Te Rākau Whakamarumaru

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management

Emergency management for the Tairāwhiti district

Cyclone Gabrielle impact across our region

The national state of emergency over Tairāwhiti ended 14 March. One month on from the declared local state of emergency at 9.45am Monday 13 February, that was superseded by a national state of emergency at 8.45am on Tuesday 14 February.

Gabrielle was a Category 3 tropical cyclone originating from the Coral Sea that tracked towards the north-east of the North Island of New Zealand. The most severe weather impacted Tairāwhiti on Sunday 12 February and Monday 13 February then reduced intensity.

At the peak of the event, the Waipaoa River water level reached 12.8m; the Waiapu River reached 8m, which is the highest level recorded since 1975; and the Te Arai River at 4.9m, the highest recorded since 1983. The Hikuwai River reached around 14m for context Cyclone Bola level was 14.3m.
Over Sunday and Monday Cyclone Gabrielle brought 547mm to Raparapaririki (Waiapu) the highest rainfall in the district, and 500mm to Mangapoike which is by the water supply dam in Waingake.

Power and fibre optic connection was lost meaning no broadband internet, cellphone service and caused Eftpos and ATM machines to go offline. The main highways into the district were also closed, all this caused a number of issues across the region

For all the recovery related information

Please see our Flood Recovery webpage

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MetService weather alerts

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Civil Defence information and pages

Disasters happen any time - are you prepared?

It's important you're ready to cope on your own for up to 3 days or more. Here's a guide for what you need as a minimum:

  • An emergency plan - where to meet family and how to contact one another if separated.
  • Prepare a grab bag of essential items.
  • Enough food in your home to last 2-3 days.
  • Know where to get water, if your usual supply is not available.
  • Alternative lighting - a torch with spare batteries or a wind up one, gas lantern or light-sticks.
  • Battery operated or wind up radio and spare batteries - don't forget your car radio as a last resort.
  • First aid kit, make sure it includes any essential medications.
  • Blankets, survival blankets or warm waterproof clothing.
  • Alternative cooking methods, BBQ or gas cooker.
  • Store important family documents where you can get them easily.

For more information - Get ready

Emergency status and what they mean

No Civil Defence emergency

Always be prepared, a sudden event can occur at any time.

Weather warning

When MetService issue a new warning the status will change to 'Weather Warning' when the event actually starts the Civil Defence status will change to 'Alert or Activated' depending on the events severity.

Alert or Activated

We've been alerted to a possible situation and Civil Defence is in a monitoring and information gathering mode:

  • MetService and the event has started, or
  • Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, or
  • Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, or
  • Other warning systems such as telemetry / flood warning.

Declared emergency

A state of local emergency declared under section 68 or section 69 of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002. An emergency means a situation that:

  • is the result of any happening, whether natural or otherwise, including, without limitation, any explosion, earthquake, eruption, tsunami, land movement, flood, storm, tornado, cyclone, serious fire, leakage or spillage of any dangerous gas or substance, technological failure, infestation, plague, epidemic, failure of or disruption to an emergency service or a lifeline utility, or actual or imminent attack or warlike act; and
  • causes or may cause loss of life or injury or illness or distress or in any way endangers the safety of the public or property in New Zealand or any part of New Zealand; and
  • cannot be dealt with by emergency services, or otherwise requires a significant and coordinated response under the Act.

State of National Emergency

Declared under Section 66 of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002.