Cyclone Gabrielle Update 3

Published 14 Feb 2023

Cyclone Gabrielle update #2 - 14 February 1.30pm

Mayor Tracey Collis declared a State of Emergency at 08:49am today, 14 February 2023 under Section 68 of the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002 owing to coastal risk and severe flooding throughout the district. The State of Emergency will be in force for 24 hours but will be reviewed as required.

Mayor Collis said; “Although the Tararua District was quieter than other districts overnight, we have been experiencing deteriorating weather from early today, as Cyclone Gabrielle moved in from the coast inland.  This will keep up until at least 6pm tonight so we all need to be ready to act. This morning, our communities in Ākitio, Owahanga and Pongoroa have been cut-off. We remain in communication with the residents there keeping them informed and understanding their situation.  We are supporting Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua who have set up a Civil Defence Centre in Dannevirke where anyone who is anxious or scared can come to for assistance and I encourage those in need to make their way there”.


Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua have set up a Civil Defence Centre at the Dannevirke Sports Centre on Anderson Street. All residents who need someone to talk to or need comfort can go there.  Food, warmth and shelter is available for those that need it or anyone who is unable to make it home.


Roads throughout the district are being affected with slips, flooding and tree obstructions.   Road crews are doing their best to open these roads but conditions are becoming increasingly difficult to work in.  We advise all residents to stay off the roads and only travel if it is essential and to stay home as much as possible.  Ākitio and Pongaroa has been cut off due to flooding. Residents are advised to check the council road status on our website at before travelling on our roads.


Our rivers are all at higher flows with more rain falling.  Rivers in Ākitio, Herbertville and Owahanga are likely to experience unprecedented levels over the course of the day and residents are advised to stay clear of all floodwaters, no matter how shallow or slow flowing it is. Residents in these areas are being advised to move to higher ground via Emergency Mobile Alert and our Antenno app.  Residents who cannot move to higher ground, and who have no family or friends to go to, or residents who cannot return home should call council on 06 374 4080 (North) or 06 376 0110 (South) for further advice.

We are keeping a close eye on river levels across our district and anticipate further inland flooding. We will continue to update our Facebook page and website as necessary. Up-to-date information on river heights and rainfall is available via Horizons 24-hour, toll-free Waterline 0508 4 FLOOD (0508 435 663) or

Council has initiated an Emergency Mobile text alert to residents who will be prone to flooding with detailed advice on where to go, what to take and what to look out for and this has been replicated on our Antenno app to those communities.


Due to the rainfall and power cuts, the Dannevirke water and wastewater treatment plant is becoming overloaded.

To help minimise the strain to our wastewater treatment, Dannevirke residents are requested to refrain from flushing toilets as much as possible.

For those residents on tanked water, please take extra precautions due to the risks of poor water quality.


Powerlines across our district are taken care of by PowerCo and ScanPower and we encourage residents to report issues if there is imminent danger such as fallen powerlines by calling calling PowerCo on 0800 769 372 or ScanPower on 0800 80 80 39.  Some communities are already experiencing power outages and the power companies are doing their best to restore power.


When there is danger to personal safety, residents are advised to call 111 if life or personal safety is at risk. This includes if there is a fire, if people are trapped by floodwater, slips or fallen trees that are creating immediate danger and people need to be evacuated. If there is no immediate emergency, please keep emergency lines free for those who need them.


For information on State Highways, including Saddle Road, Balance Road and Pahiatua Track, please visit the Waka Kotahi website and refer to their journey planner at


School are opening or closing at their discretion and residents are advised to contact their local school or check their website for updates.

Residents can also stay up to date with announcements via the Ministry of Education’s Facebook page