Cyclone Gabrielle update 21 – General Update and Key Messages

Published 27 Feb 2023

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

This update will cover:

  • Key priorities
  • Temporary Accommodation Services
  • Update on weather, roads and water
  • Other key information


Our main priorities are now:

  1. Gathering and validating information on affected communities
  2. Weather watch and planning
  3. Outreach convoy planning
  4. Preparation for transition to recovery
  5. Welfare needs prioritisation
  6. Road Safety


This morning, Monday 27 February at 09:00am, Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the activation of the Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) following Cyclone Gabrielle.

The TAS has been activated to support those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland Flooding events in February and January 2023.

TAS supports affected households to find temporary accommodation while their home is being repaired, rebuilt or they are unable to return to access their home.

Affected households can register their details for the service by visiting phoning 0508 754 163.

We encourage affected people to register with TAS as soon as possible if they need temporary accommodation.


Council continued to conduct weather watches over the weekend and monitored river levels through the River Alert System. The rainfall over the weekend did not affect river levels to the point where alerts were needed. We continue to monitor the weather, roads, and river levels.

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued today that incorporates the extreme north of the Tararua District from 1pm to 9pm today. There is a low to medium risk that residents in the north of the district will experience rain and thunderstorms , however, we encourage residents to check the latest weather at .


Key Message: Roads to our affected coastal regions are very vulnerable still, even more so now after the rain over the weekend.  Many roads are closed to the public and are needed for the ongoing response effort. Anyone attempting to drive on closed roads, risks the safety of themselves and their passengers, will further degrade road conditions, and will hamper our response efforts.  Do not travel on closed roads.

Tararua Alliance confirm that Cyclone Gabrielle was responsible for 1,500 faults on our roading network, this included over 150 dropouts. This is a large number of issues to assess, prioritise and repair and they continue to make good progress on our road network.

Road closures remain at 27 closed roads. This total may fluctuate over the coming days as forecasted rainfall may have an impact along our road network.

The Tararua Alliance continue focussing on key roads to reopen and connect communities as soon as possible.  As roads are opened this will be posted on the Current Road Status on: . If you have new information about a road, please call us or report it using our Antenno app.

Roads update


Pongaroa: Pongaroa had its precautionary Boil Water Notice lifted on Saturday 25 February 2023

Ākitio: The precautionary Boil Water Notice for Ākitio was lifted on Saturday 25 February 2023

Dannevirke: Dannevirke is still on alternate days water restrictions and residents are asked to practice water conservation to ensure the impounded water supply levels remain sufficient until we can draw water directly from the Tāmaki River again.


Temporary Accommodation Services: TAS supports affected households to find temporary accommodation while their home is being repaired, rebuilt or they are unable to return to access their home. Find out more at: . The application form for this service can be found at:

New Zealand Claims Resolution Service: The New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) will provide free expert support to homeowners with insurance claims after natural disasters to avoid disputes, resolve issues and ensure claims are settled in a timely manner.  If you are having difficulty resolving your insurance or EQC claim following a natural disaster, the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service may be able to help, go to:

Tenancy NZ: Tenants and landlords of rental properties can visit for information on tenancy rights and obligations following natural disasters.

River alert system: You can sign up to receive alerts on river levels by signing up to Horizons Regional Council’s River Alert System. If you need any help filling out the subscription form, or would like any further information, please contact our Horizons information management team on freephone 0508 800 800. To sign up, go to:

Farmer and grower recovery grants: The Government is providing $25 million to help farmers, growers, and whenua Māori landowners recover from Cyclone Gabrielle. Grants for pastoral and arable farmers/growers of up to $10,000 to help initial recovery on-farm, such as repairs to water infrastructure for stock and fencing. Learn more:

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: