Cyclone update from the National Emergency Management Agency

Published 26 Apr 2023

Weekly cyclone update – 21 April 2023

Update from the Cyclone Recovery Unit

The Government continues to work closely with regions worst affected by the North Island floods and Cyclone Gabrielle in their recovery efforts. Government agencies, the Cyclone Recovery Unit and the Cyclone Recovery Taskforce continue to work closely with local authorities and communities across the motu.

Support to communities

There is a range of support still available for those who are affected by the aftermath of the extreme weather. This includes community and provider support funds, plus a food fund for community providers to refill their stocks and support demand from flood-affected households. A comprehensive list of social support is here: Community Support Package for people impacted by North Island floods and Cyclone Gabrielle - Ministry of Social Development (

The Temporary Accommodation Service continues to connect households in need with accessible accommodation while their home is repaired or rebuilt. More details are here: Temporary Accommodation Service » Temporary Accommodation (

Te Whatu Ora is assisting people who have been displaced by the severe weather to get the healthcare support they need. Find out more here:

Case study: Māori Communities Response Fund

Te Puni Kokiri continues its focus on housing, Whānau Ora and Whenua Māori support. Of the $9 million allocated to the Māori Communities Response Fund, $3.84 million has been committed or assessed so far. Funded projects this week have included resource to secure staffing, storage and generators, project managers to spearhead recovery efforts and funds to secure independent insurance advocacy. For more information visit Te Puni Kōkiri: Cyclone Gabrielle Māori Communities Response Fund (

Update on support to the primary sector

The Ministry for Primary Industries is working across the sector to understand and assess the ongoing economic impacts to the agriculture sector, including forestry and fishing. Operation Muster has helped move more than 30,000 animals from cyclone-affected farms in the Hawke’s Bay, while Operation Reach will continue aerial drops to properties in Tairawhiti once culvert supplies arrive. MPI is maintaining contact with 33 farms in Tairawhiti and 5 farms in Hawke’s Bay where access is restricted.

For more details of what the Government is doing to support the primary sector: Cyclone Gabrielle recovery: advice, support, and funding | NZ Government (

Support to business

An additional $25 million will support more businesses in the clean-up in regions affected by the cyclone – taking total support to more than $75 million. Demand for business support packages has been strong and this new tranche of funding will help more businesses to get back up and running. Read more about the new funding here: Govt approves extra $25 million extension for cyclone-affected businesses |

Immigration New Zealand indicates that more than a thousand Recovery Visa applications have been approved and nearly half of the visa holders have already arrived in Aotearoa. These visas enable people with specific recovery skills – such as engineers, technicians and assurance assessors – to come to Aotearoa to assist in the recovery. Find out more here: Recovery Visa | Immigration New Zealand

Of the $49.15 million committed to support small businesses, some $33.42 million has been paid out, with $19 million to Hawke’s Bay and $12m to Tairawhiti.

There is more detail on support available to businesses here: Cyclone and flood recovery for businesses — and here: Employer support for Cyclone Gabrielle in Tairāwhiti and Hawke's Bay - Work and Income

Transport network progress

Re-opening lifeline routes and establishing access for communities remains a priority for the Government. As we mentioned last week, the Government, industry, and local communities are working together on the rebuild of the East Coast transport network. Waka Kotahi will prepare a Strategic Resilience Plan for state highway corridors – supporting not just the immediate emergency works but looking at options to make the network more resilient to future events. Local councils and iwi will be closely consulted.

Find out more about Waka Kotahi’s recovery projects here: North Island state highway recovery and rebuild | Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (

Extreme Weather Science Response

The science sector will receive $10 million of reprioritised funds to support the science response to the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle. This short-term funding will help address immediate needs and inform decisions about the recovery. Find out more here: Extreme weather science response | Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (

Update from the Cyclone Recovery Taskforce

This week the Cyclone Recovery Taskforce continues to liaise with councils and insurance companies to confirm confidence levels around the risk status of areas. It is important for decision makers to have confidence in the information because it is a foundation for community discussion on options to address risks.

Different councils are at different stages of this assessment, but regardless of this,

councils, insurance companies, central government and the Taskforce all recognise the need to provide certainty as soon as possible – even if that certainty is clarity around what next steps look like. We acknowledge the uncertainty and the impact that this has on people, and also the need to ensure that decisions are carefully thought through, supported by evidence, and informed by community engagement.

The journey ahead remains a team effort. Local and regional councils together with central government, will work closely with Iwi, hapū, whaanau and communities to ensure their needs and priorities are reflected in the region’s recovery planning.  We expect to have preliminary information to share by the end of this month.

The economic recovery and reinvestment for Hawkes Bay and Te Tāirawhiti is another current focus area for the Taskforce, which continues to work with central government, regional recovery groups, and relevant sectors including banking, on economic recovery plans.

The Cyclone Recovery Unit is working alongside the Taskforce to support the recovery of affected regions and is responsible for leading and coordinating the Government’s recovery work programme.

Government support to date

  • An initial $250 million for Waka Kotahi and local councils to assess and fix roads
  • $74 million for affected farmers and growers to clean up and re-establish their businesses
  • $75 million for businesses with immediate costs and clean-up – to be distributed by local delivery partners in the affected regions
  • $5 million to Mayoral Relief Funds
  • More than $65.8 million in Civil Defence Payments
  • Inquiry announced into forestry slash and land use after Cyclone Gabrielle
  • A new Recovery Visa created to help bring in additional specialist workers
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated in affected regions
  • Cyclone Gabrielle Appeal Fund Launched along with a special Lotto Draw on Saturday 18 March
  • $15 million short-term relief package to support Māori communities
  • A further $17.5 million to support communities and community providers
  • $3.25 million to support the immediate mental wellbeing needs of people impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle
  • $15 million for councils to remove rubbish