Cyclone Gabrielle Update 4

Published 14 Feb 2023

The Mayor declared a State of Emergency for the Tararua District 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.  This State of Emergency will be in force for 24 hours but will be reviewed as required.

Later in the morning the Tararua District was incorporated into the National State of Emergency. This inclusion has been strongly supported by the Mayor.  This is only the third time a National State of Emergency has been declared in our country.

During a District State of Emergency council would mostly be operating and coping with its own resources. The move to being part of the National State of Emergency provides additional resources and assistance, such as support from the New Zealand Defence Force should we require it.

This declaration will enable Central Government to support our district, provide additional resources as they are needed, and help set the priorities across the country for the response.

A National State of Emergency gives the National Controller legal authority to apply resources across the country, including the Tararua District.

The decision to become part of the National State of Emergency was not taken lightly, the current weather event is being hailed as a 1 in 50 year event and most of our rivers are the highest they have been since 2004 when Horizons Regional Council began monitoring our river levels.  Indeed, the Waihi River, which is about 10 kilometres inland on SH52 previously had a record level of 4.2 metres. Today, that level reached 7.5 metres. River levels will continue to rise as we receive further rainfall