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The latest from Civil Defence

12.30pm Saturday 18 February, 2023

As connections and utilities slowly come back online, cash remains the most sought-after currency in the district.

More cash is being brought into the region and banks have met with Civil Defence to ensure the ATMs can come back online as soon as possible, which will then be communicated to the public as soon as we know.

Road contractors have been working hard to restore access around and out of the district.

It will be some time before Gisborne people will be able to easily drive to Napier.

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence group controller Ben Green says there’s still a long way to go before everyone has been located, had their needs met and is connected once again.

“We have our work cut out for us, we’re focused on securing a reliable water supply, reaching isolated people and re-establishing phone and internet connections.”

The water situation took a turn for the worse yesterday when the back-up Waipaoa Treatment Plant went down resulting in a text alert being sent out across the district to stop water use immediately.

While the situation has improved slightly, the message remains to restrict use as much as possible, using water only for drinking, hygiene and food preparation.

The backup water plant at Waipaoa is stabilised and flowing but it will take time to fill the depleted reservoirs, says Mr Green.

“The water is treated to New Zealand drinking water standards, so you don’t need to boil it.

“We have a plan in place to ensure we have a supply of drinking water to the city should the treatment plant fail again. This would include key spots around the city where people could bring their own containers to collect water.”

More fuel is expected into the region in the coming days and the $40 fuel cap has been removed.

Mr Green says there’s no food shortage in the city as supermarkets and dairies are now being resupplied daily.

Pak’n Save, Countdown and Wainui Road Four Square can all take Eftpos.

Police say there are around 3500 unaccounted for persons throughout New Zealand, 99 percent of whom are in Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay. They’re keen to stress these are not missing people, rather those who have been unable to be contacted to establish their whereabouts.

So far 529 welfare assessments have been done with more being added daily.

People have started cleaning out damaged furniture and possessions from their flood damaged home.

To support this Aratu, LeaderBrand and Lift4U have opened 3 sites where locals can collect untreated water for cleaning.

  • Optilog NZ Ltd (end of Dunstan Road, Matawhero), Wash’n Go (156 Carnavon Street) and Ngati Porou carpark (corner Huxley and Tyndall roads) will be open Sunday through to Tuesday from 8am til 4pm.
  • A number of waste services and others are heading to Te Karaka today to help people sort through their damaged furniture.

To date 95 homes have been impacted in some way, that we know of, with many more expected to be added to the list as inspectors work their way through the region.


  • SH2 Gisborne – Ōpōtiki is open both ways 7am - 7pm
  • SH2 Gisborne - Wairoa open 7am - 7pm. Expect delays
  • SH2 Wairoa - Napier is closed.
  • SH35 Tolaga Bay - Te Puia Springs is closed
  • Local road information is on our website.

Internet access

  • WIFI to contact friends and family is at Lawson Field Theatre from 9am – 5pm, and outside the Library 8am-5pm over the weekend. There is a 10-minute restriction.
  • Evolution Wireless also have WIFI available at the band rotunda at the end of Reads Quay.
  • Please don’t use the public WIFI for anything other than texts and calls to whānau. It’s not for watching movies, uploading video as it’s slowing the service for others, so please don't.
  • The fibre cable is still out. We are asking for patience until we can get normal communications fully restored.

Cell Phone Capability

  • Many cell phones now have text and call capabilities, and providers are looking to improve this daily.
  • There is limited radius in the current situation, you won’t get fully restored
  • We are working on getting a temporary solution to Ruatorea and Te Puia Springs.


  • Power is back on for most people.
  • Please treat all downed lines as live at all times.

Refuse transfer stations

Gisborne Transfer Station in Innes Street is open this weekend 9.30am to 3.30pm.
They are:

  • Taking flood damaged items - your load of items will be recorded by staff. They’ll take your details, weigh and photograph the load. There is no cost to dispose of flood damaged items
  • Eftpos systems are now back in place
  • General rubbish needs to be separate and will be charged at usual costs.

Te Karaka has a community organised clean-up where the disposal will be managed.

Trevor Jukes – open for clean fill and building waste including wet asbestos. While it’s wet, as in this state it’s not dangerous

Whiteware – we’ll have a plan to pick up flood damaged white ware in coming days.

Building teams

4 teams on the road – focus Te Karaka, Whatatutu, Waimata, Manutuke, Muriwai.

School info

  • Teachers in city schools, if they are able, are asked to report to their schools at 11am on Monday 20 February.
  • School principals, or their nominated representative, are requested to attend a meeting before that at Gisborne Boys’ High at 8.30am on Monday 20 February.

Listen to the radio for updates - these guys are going above and beyond to keep us informed.

  • Radio Ngāti Porou 93.3 or 98.5 FM
  • More FM 98.9 or 90.1
  • Uawa FM 99.3
  • Turanga FM 91.7

Welfare Centres

  • Te Poho o Rawiri Marae is an information hub. Support is available for whanau that are traumatised, need to talk to Ministry of Social Development (MSD) about emergency grants of benefit payments. A registered nurses are available to do health checks for people who can’t visit their GP – Monday to Friday.
  • Waharoa on Peel Street (opp the Library)has mental health support for whanau who have been traumatised, information and welfare support.
  • Manawaru in Elgin Shopping Centre has information for whanau and shuttle to transport people from the Elgin Community into the CBD. Te Kupenga are also at the Elgin Hub for those experiencing trauma and needing physical checks.
  • Te Tini o Porou, Huxley Road talk to Ministry of Social Development (MSD) about emergency grants and benefit payments. Mental health support for whanau who have been traumatised.
  • Emergency food packs available at Supergrans, Te Poho o Rawiri and Te Tini o Porou.

Look out for our pakeke (older people)

They often won’t ask for help and many don’t have transport.

Household items required

For whanau in Te Karaka who have lost all the personal and household items, donations of items that are in good condition are welcome.

They can be dropped off at Te Poho o Rawiri marae.

Cleaning materials are particularly welcome, specifically things that move silt and dirt ie spades, skips, mops, buckets.

Ministry of Social Development payments

* Benefit payments have been made to bank accounts as per usual.

* MSD can support with Civil Defence Payments once they have systems in place

* Work is underway to establish mobile money machines – more details to follow

Contacting Emergency Services

For any emergency or family harm:

  • You can dial 111 from a landline or one of the payphones listed below
  • Alternatively go to the fire station on Palmerston Road or ED in Gisborne Hospital.


  • 176 Gladstone Rd outside Whitcoulls
  • 300 Gladstone Rd outside Z station
  • 37 Peel St outside library
  • 209 Grey St outside Visitor Information Centre
  • Gladstone St corner Lowe St. outside BNZ Bank
  • 274 Gladstone Rd Pak’n Save
  • 14 Ormond Rd corner Fitzherbert St
  • 401 Gladstone Rd outside Caltex station
  • 182 Gladstone Rd corner Bright St outside Whitcoulls
  • 126 Ormond Rd corner Balance St outside shops
  • Wainui Rd corner Maki St outside BP station
  • 92A De Latour Rd corner Turrene St
  • Wainui Rd outside Kaiti Mall near carpark
  • 701 Gladstone Rd outside The Mill
  • Grey St outside NZ Post
  • 344 Ormond Rd outside Mangapapa Garage
  • Lytton Rd corner Potae Ave outside Lytton west shopping centre
  • Childers Rd corner Lytton Rd Outside Shop
  • Oneroa Rd outside Sandbar Wharf Café


Fergusson Drive

Apples ruined


Sheep on stopbank