Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Up next
Listen live on

Cyclone Gabrielle: Who should I contact if I need help?

Luke Kirkness, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 Feb 2023, 3:20PM

Cyclone Gabrielle: Who should I contact if I need help?

Luke Kirkness, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 Feb 2023, 3:20PM

This information provides details about the support available to people affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

It comes after the Government declared a National State of Emergency to assist in the response to the cyclone.

People are encouraged to follow the advice of Civil Defence and emergency services, as well as keep up to date with MetService weather forecasts.

Civil Defence centres are open across the region and can be contacted on:

  • Hawke’s Bay Emergency Management: 06 835 9200
  • Hawke’s Bay Regional Council: 06 835 9200
  • Napier City Council: 06 835 7579
  • Central Hawke’s Bay District Council: 06 857 8060
  • Hastings District Council: 06 871 5000
  • Wairoa District Council: 06 838 7309

Local updates are being provided on the Hawke’s Bay Emergency Management website: https://www.hbemergency.govt.nz/.

Healthcare services

All hospitals, including emergency departments, remain open. If you are seriously unwell and need emergency care, please dial 111.

For less critical non-emergency care, people can continue to phone their GP in the first instance. Phones will be managed 24/7 either directly or through an after-hours duty GP.

Open GP centres: https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/gps-accident-urgent-medical-care/hawkes-bay/.

Open pharmacies: https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/pharmacy/hawkes-bay/.

Disabled people and whānau can contact Whakarongorau Aotearoa, New Zealand Telehealth Services if needing support on 0800 111 213 or by texting 8988. Or, access it with the New Zealand Relay Service at www.nzrelay.co.nz.

Any disabled people impacted personally are told to contact emergency services on 111. If you have difficulty hearing or talking on the phone, try the 111 TXT service to contact Fire, Ambulance or Police: https://www.police.govt.nz/111-txt.

Cleaning up after a flood

It is important to clean and dry your house and everything in it. Floodwater may contain sewage and other hazardous materials which can contaminate your home.

If your gas meter has been affected by water or debris, contact your gas supplier.

  • Always work safely when cleaning up after a flood by wearing protective clothing and washing your hands thoroughly after clean-up and before handling food
  • Keep children and animals away from previously flooded areas until they have been cleaned and made safe
  • Take photos and videos of the damage and anything that needs to be removed before starting the clean-up, for insurance purposes
  • Clean up, drain and dry inside as quickly as possible. Take out everything that is wet and that can be moved – floor coverings, furniture, bedding, clothing, etc. and put them outside to dry when the weather is fine
  • Throw away all food and drinking water that has come in contact with floodwater, including things stored in containers
  • Do not eat garden produce if the soil has been flooded. Clean up and remove debris and sprinkle gardens with lime.

Financial support

Support and assistance can be made available if you’ve been directly affected by the severe weather through Work and Income.

In emergencies, it can help with costs if you don’t have any other way of paying. Work and Income can help with:

  • Medical costs
  • Bedding
  • Food
  • Power bills
  • Repairs or replacing appliances
  • Loss of income because you can’t work.

What you qualify for will depend on your situation and you may have to pay the money back.

For details, call 0800 400 100 for help with emergency costs from 8am–5pm.

Insurance and lodging a claim

If your home, car, or contents have been damaged by the severe weather, take photos before you remove or repair anything and report it to your insurance company as soon as possible. You only need to contact your insurance company, and they’ll let you know what you need to do next, how to claim and – if applicable – how EQ Cover from Toka Tū Ake EQC works.

If you need to make your home safe, sanitary, secure, and weather-tight, please record the work done, take before and after photos, and keep copies of the bills you paid.

If you don’t have house insurance but do have contents insurance, speak to your insurer about what is covered. Make sure you take lots of photos and keep good records before you throw anything out, where possible.

Free and independent advice is available through Residential Advisory Service. You can contact [email protected] or ring 0800 777 299, 03 379 7027 for more information.

EQCover is available for damage to houses and land following landslips:

  • If the house is damaged by the landslide, cover is available up to the building cap (up to $150,000 or $300,000, depending on the policy renewal date)
  • Cover for repair or reinstatement of some residential land, up to the value of the insured land
  • Removal of flood debris such as silt and fallen trees.

For flood and storm damage, EQCover only applies to insured land, with private insurers generally providing cover for homes:

Householders’ guide to EQCover: https://www.eqc.govt.nz/our-publications/householders-guide-to-eqcover/.

Householders’ Guide to Residential Land: https://www.eqc.govt.nz/our-publications/householders-guide-to-residential-land/.

Animal welfare

Please contact your local CDEM Group to log any animal welfare concerns. MPI will follow up on animal welfare calls.


For requests for assistance with livestock, lifestyle blocks or feed, phone Federated Farmers at 0800 327 646.

Foreign nationals

Foreign nationals requiring assistance should contact their embassy or High Commission.

Contact details can be found at https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/embassies/.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples is actively reaching out to Pacific leaders, communities, and service providers to gather information, and if you require support, please email [email protected] or visit: www.mpp.govt.nz.

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you