Cyclone Gabrielle Update 25 - General Update and Key Messages

Published 3 March 2023

As of 8am this morning, the state of national emergency for the Tararua district has been terminated. Our district will now move into a 90-day transition period until the recovery period starts. In

This update will cover:

  • Key priorities
  • Last 24 hours
  • Update on weather, roads, water, and power/telecommunications
  • Other key information


Our main priorities are now:

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


Key Message: The Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty, announced this morning that the Government has ended the states of national emergency declared on 14 February over the Northland, Auckland, and Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group areas and the Tararua District.  Notice of a national transition period over these areas came into effect immediately which allows for the transition from response to recovery.

The transition period provides local Civil Defence teams with the powers they may need during the early stages of the recovery, such as clearing roads and disposing of dangerous materials. The national transition period also enables remedial works to be carried out, for example to restore access to cut-off properties or make temporary infrastructure repairs.

The Mayor, Tracey Collis said “We welcome the transitional period to recovery, this allows us to lead our recovery at a district level but with central government support.  This is going to a long-term effort and the effects will be felt far into the future.  I want to take a moment to acknowledge the efforts and generosity of everyone that has helped or contributed in some way in what has proven to be our districts most significant civil defence event”

Key Message: National media are reporting on shortages of food-stuffs due to the cyclone effects on fruit and vegetable growers, particularly those in the Hawkes Bay area.  Supermarkets are likely to import the demand deficit from overseas to ensure supply and demand is met. Supermarkets are asking consumers to shop normally.


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 remaining inspections completed by the end of today, Friday 3 March.

Slips are still occurring on our roads. Spur Road was closed yesterday due to multiple slips from Marainanga Road to Huia Road. 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.

The Mangatuna Road is now open from Weber Road to the bus turn around point for the school bus service.

Coast Road between Pongaroa and Glen Co Station is expected to be opened this evening, 3 March after final excavations at the four-mile bush area are completed.  The school bus driver has been advised to conduct a solo drive along the route before committing to driving with school children on board.

Despite the ongoing work to reopen roads, our total number of closed roads increased yesterday from 12 to 13 due to further slips. This total will continue to 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:


PowerCo report a stable network and are now assessing tree proximity to power lines and removing trees identified as potential hazards to power lines.

Residents that still have no landline connectivity should call their service providers by mobile phone in order to register a service call.


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:

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 .

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.