Cyclone Gabrielle - What support is available and where you can get help
This factsheet provides information about the various support available to those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle outside Auckland.
Information about support for those affected in the Auckland Region is available on the Civil Defence website: https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/resources/news-and-events/news-and-events/auckland-severe-weather-what-support-is-available-and-where-can-you-get-help/
If your life is at risk, phone 111.
Electricity retailers are working to help flood and cyclone-affected customers with a raft of support measures, including bill relief, fast-track services, and credit extensions. Contact your retailer to discuss what help is available.
Find contact information for your electricity retailer (.pdf 55kb)
Read electricity retailer frequently asked questions (.pdf 44kb)
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Foreign Nationals requiring assistance should contact their Embassy or High Commission.
Contact details can be found at https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/embassies/
Visitors to New Zealand should contact their travel insurer if their travel has been disrupted.
Civil Defence Centres are open across affected regions for those who need to evacuate and cannot stay with friends or whānau. Please bring with you any essential items you may need, including medication, warm clothing, and baby items.
For an up-to-date list of Civil Defence Centres, visit your local Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Website.
For those unable to reach a Civil Defence Centre, please contact your local Civil Defence Emergency Management Group to discuss your options.
Support and assistance is available if you've been directly affected by the recent severe weather.
Civil Defence Payments are available for people in some areas affected by the cyclone.
You don’t have to be on a benefit to qualify for a Civil Defence Payment, and non-residents may be eligible. In most cases it doesn’t matter what your income is or what assets you have.
Work and Income can help with:
- emergency food, clothing and bedding if yours has been damaged or destroyed
- loss of income due to an inability to work caused by Cyclone Gabrielle
- costs if you’ve had to leave your home
- a payment if you have evacuees staying with you in places such as a private home, marae or community centers
There are also lots of ways Work and Income can help with other urgent and essential costs if you’re on a benefit or low income. Everyone’s circumstances are different so what you qualify for, and if you need to pay the money back, depends on your situation.
Call Work and Income on 0800 400 100, or see our website: workandincome.govt.nz
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has activated the Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) to assist people who are unable to return to their homes to find suitable temporary accommodation.
TAS can help you find temporary accommodation now or in the future. You can also reach out to TAS if you are staying in emergency accommodation or with friends or whānau and, think you will need longer-term accommodation while your home is repaired, rebuilt or you are unable to access your home.
Register your details via our website www.tas.mbie.govt.nz or call 0508 754 163 to discuss your needs.
Our team will contact you to assess your needs and work with you to help you find suitable temporary housing.
There is a cost for temporary accommodation and the TAS team will work with every household who needs the service. If you are uninsured, or your insurance policy doesn’t cover temporary accommodation, you may be eligible for financial assistance. Our coordinators can advise you which agencies may provide financial support for the event that has damaged your home.
If you are the tenant or landlord of a rental property www.tenancy.govt.nz has information on your rights and obligations after a natural disaster.
Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups are leading engagement with iwi, hapu and Māori community groups across affected areas. This includes assistance with needs assessments, resourcing, aligning with the official response and information management. Te Puni Kōkiri and other agencies are assisting this effort.
Ministry for Pacific Peoples is the Crown’s principal advisor on policies and interventions aimed at improving outcomes for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa. We have strong networks with Pacific communities around the country and expertise in understanding of Pacific people, customs, and values influence public policy, programme, and service decisions affecting Pacific Aotearoa.
Ministry for Pacific Peoples are actively reaching out to Pacific leaders, communities, and service providers to gather information.
The Ministry for Ethnic Communities will continue to send out various communications to all our communities outlining support available for them.
The Ministry for Ethnic Communities will also continue liaising with key agencies to ensure that specific needs are met for ethnic communities such as language accessibility needs, culturally appropriate accommodation, food, prayer spaces.
Check out the Ministry’s website for information on Cyclone and Flood support.
Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People have advised the following:
- If you are impacted personally, please 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
- Disabled people and whānau can contact Whakarongorau Aotearoa, New Zealand Telehealth Services if you need support on 0800 111 213, Text 8988. Or access it with the New Zealand Relay Service at www.nzrelay.co.nz.
- If you are going to a Civil Defence Centre with assist dogs, you should take them with you. Please remember other essential items you may need, such as devices, medicine, warm clothing, and baby items
The Community Support Package for people impacted by North Island floods and Cyclone Gabrielle includes support for disabled people, community groups and other providers.
Information on this package of support for disabled people and their whānau is available at https://www.msd.govt.nz/what-we-can-do/disability-services/disabled-support-cyclone-gabrielle.html
Your animals are your responsibility. You need to include them in your planning in the event of an emergency.
- If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you – if you can do so safely – or take them to a safe shelter place.
- If you have to leave your animals behind, make sure they’re in a secure and sheltered place either inside or outside your home.
- If you have livestock or horses in paddocks near waterways that have the potential to flood (streams, rivers etc.), move them to higher ground.
For more information see the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) factsheet: Animals affected by flood - www.mpi.govt.nz/animals-in-emergencies
Animal welfare concerns
Please contact your local CDEM Group to log any animal welfare concerns. MPI will follow up on animal welfare calls.
If your animals need veterinary treatment, contact your veterinary clinic.
For requests for assistance with livestock, lifestyle blocks or feed phone Federated Farmers on 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)
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, INDEPENDENT ADVICE IS AVAILABLE
The New Zealand Claim Resolution Service is available to help people navigate the claim process. This is a free, impartial service provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Homeowners impacted by any natural disasters who would like to discuss their insurance claim with NZCRS can call 0508 624 327, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nzcrs.govt.nz
EQCover for this event
EQCover provides the following:
- Landslip damage, EQCover available for damage to house and land
- if the house is damaged by the landslide, cover available up to the building cap (up to $150k or $300k, depending on policy renewal date)
- cover for repair or reinstatement of some residential land, up to the value of the insured land.
- Flood and storm damage, EQCover only applies to insured land, with private insurers generally providing cover for homes.
- removal of flood debris such as silt and fallen trees
Land claims can take some time to resolve and communication between impacted people and their insurer is critical. Information that may be useful for homeowners are in links below:
- Householders' Guide to EQCover– overview of how EQCover works, what is and isn't covered, and how EQCover claims are settled.
- Householders' Guide to Residential Land– overview of how EQCover works for insured residential land, what is and isn't covered
Specific guidance (these can be printed, as needed)
- Land Cover – Storms and Floodsfactsheet – how EQCover works for storm or flood damage to insured residential land
- EQCover – Land claimsfactsheet – steps involved in an EQCover land claim, people involved and how settlements are calculated
If you are the tenant or landlord of a rental property, you can find information on your rights and obligations at www.tenancy.govt.nz or by phoning 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).
Guidance for this severe weather event is available on the Education website and will be updated as the situation changes, please check this web page for updates: Severe weather event: Cyclone Gabrielle update – Education in New Zealand
We encourage parents and caregivers to check with their school or early learning service about whether they have been affected by the weather event and when they plan to open. The Ministry of Education supports all schools and early learning services to help them in their recovery efforts.
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 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.
Health care services are continuing to provide care if you need it.
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 hours, either directly or through an after-hours duty GP. Most GPs who would normally be open at the weekend have been able to open usual.
For urgent, less serious, health concerns when your doctor is unavailable, contact your local accident and medical centre. A list of these is available on Healthpoint. Community pharmacies can support you if you don’t have your regular prescription medications. A list of open pharmacies can be found on Healthpoint.
For general health advice, or if you’re just not sure where you need to go to seek help, call Healthline 0800 611 116.
For help with anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, call or text Need to Talk? on 1737 to speak to a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People can also reach out to their usual health practitioner for support.
Please be extra careful if you are travelling as there may be road closures still in place; check ahead to make sure your normal route is open and safe to use.
The following information will also help you with general wellbeing.
The importance of trying to get enough sleep during these challenging times
- Good tips here: https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/healthy-living/sleep/sleep-tips/ (this is a national DHB endorsed health site)
The importance of explaining what is going on to children – talking to them and listening to them
- Good tips here: https://www.kidshealth.org.nz/coping-natural-disaster
Mental Well-being options
- Anxiety is very common during an emergency event such as a flooding and evacuations. This is a normal response to a very stressful situation. Talking to people and helping others can be both therapeutic and useful.
- For more tips and support, go to https://allsorts.org.nz/
- If you need further support for yourself or for others:
- call your general practice, after-hours GP practice or Healthline on 0800 611 116
- free-call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor
- Alcohol Drug Helpline – Call 0800 787 797 to speak with a trained counsellor
- in an emergency, call 111
Published: Feb 14, 2023, 5:09 AM