduce all water use as much as possible. Only use water for drinking, short showers and food preparation.
Council staff have been in contact with industry, major food producers and car washers who use large amounts of water to make it clear that they cannot operate using Council’s mains water supply.
“We thank them for their compliance as this has had a major impact on those business without an alternative water source.”
With continued restraint on water use, the city will be able move to the HIGH ALERT LEVEL. This means bars, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to operate but must use significantly less water. They need to have a water reduction strategy in place and be able to explain it when asked by Council.
2:10pm – Counties Energy says all properties on the network who suffered a power outage from Cyclone Gabrielle have been restored, minus one property.
This property, in Pukekawa, is a “complex rebuild” and they are waiting on materials to complete this work.
“There are around five privately owned service lines which are being worked on today or which are on hold awaiting instruction from the line owners,” Counties Energy said.
“The region has been affected by more than 1000 individual faults with 12,500 properties without power across the cyclone period – around one quarter of our network.
“We’re reminding customers who may be returning home after being stranded overseas or in other parts of the country from Cyclone Gabrielle, to please be vigilant around downed lines. If you see a downed line – stay well clear (at least a bus length away) and call us immediately on 0800 100 202.”
2pm – Here’s an update from Waka Kotahi on central North Island roading:
“We want to reiterate our thanks to all our roading contractors as they continue to work to ensure vital state highway connections are able to open.”
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s National Emergency Response Team spokesman, Wayne Oldfield has also reiterated his thanks to all road users for their patience and understanding as contractors continue to clean up from Cyclone Gabrielle’s aftermath.
“We’re still in the process of assessing the damage to a number of key routes which remain closed for now, and that will take some time.
“Our priority is of course the safety of all road users and contractors, while trying to get as much of the network open as possible.”
State Highway update as of 2pm
SH35 from Te Puia Springs to Tologa Bay CLOSED
SH2 between Ōpōtiki to Gisborne OPEN between 7am and 7pm
SH2 between Gisborne south through Wairoa OPEN between 7am and 7pm
SH38 between Lake Waikaremoana to Wairoa CLOSED
SH2 between Wairoa and the Eskdale turn off CLOSED
SH5 Napier – Taupō Road CLOSED
SH50 at the Ngaruroro River Bridge, Fernhill CLOSED
SH50 between Takapau and Maraekakaho CLOSED
SH51 at Waitangi Bridge, Clive OPEN under stop / go, down to one lane for emergency services and critical workers
SH4 between Raetihi and Upokongaro CLOSED
“As with all areas of the network that have recently opened up, please expect delays as some roads remain under stop / go control or reduced speeds, and in some cases, the possibility of short-notice closures,” says Mr Oldfield.
Please note this information can change rapidly – ensure you check the latest weather conditions with MetService, and consult the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner for the most up to date information on road closures.
For those who are unable to access the internet at this stage, please keep tuned tro local radio for the latest Civil Defence advice.
Journey Planner is updated 24/7 by Waka Kotahi traffic operations centres and is the best source of the most recent and reliable information available on state highway closures and disruptions. Remember to refresh the page when checking the status of highways to ensure that the latest updates are displayed.
1:35pm – Auckland Emergency Management says visitors to Auckland’s west coast beaches must continue to avoid entry into Karekare, Piha, Te Henga Bethells, and Muriwai.
“With the better weather this weekend, beachgoers may think it a good idea to head to the beaches out west to help relief efforts or for leisure. We urge the public to continue staying away from Karekare, Piha, Te Henga Bethells, and Muriwai this weekend and until further notice,” says duty Controller Adam Maggs.
“The outpouring of support from the wider Auckland community has been appreciated, but the aforementioned areas are still off limits. We want Aucklanders to stay safe and ensure emergency crews and response teams can access these communities to provide the support needed.
“The cordons set up to manage access these areas are to be strictly adhered to – please do not attempt to talk your way through a cordon, claiming to be a resident, or part of the emergency response. This behaviour puts unnecessary strain and pressure on communities that are already struggling to deal with their basic needs,” says Mr Maggs.
Photo ID and proof of residence, like a utility bill, will help get residents get through the cordons quicker, so please have these with you if possible.
1:15pm – Waka Kotahi says contractors in Gisborne are putting in a huge effort to open up critical transport lifelines to allow essential goods and services to reach isolated communities.
“This work is our absolute number one priority, and we are directing all of our available people and resources to the task. Our contractors are putting in a massive effort in very difficult conditions, and thanks to their work, limited access has been established to hard-hit areas,” says Waka Kotahi National Emergency Response Team spokesperson Wayne Oldfield.
“Our immediate priority is ensuring that key freight routes are stable and secure so that supplies can be delivered to the Gisborne region. Contractors have been working throughout the weekend to secure as much of the state highway network around the region as possible,” Mr Oldfield says.
SH2 between Ōpōtiki and Gisborne and SH2 between Gisborne and Wairoa are both currently open to the public between 7am and 7pm. With slips still moving and debris coming down on the road surface the road cannot yet be safely opened for travel at night.
Several other state highway routes in the region remain closed. The on-line Waka Kotahi Journey Planner is being continually updated with the latest available information on state highway closures and restrictions. Those who are unable to access the internet at this stage are asked to tune to local radio for the latest Civil Defence advice.
“We are hugely thankful to the hard-working men and women on our contracting crews who are doing the hard yards to re-open these critical transport links. Many of these people live in areas which have been badly affected by the storm, and they are getting on with this vital work even as their own friends and families are affected,” says Mr Oldfield.
12:50pm – Hastings City Council says while Cyclone Gabrielle has moved on the region has bene hard hit and there are a number of restrictions in place.
People should not travel on the roads unless absolutely necessary. Hundreds of roads across the region are impacted by slips, fallen trees and power lines.
Water use should also be restricted, even though the water supplies are functioning well there is still a need to conserve water.
Rivers are high and people should stay away from beaches.
For more information visit the council’s website.
For Napier City Council click here
12:35pm – Residents in Gisborne are being asked to restrict water use as much as possible. Water is safe to drink but should only be used to drink, for food preparation and for short showers.
Gisborne Council says on its website there are multiple breaks in the water pipe supplying the city and it won’t be fixed quickly.
“We understand people who have been flooded want to clean-up, but please don’t hose off or waterblast.
“We’re working on options to make untreated water available to people needing to clean up silt.”
For more information visit the council website.
12:15pm – Surf Lifesaving is carrying out grid searches for bodies and debris off Whirinaki beach Napier. The death toll from Cyclone Gabrielle has risen to 11, and is expected to grow even higher over the next few days.
Midday – There is an update on schools in Napier from the council
“Schools and kura in Napier have made the decision to close tomorrow and Tuesday to allow time to prepare for reopening safely as soon as possible.
“Our Te Mahau (regional) staff, including property advisors, are working closely with the schools to support them.
“Outside of Napier, Hawkes Bay schools and kura have started to reopen and are communicating with their parents.
“We want to acknowledge the fantastic job school leaders are doing to support and care for their students, staff and communities.”
11:50am – Auckland Emergency Management has given an update on the situation at Auckland’s west coast beaches, which were hit hard by Cyclone Gabrielle.
“We appreciate it is very difficult to be away from your homes, and unable to access your properties – it is a very unsettling and stressful time,” says duty Controller Adam Maggs.
“We are working to ensure that you may re-enter your home in a way that ensures the safety of you and your family. The instability of the land around evacuated streets is a significant safety concern, and we need to carefully plan how we can enable people to access their homes to collect belonging and important items.
“The last thing we want is people putting themselves at risk, and we ask friends, whānau and the wider community to continue to wrap support around those who are currently unable to return home.”
Domain Crescent, Muriwai
Due to the severe slips in this area, there is no safe access for anyone. Until geotechnical experts give clearance that the area can be accessed safely, no one is able to enter their homes. We have a security-controlled barrier at the corner of the road to ensure safety and security of homes in the locality. (This excludes the few white placarded homes at the very beginning of Domain Crescent.)
Motutara Rd, Muriwai
There is a resident-only road closure restriction to Motutara Road. Entry is restricted from the Muriwai Road/Oaia Road intersection to the Fire Station. We have established security-controlled barriers between red placard buildings on Motutara Road from Coast Road to house number 177. Entry into Muriwai is also restricted at the top of Waitea Road, from Oaia Road. There is no access to this area without prior authorisation from Auckland Emergency Management.
This cordon is to ensure public safety and security to homes in the area. Residents who wish to enter their property to remove chattels, for insurance assessment or specialist engineering assessment, should contact us on 0800 22 22 00 or visit the ranger station to request accompanied access to their properties. At this stage we are limiting visits to a duration of 30 minutes, reflecting the number of people likely to want to visit the site and the current risk setting of the area. The standard requirements around entry to a red placard building [detailed below] apply.
Rayner Rd, Piha
Vehicles are currently restricted from using the road therefore all access on Rayner Road remains foot traffic only (except in emergencies). Adjacent to 45 Rayner Road there is road subsidence and the designated walking pathway through this area can only be used during daylight hours and MUST NOT be used during and immediately after heavy rain. During these times, an alternative route is available by following the signs up the driveway of 60 Rayner Road. This will allow twelve houses with red placards to be changed to ‘white’ and residents will be able to return to these homes.
Piha water update
Auckland Council is currently pumping flood waters from the Garden Road area, and this is likely to continue for the next 24-48 hours.
Water is available for collection in two locations, a tanker parked opposite the United North Piha Lifeguard Service on North Piha Rd, and a welfare bollard (a blue post with two hoses attached to it) at the entrance to the Piha Domain, opposite 20 Seaview Road. People need to bring their own containers and can collect up to 20L per person per day.
Muriwai water update
Water infrastructure has been impacted by the landslides. The water treatment plant remains offline, and the water storage reservoir is now empty.
A tanker is providing emergency water to customers and is located at Sand Dunz Cafe. Customers can pop by with containers and top up with water for free. Watercare’s temporary supply plan is progressing, and they hope to complete it by the end of next week, Friday 24 February. Tanker services will remain until this is operational.
11:15am – Cyclone Gabrielle’s death toll has risen to 11 after a bodies were found in Napier, and Hawke’s Bay.
Police found a deceased person in their home in Onekawa on Thursday 16. The person is believed to have died in circumstances related to Cyclone Gabrielle police said.
Police are also investigating a death in Crownthorpe, Hastings that was reported on Saturday night. The person is also believed to have died in circumstances related to Cyclone Gabrielle.
The deaths have been referred to the Coroner.
11:10am – National Leader Christopher Luxon has arrived at the CDEM headquarters in Gisborne. Luxon will be speaking to media at 11:30am and you can watch it on the above stream.
10:55am – People based in East Coast or Hawke’s Bay who have been impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle can now apply online for a Civil Defence payment for help with food, bedding, clothing, or temporary accommodation.
Applications can be submitted through the Work and Income website here. Those applying online will need to have an MSD client number.
Anyone looking for welfare assistance due to loss of livelihood can still call 0800 400 100.
Civil Defence said they are getting a lot of calls and it may take longer than usual before they are able to talk to you, so they are asking the public to be patient while they help all of those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
More information on Civil Defence Payments can be found here.
10:40am Auckland Emergency Management has released a list of numbers for people in Auckland who need help.
10:30am – The Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust has received a $1m cash injection from Government, following Friday’s visit to the region by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty.
Hinewai Ormsby, Chair of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council says she and Mayors Walker, Hazlehurst and Wise met with the Prime Minister and Minister on Friday to discuss the region’s needs following Cyclone Gabrielle, and they welcome the Government’s initial funding boost for the Disaster Relief Trust.
Speaking on behalf of Mayors Alex Walker (Central Hawke’s Bay District), Sandra Hazlehurst (Hastings District), Kirsten Wise (Napier City) and Craig Little (Wairoa District), Mrs Ormsby says she and Mayors are united in leading a regional approach to ensure Hawke’s Bay receives the support it needs at this time.
“First, I want to acknowledge our colleague, Mayor Craig Little who along with the Wairoa community is still isolated. Craig is understandably focusing on ensuring key services are restored and critical supplies and support reach Wairoa as soon as possible.
“However, he is united with us in our commitment to work together as Hawke’s Bay’s local government leaders, in partnership with Iwi and Mana Whenua leaders and Government, to address the urgent needs of our region.” Mrs Ormsby says.
“We are acutely aware of the immediate support our communities, whānau, industries and businesses need to get back on their feet. Together with community, we are doing everything possible to restore vital infrastructure like power, telecommunications and transport links and to bring support to communities in need. That effort continues at pace and will do so in the days, weeks and months ahead.
“At this time getting the right immediate support to where it is needed most remains our top priority. For anyone considering how they can lend a hand to the relief effort, the best way they can help is by donating to the Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust. That way we can make sure that the communities who need it most get the support they need.” says Mrs Ormsby.
People wanting to donate can do so at https://public-hbrc.datacomsphere.co.nz/online-services/new/flood-fund-relief. The Disaster Relief Trust funding criteria is under development and applications will be called for once that is completed.
10:20am – Newshub reporter Alexa Cook has sent a couple of images of the community in Wairoa banding together to help out. Rural Post has been delivering water and locals formed a human chain to empty a flooded house.
9:40am – Chorus has released an update on efforts to restore networks and 111 calling.
Chorus continues to make good progress in restoring its telecommunications network in the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne regions but further landslides are providing additional challenges.
All four of the known breaks in the fibre in the northern route into GIsborne have been successfully repaired, including an overlay of new fibre via helicopter above the ridge line of a steep gorge where there has been significant road damage.
Unfortunately, as that work was completed, three new faults occurred in previously intact fibre, including damage by road works clearing a road and new landslides. One of the three new breaks has been fixed while repairs are continuing on the other two.
The risk of further slips or other activity damaging other parts of the network highlights the importance of trying to restore both the north and south routes so there is diversity to protect communications.
Overnight technicians have reconfigured a partial link to Gisborne and Wairoa. This mean that 111 calling has been enabled to all mobile service providers, and more broader mobile services to 2 Degrees. Work is continuing today to improve the partially restored link so that further (not just mobile) services can be enabled to other retailer service providers. As that work continues, there is risk that the partial service may be interrupted.
Between Gisborne and Wairoa, there was one known fibre break which has been repaired. From Wairoa to Napier, there are at least three complex fibre breaks, spanning very large areas where the road has been comprehensively damaged. Chorus and Downer are also making good progress on these repairs, overlaying these damaged sections with large lengths of new fibre using similar methodologies to those used on the route north of Gisborne.
Chorus National Field Manager Phil Gibb, who is on the ground in Napier leading the response, says:
“We can give the assurance that we’re putting in all efforts on the ground to get our network standing up. But you cannot but help feel for the people when you’re local and you see this devastation that’s around. And some of the people that are working on the ground are impacted by this. And we’re asking them to go out and restore our network.
“We refer to the ‘North Area’ as the stretch from Tokomaru Bay up to Te Araroa on the east coast – a very isolated part of New Zealand. But they still require our communications services. That’s our northern part and we’re trying to get that sorted as we speak. And the southern part is from Wairoa back down to Napier. So we’ve also identified parts of the network there that need to be remediated and we’re working on that as well.
“It’s massive. People just want to be connected. There’s a lot of stories going around where they just want to be connected to their whānau up in those rural communities – and even with the rest of the world, not just within New Zealand.
“We’ve got people who need to move back into their homes, people who don’t have homes. So we’re continuously thinking forward, what are our next plans, and what do we need to put in place.”
9:20am – Police Eastern District commander superintendent Jeanette Park said looters “targeting people in a crisis is abhorrent and we’re not tolerating it.”
Hundred of extra police officers have been drafted into the region to stop looters.
“We have extra officers from across the country who are working with colleagues from Civil Defence, the Defence Force, and other responding agencies, to help Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay,” Park said.
“I’m immensely proud of our officers and the partner agencies they are working alongside. A number of those on duty have also been affected by the cyclone.
Read more here.
9:00am – Vector has given an update on the number of Auckland homes and businesses without power.
As of 8am, around 3000 homes and businesses remain without power, following widespread and significant damage from Cyclone Gabrielle.
This number includes around 600 in the West Coast beaches of Piha, Bethells, and Muriwai. We have worked with Auckland Emergency Management on responding to the immediate needs of these areas, with the remaining work being extremely complex and challenging.
We are further boosting our workforce with additional crews set to join our response from Monday, coming from other network businesses where spare capacity was available and taking into account the needs of other parts of the North Island.
We know it’s difficult for people still without power, and that certainty over what to expect from here would help people make plans. Unfortunately, we are still finding that some faults have multiple issues which we do not discover until work starts, which makes restoration times challenging and changeable in some cases. In many cases, the first time we were able to access sites was last Wednesday or later due to safety reasons and road or site access.
Where we are able to provide estimated restoration times, we are doing so. Some communities will receive these times sooner than others. More general information about restoration timelines at each zone of our network, is available on our website: vector.co.nz/personal/outages/storm-event. This is updated at the end of each day.
Vector has a highly motivated team whose single focus is getting the power back on for people safely and as quickly as we can. We will not rest until this complete and will continue to work with Auckland Emergency Management and Civil Defence regarding welfare issues.
To report an outage or check an address for an outage go to: Vector.co.nz/outages
8:30am – Vodafone CEO Jason Paris has tweeted for looters not to be dicks and stop stealing generators from Vodafone sites.
He also tweeted “Chorus should have their Gisborne fibre link for all telcos fixed mid afternoon. This will restore broadband & mobile in Whakatane, Gisborne & Wairoa for many. I’ll update once confirmed. Our stores in Hastings, Napier and Gisborne are all open today to help. Stay safe.”
8:15am – Aucklanders have been asked not to travel to west coast beaches due to unstable roads.
7:58am – Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise is urging residents to continue to “conserve water” on Sunday.
Wise told RNZ the wastewater management plant was still “non-operational” and is asking locals to have short showers, not flush their toilets, and if they had silt on their homes, to not hose it down into their stormwater system.
Wise said she was focused on looking after her community and encouraged Napier locals to reach out if they needed help.
“Council are here, if you need anything please make contact. We need to pull together,” she told RNZ.
7:35am – Police have told Newshub there was nothing significant issues with lotting overnight in the Gisborne and Napier areas.
6:40am – Foodstuffs have announced all PAK’nSAVE and New World stores are open nationwide and getting regularly stocked.
Here is the full statement from Foodstuffs:
Our thoughts continue to be with all with the families of the people who’ve lost their lives due to Cyclone Gabrielle, those who’ve lost their homes and property and who aren’t able to reach their families and loved ones.
Yesterday we were deeply saddened by the tragic passing of one of our team members, Marie Greene, who worked on checkout at New World Greenmeadows in Napier. Marie lost her life at home due to the cyclone.
We’re getting to all but one of our stores by road now, New World Wairoa received two large deliveries today, which was really reassuring for the community and gratefully received. The only store we can’t get to by road right now is Four Square Tokomaru Bay on the East Coast, 91km north of Gisborne – we’ll continue to get essentials to the store by helicopter until we can reach the store with a truck.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to all our drivers who’ve gone above and beyond, battling through in the most extreme of circumstances to make sure we can get the essentials through.
All PAK’nSAVE and New World stores are open nationwide, we have a couple of Four Squares not yet able to open and they’re in communities where there are other larger shopping options. We’re asking customers in the worst affected areas to continue to only buy what they need, so everyone can get their fair share when they shop, if there’s a gap on the shelf at the store, know there’s more stock on its way.
Now all PAK’nSAVE and New World stores are open, shoppers in the Hawkes Bay cities and suburbs of Hastings and Napier are encouraged to shop at their local store, this will help even out the load between all the stores.
Foodstuffs stores are 100% New Zealand owned and operated, we have a long-term commitment to be HereforNZ and one of our promises is to make sure every New Zealander has access to food. Every locally owned New World and PAK’nSAVE has a direct link to at least one foodbank, food rescue, or social supermarket partner and we’ve been working with them and other community organisations and charities to honour this promise in the wake of the recent Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.
In the last few weeks, our HereforNZ team has pledged over $300,000 worth of product, or cash funding to support the immediate need and in the next week, we’ll be increasing our support as we work with our community partners.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to our teams, supplier partners, communities, absolutely everyone who’s pulled together to help get all the stores affected by the cyclone back up and running. It’s a really stressful time so we’re asking to please remember to be respectful to each other and our team members when you shop with us, we’re all going through a lot and we’re in this together. Kia kaha, take care.
6:23am – Gisborne and Wairoa residents on 2degrees should have service following the establishment of a fibre connection on Saturday.
This means 111 services will work for all operators where coverage is available, 2degrees said in a statement late on Saturday night.
They added, this means 2degrees, Orcon, Slingshot and Flip fixed-line broadband customers should have service.
“We will do all we can overnight and in the morning to ensure service is maintained and capacity is managed,” 2degrees said.
“We know it has been distressing for those impacted by the floods and we’re very pleased to have this service up for both 2degrees customers and anyone needing to make a 111 call.”