Cyclone Gabrielle Update 24 - General Update and Key Messages

Published 2 March 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
  • Last 24 hours
  • Update on weather, roads, water, and power
  • Other key information


Our main priorities are now:

  1. Communications
  2. Planning for transition to recovery
  3. Welfare support
  4. Road data collection


Yesterday, 1 March, Council teams provided supplies to residents in Ākitio, River Road, Coast Road, along Sugarloaf Road/Pongaroa area.


Council continues to monitor weather watches and river levels throughout the district.  There are currently no weather warnings or watches issued for the Tararua District.


Key Message: Roads to our affected coastal regions are still very vulnerable, even more so after the recent rains.  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. It will also further degrade road conditions and hamper response efforts. Please do not travel on closed roads.

The Tararua Alliance has completed 95% of its network inspection, identifying damaged roads and bridges, assessing the severity and prioritising repairs.  They hope to have the inspections completed by Friday 3 March.

Slips are still occurring on our roads. The Tararua Alliance cleared a few new slips yesterday on Route 52 between Weber and Pongaroa but were able to keep the road open.  Further slips occurred on a closed section of River Road. Sugarloaf Road also had a new slip. The fact that new slips are occurring on both open and closed roads re-enforces our messaging about driving carefully and checking our current road status.

Despite the new slips, The Tararua Alliance continues to open roads and there are now only 12 closed roads. This total may fluctuate over the coming days as slips are still occurring.

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


Key Message:  Water conservation is important for all water supplies.  Active water conservation reduces the need for council to raise water restrictions further.  The Tararua District Council website has a number of useful water saving tips on the website which can be found at:

Pongaroa: The Pongaroa water supply has been operating effectively.

Ākitio: The Ākitio water supply has been operating effectively.

Dannevirke: Dannevirke is still on alternate days water restrictions. Water is being supplied from both the impounded supply and directly from the river.  Although the Tamaki River flow and level has decreased, the small amounts of rain that occur keep spiking turbidity levels in the river.  When that happens, water is drawn from the impounded water supply.  This has resulted in not being able to recover the impounded water supply volume as quickly as we would like.  Good water conservation techniques are required by all residents.


Work continues by Scanpower to bring power back to customers on Bolton Road, Ormondville.  One customer has been provided with a generator to get through until the repairs are completed, this is expected to be tomorrow, Friday 3 March.

Treesmart have cleared the remaining trees on the Ormondville Te Uri Road and the high voltage conductors on that route will be re-strung this week.

It is expected that full power will be restored this week around the Ormondville Te Uri/Mangahei Road and Bolton Road areas.


Work and Income – Civil Defence Payments: Work and Income have a number of ways in which to help with the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle. If you have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, you may be able to get a Civil Defence Payment.  To apply call 0800 400 100 (7am to 5pm) or go to:

Temporary Accommodation Services (TAS): 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: Information on how to apply for support from this fund will become available soon.

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: