Cyclone Gabrielle General Update 6

Published 15 Feb 2023

It has been a long night for many of us as we deal with the impacts of cyclone Gabrielle. The rain continues to fall, and we are not out of the woods yet. The Tararua District remains under the National State of Emergency. We have had a skeleton team working late and on call through the night in our Emergency Operations Centre. We are now back at full capacity this morning. The Civil Defence Centre at the Dannevirke Sports Centre has been doing a fantastic job assisting people in the community who need support. They are open for everyone who needs support during this challenging time.

While the brunt of the storm is behind us, it is not over for us yet. It will be days, weeks and years before roads return to normal. Bridges have been damaged and there are large slips and washouts through the district. Our teams are on the ground assessing damage and planning the clean-up of our district. Many roads across the district remain closed and some we are expecting this to be the case for some time yet. It will take months, if not years for our roading network to recover from the damage. We thank you for your patience during this challenging time as we get our initial recovery underway. We will continue to update our roading page as updates become available. Some roads are opening as surface flooding recedes.

The priority of our teams is to reconnect our cut-off communities. Several roads will be cleared for teams to access so we can reach people who need it. However, these roads will not be open to the public. As roads are open for the public, it will be updated on the website. Please check our website for roading updates and refrain from travelling on roads that are CLOSED.

Current Road Status | Tararua District Council (

While we continue to deal with the storm's impacts, a few key points we would like to highlight:

  • If it is safe to do so, please check on your neighbours. Our welfare teams will be contacting those they can reach today. There will still be several people we won't be able to reach due to telecommunications being down. So, we are asking that if it is safe for you to do so, please check on your neighbours. If they have welfare needs, please contact council so we can assist. You can reach us on our contact numbers or if you cannot get through, send us a message here on Facebook.
  • Our supermarkets are doing their best to support our communities. They too are dealing with disruptions in their operations due to the storm. Please shop as normal and be kind to staff. Any supply issues are way beyond their control and affecting the whole country.
  • Yesterday a helicopter was deployed to deliver urgent medical supplies to one of our cut-off communities. Later today, a helicopter will be deployed to undertake a recon flight of the Ākitio, Herbertville, Pongaroa area to gain a greater understanding of the situation at hand.
  • Dannevirke's wastewater treatment plant remains overwhelmed. We continue to urge the community to be mindful of their water usage and the wastewater they are putting into the system. Please refrain from the use of washing machines, dishwashers and flushing of toilets where necessary.
  • The Civil Defence Centre has been established by Ngāti Kahungunu at the Dannevirke Sports Centre. This is open to anyone who needs it. We encourage those that need support and can get to the sports centre, to do so. There is a team there that can assist with all your needs.
  • Above all, please be kind to each other. Where it is safe to do so, please check on your neighbours and lend a hand to those who need it. If you or anyone you are in contact with has any direct welfare needs, please contact council.