Cyclone Gabrielle update 18 – General Update and Key Messages

Published 23 Feb 2023

The Tararua District remains under the National State of Emergency and continues to respond to the Cyclone Gabrielle event. In

This update will cover:

  • Key priorities
  • Last 24 hours
  • Plan for today
  • Update on roads, water and power
  • Other key information


Our main priorities are now:

  1. Gathering information on and visiting unaccounted people and property
  2. Weather watch and planning
  3. Outreach convoy planning
  4. Preparation for transition to recovery
  5. Welfare needs prioritisation
  6. Rural leaders meeting
  7. Road Safety


Seven members of Sports Manawatū volunteered and assisted the Herbertville community in their clean-up tasks. Mayor Tracey Collis, accompanied by Pat Walshe from the Dannevirke Community Board, visited residents in Herbertville to offer their support and to see, first hand, the progress of their clean-up effort.

Council welfare teams together with members of Rangitāne o Tamaki nui-ā-Rua, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua, and Horizons Regional Council staff went to the Ormondville area and on to Coast Road from the Marananga Gorge back around to and including Ākitio village and River Road to Waione. Welfare needs were recorded at each location visited and will be followed up on further outreach tasks being planned.

The Rural Support Trust provided a volunteer party to help clear approximately 1 kilometre of fencing at a farm near Weber. They hope to send another volunteer party out on Friday for more rural support tasks.

Council sent a helicopter to Sugarloaf Road, which is still inaccessible by road where supplies were delivered.


Key Message: Coastal and isolated communities need to be prepared for heavy rainfall and to ensure each household has enough food, water and comfort supplies to last three days – be prepared.

Today, Welfare outreach convoys will continue to visit rural properties that are accessible by 4WD vehicles only. Main locations planned to be visited are:

  • Ākitio
    • 3 days of non-perishable food supply will be brought to the Ākitio Community Hall in case the forecasted rainfall cuts Ākitio off again.
  • Pongaroa residents
    • Supplies will be delivered by the outreach teams and will be distributed by community co-ordinators in Pongaroa.
  • Herbertville residents
    • Supplies will be delivered by council and will be distributed under the supervision of community co-ordinators in Herbertville.
    • Assistance will be provided to the Herbertville campground clean up.


Key Message: Roads to our affected coastal regions are very vulnerable still, even more so now that we are having more rain.  These roads are needed for the ongoing response effort. All travel along coastal routes risks the safety of the driver and their passengers.

Road closure numbers have dropped slightly, there are now 27 closed roads. This total may fluctuate over the coming days.

Our teams continue to update the Current Road Status page on the Council website as information is received. If you have new information about a road, please call us or report it using our Antenno app.

Please continue to view our Current Road Status page before any road travel:

road status thursday

Pongaroa: The precautionary Boil Water Notice for Pongaroa is still in place. A 15,000-litre tank of potable water is available to draw from at the Pongaroa Community Hall.­

Ākitio: The precautionary Boil Water Notice for Ākitio is still in place.

Dannevirke: The Dannevirke water supply restriction level has been raised to “Alternate Days”.  This is due to high consumption levels in Dannevirke and the uncertainty to draw and treat water from the Tamaki River during the upcoming rainfall.


Scanpower report their network is stable and there have been no new power outages.  They have made good progress on clearing trees off the power lines along Bolton Road, near Ormondville and hope to have this completed by Friday (weather dependant).  Scanpower expect electricity will be restored to affected properties by Tuesday 28 February 2023.


Public health advice after a flood: As you begin, or continue, the clean-up of your property key points to ensure the health and safety of yourself and others when dealing with the clean-up can be found on our website at .

Mayoral Relief Fund: The Mayoral Relief Fund is open for donations to help support Tararua communities find their feet after the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle. For more details please go to our website at:

Mental Health Support: 1737 is New Zealand’s national mental health & addictions helpline number. Free call or text 1737 any time to talk with a trained counsellor. It’s completely free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Rural Support Trust is also available on 0800 787 254.

Welfare support is available: If you have been affected by the cyclone and need support, please contact us on 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110 and let us know how we can help.

Community Support Package: This Ministry of Social Development (MSD) government funded package aims to relieve some of the financial pressure on community groups and contracted providers that have been delivering response and recovery assistance.  For more information visit the MSD website at: