Tararua District Cyclone Gabrielle Recovery Programme

Published 10 March 2023

Tararua District launches Cyclone Gabrielle Recovery Programme

Tararua District has been responding to the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle since Tuesday 14 February 2023. The district is now moving to a “transition to recovery”.

Recovery is the process of maintaining or re-establishing vital infrastructure and systems following a disaster. The Tararua District Cyclone Gabrielle Recovery Programme is focussed on working together to support our people and communities to recover from the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle, and to build resilience for our future.

Tararua District Council’s Group Manager – Operations, Tina Love, has been assigned to the role of Local Recovery Manager and will be working alongside our iwi partners, Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui-ā-Rua  & Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua, to coordinate and deliver the recovery efforts.

Tina explains “The foundation of the Recovery Programme is the Tararua Community – our recovery effort will be locally led, regionally supported and nationally enabled. Importantly, it will be anchored in community relationships, advocacy and coordination. Our response effort was a sprint, and our recovery will be a marathon.”

The Programme will be achieved through delivering effort across five focus work streams – Built Recovery (roads, bridges etc), Social Recovery (wellbeing and connection), Economic Recovery, Rural Recovery and Natural Recovery (land, rivers, streams etc). Each workstream will coordinate recovery priorities and activities with local iwi and local, regional and national stakeholders.

A Stakeholder Transition Response to Recovery Meeting was held on Wednesday 8 March and attended by Kieran McAnulty, Minister for Emergency Management, Mayor Tracey Collis, local iwi partners and key representatives of many agencies that will support the Tararua District through its recovery phase. The meetings focussed on providing an overview of the impacts and the draft structure for the Recovery Programme. Further meetings will be held to make connections, gather information to inform planning and delivery.

Mayor Tracey believes these meetings are key to developing recovery plans and structures.

“Our biggest resource is our community – he waka eke noa, we’re all in this together – and we need to make sure we’re all paddling our oars at the right time and in the same direction. The recovery will not be simple, the Tararua District is one of many affected by the Cyclone Gabrielle and affected councils will be looking for resources and financial assistance while dealing with wider economic impacts.”

“We have an incredible community who are already working behind the scenes, putting their heads together and making it happen. As we move forward, it’s about continuing this work and making sure that we’re focussing our efforts where they are needed most – i.e. one-on-one visits with affected people and communities, cleaning up our rivers and fixing our most vulnerable roads and bridges, and making sure our communities are aware of government funding that they can access and additional support networks.”