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Whakaoranga Waipuketanga

Flood recovery advice

Numerous agencies, groups and individuals at every level contribute to the Tairāwhiti district recovery.

This information relates to recovery following cyclones Gabrielle and Hale in 2023.

Future of severely affected land

Some areas badly hit by Cyclone Gabrielle have been designated under a group of categories set by Government depending on the extent of damage and the potential for rebuilding. The categories relate to low, medium and high risk.

This Government classification is separate to Council’s red-sticker assessments and has major implications on whether people can return to their properties or not. For more information on Future of Severely Affected Land FOSAL

If you need advice or assistance

We continue to assist communities affected by the severe weather and flood events across Tairāwhiti. If you need assistance please contact us

On this page

Rates relief

If your home, business or property has been hit hard by Cyclone Gabrielle

Including if your property has been red or yellow stickered, we have rates remission and rates relief options available

Donations to the Disaster Relief Trust

We continue to receive very kind offers to donate to those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. We appreciate all your support, any donations are gratefully accepted and can be made to the Disaster Relief Trust account.

The Disaster Relief Trust is a registered charity and every donation made will be tax deductible - this is being run by Gisborne District Council.

The funds will be distributed to those who meet the criteria.

Donations can be made to the Disaster Relief Trust

Account Name: Gisborne District Council
Account: 03 0638 0502288 00
For overseas payments - SWIFT code: WPACNZ2W
Reference: Disaster

The Tairāwhiti Mayoral Relief Fund closed for applications on 27 April 2023.

The fund was to help communities, individuals, families and community organisations affected by Cyclone Gabrielle to get immediate access to funds to assist with recovery.  For information on the distribution of the funds

Owner of a flood-affected yellow stickered house

For owners of a flood-affected, yellow stickered house. Building inspectors have checked your house and assessed it as 'restricted' access only. This is shown by a yellow sticker placed on the building. This allows access to remove household goods, water-damaged belongings, water-damaged wall and floor linings and insulations, and to remove silt from under the house.

You may occupy your house before all flood-damaged repairs have been completed, if the building is safe and dry enough. See details below.

What does a yellow sticker mean?

Yellow sticker (placard) indicates the house has suffered moderate damage. Flood water may have made it unhealthy, or it may be threatened by land movement. The placard will state what access is allowed.

Having your home yellow stickered can be traumatic, but there is support available to help guide you through it.

What needs to be done to get back into my house?

Make sure you contact your insurer as soon as you can.

Record the damage. Make lists and take photos or videos of all damage including flooded property, carpets, soft furniture and any other ruined or contaminated items.

  • Remove wet wall linings and insulation to allow framing to dry out. Talk to your insurer or contact a builder.
  • Remove all damaged flooring, floor linings and wet floor coverings - carpet or lino. Note if the lino is very old it may contain asbestos, see advice.
  • Remove flood-damaged furniture, whiteware, joinery. This includes kitchen and bathroom cabinets if they are water-damaged.
  • Get the power source checked for safety by a registered electrician. If you have an upper floor unaffected by flooding, isolate the power in the damaged area if possible.
  • Get the gas system checked by a gasfitter. Check if bottles have moved, they may have floated and the couplings may be damaged.
  • Check for any structural damage to the building. Foundations or piles may have moved. Either contact us or a qualified professional.
  • Remove silt from under the floor. Wooden floors require 550mm clearance to the ground and there must be adequate crawl space under buildings – approximately 250mm to 300mm under the bearers.
    You may be able to occupy the building before the silt is removed, as long as there is adequate subfloor ventilation.
    • If your building is well off the ground, you may not need to do this step.
  • If there are trees threatening a house, these may need to be removed.

If you live in a rural area:

  • Check gully traps and that the main drain to the septic tank is clear of silt.
  • Check that the septic tank is not filled with silt.
  • Check the water supply pumps. Most are under the floor and may have been under water and could need replacing or servicing.

A house will typically take several days or weeks to dry out enough to allow you to move back in again.

To help speed up the drying process, ventilate everyday by opening doors and windows.

Big industrial fans or dehumidifiers will also help. But please make sure you have the electrical supply into the house checked first.

You can move back in to your house before you re-line with GIB.

Most of the repairs won't require building consent, but contact our Building Services team first. They will check the moisture content first before you replace the GIB.

If your house was built after 1990 - please contact our Building Services team on (06) 863 1605 for advice about reinstating the bracing.

Once you think it's dry and the damage or hazard has been removed or repaired

Please contact our Building Services team, they'll review the yellow sticker - call the team on (06) 863 1605

1. Electrical check. Please provide confirmation from a registered electrician.

If you live in a rural area, have you checked that the water pump is working. It may be under the floor and may have been under water.

2. Gas check. Please show us confirmation from a gas fitter

If you have gas bottles, they may have moved.

2. Do you have a safe water supply?

If you live in a rural area, have you checked your water tank?

3. Is your wastewater system working?

If you live in a rural area, has a drainlayer checked your septic tank if it's not working?

4. Is the house dry enough?
5. Is there silt under the house?

We will check that there is adequate ventilation between the silt and floorboards.

6. Has any other threat such as trees been checked or removed?

If all the tests above are clear, we will talk with you above moving back in to your home.

If you're not insured, please contact a welfare agency or you may be eligible for Mayoral Relief funding.

Download - Owner of a Flood-Affected Yellow Stickered House?

Owner of a flood-affected red stickered house

Council will only issue a Red Placard (Red Sticker) when a building is too dangerous to enter following a disaster. The building may be threatened by a slip, undermined by a stream or river scour or have actually been damaged by land movements.

Land movements are especially problematic as they may occur at any time, even after the rain has stopped.

What does a red sticker mean?

Houses may be red stickered if they're deemed uninhabitable when the structure has been affected or threatened by flooding or land movement. The effect of being red stickered means that until Council is satisfied the threat has been removed, you should not be in your property unless it’s to remove valuable possessions or essential items.

Occupants of red stickered houses that are insured should contact insurance providers for alternative accommodation cover.
Contact our building inspectors if you have any concerns:

  • Mike Elers – 027 685 7552
  • Ian Petty – 027 628 7075

We are very careful when we issue a Red Sticker as it may require the building to be vacated for a considerable length of time until a slip has stabilised. Generally the Red Sticker will state:-

The building must be vacated and remain empty until an assessment has been carried out by a geotechnical professional with either CPEng or PEngGeol qualifications.

At that time, the recommendation may be that the building can be reoccupied or a retaining wall or inground palisade wall is required to stabilize the land.

Both these types of walls require a building consents from Council and must be designed by an CPEng structural engineer.

If this occurs then the occupation restriction will remain in place until the wall has been built and a Code Compliance Certificate is issued.

Insurance and lodging a claim

If you have damage to your home, property or car, contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

Subject to Section 124 Building Act

The Tairawhiti region, as an area affected by an emergency, has been designated as an area for building management under the Building Act 2004 (section 133BC). This designation came into force at 8.30am on 31 March 2022 and remains until 31 March 2025 unless otherwise relinquished prior.

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 to do next, how to claim and – if applicable - how EQC cover works.

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

If your home is damaged and uninhabitable, ask your insurance provider if you are eligible for a temporary accommodation benefit which is included in most home and content policies.

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've paid.

The Residential Advisory Service (RAS) within MBIE provide advocacy services and advice to homeowners who are navigating insurance claims to remediate damage suffered due to an event.

For more information you can contact: or phone 0800 777 299 or 03 379 7027

Silt removal and disposal

If you need help to clear silt around your house, we can help you whether you’re insured or uninsured.

Please contact us online. Our priority is homes that have been yellow and red stickered, but we know there are more homes in need of help.

The more information you give us is really helpful, then we can ensure you get the right help or advice. We need:

  • Your address and contact phone number
  • If you have insurance - your provider's name
  • Describe where the silt is  - such as around or under your house, garage etc
  • If you know the depth or the square metres it covers.

Email us on with ‘Silt Removal Request’ in the subject line.
Fill in the online eFix form

  • Our primary focus has been to get whānau back into their homes post Cyclone Gabrielle.
  • We have helped remove silt around houses in line with the insurance guidance at the time. This being 8 metres around a residential home, the car garage and sleepout, if there was one there at the time of the event.
  • If you have silt around your residential property that's causing you a concern, please let us know on 0800 653 800.

Our primary focus is to get whānau back into their homes post Cyclone Gabrielle.

If you have silt under your house and are concerned that it's causing issues, please contact us.

Please let us know if you have concerns regardless of whether you're insured or not.

We'll record this and get our building team (if they haven’t already been out to your property) to inspect to see whether the silt needs to be removed.

We'll also check our records to see if you’ve accessed funding or assistance for silt removal.

Our building team will assess clearance between the floor and ground level, before recommending any silt removal.

If you have 550mm or more clearance between the floorboards and the ground - silt removal from under your house may not be considered necessary, unless there's extenuating circumstances.

If the home was built with a clearance less than 550mm - guidance will be provided by our building team.

Homes with concrete ring foundations are difficult. Access under the house can be tricky. These must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

If you remove silt from under your house and stockpile it on your property, Council can arrange this to be removed and disposed of. For further information please contact us on 0800 653 800.

Roading have a programme for clearing silt and debris on roads, drains and culverts.

Contractors are working throughout the region clearing drains and culverts of silt and debris. This is a work in progress, and it will take time to complete. See our our flood-damaged road network

Silt disposal sites

Residential and East Coast

By arrangement only, please call our customer service team on 0800 653 800.

Rural commercial silt disposal

163 Matokitoki Valley Road, Matokitoki Clean Fill and Quarry, open 7am – 4.30pm weekdays.

Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) can help with:

  • Removing debris from properties, fixing and re-installing fencing, cleaning stock troughs, clearing pathways for stock movement etc to enable paddocks to be used for stock grazing.
  • Repairing damage to community assets such as marae, business enterprises located on Māori land used for commercial purposes, community gardens, community halls, public recreational areas.
  • Properties when there's a recognised health and safety concern.
Farmers, growers and communities can self-register for ETFG clean-up help by contacting 0800 787 254

Download the Rural Support Information Sheet

Animal welfare

Feed support

If you're short of feed, support's available to help source supplementary feed or grazing for livestock.

The Feed Coordination Service connects farmers with surplus feed – such as hay, silage, or grazing – to farmers and lifestyle block owners who need it.

Farmers using the service meet the costs of feed and transport. To access feed support:

  • To register your request or if you have feed available, please visit
  • Or you can phone 0800 327 646 option 2 and request a call back.

If your animals need veterinary treatment, contact your own veterinary clinic or find one nearby via the New Zealand Veterinary Association website:

Animal welfare concerns can be logged with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on 0800 008 333.

First Aid Kit for Animals

Financial support

The Lottery Minister’s Discretionary Fund can provide grants to community organisations supporting local communities, or facilities that have been affected by flooding damage.

Funding can be utilised to support initiatives and activities that:

  • assist community organisations that provide support services and have seen an increased demand for their services due to a natural disaster event
  • repair, restore or revitalise community facilities that have been damaged by a natural disaster event
  • provide partnership funding for work with other government agencies or non-profit groups with a shared purpose of supporting communities affected by a natural disaster event.

Making a request

The Lottery Minister’s Discretionary Fund can provide grants to community organisations supporting local communities, or facilities that have been affected by flooding damage.

Contact  Serena Foster, Department of Internal Affairs 0800 824 824 or

Financial support

Ministry of Social Development (MSD) activated Civil Defence payments for loss of livelihood. Payments and can help with:
  • emergency food, clothing and bedding if yours has been damaged or destroyed.
  • accommodation costs if you have been evacuated, or can’t return home.
  • loss of income due to an inability to work caused by the flooding.
Please phone Work and Income for assistance ph: 0800 559 009.

Trust Tairāwhiti – email or ph: 06 867 2640,  apply on their website

Tairāwhiti businesses can apply for a business support grant of up to $40,000 to support their recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle.

Applications for Business Support Grants close midnight Sunday 16 April.

If your business has been adversely affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and meets the eligibility criteria, ensure you get your application submitted before the closing date.
Please note you can only apply once for this grant.

Apply for a business support grant

The criteria to apply for a business support grant:
  • business must be located in the Tairāwhiti region
  • face significant cashflow issues due to continued challenges with customer access, ability to source stock, supply chain issues, inability to operate as usual due to physical damage to equipment or premises, or delays in insurance assessment and repairs
  • be an otherwise viable business both before and after the flooding
  • not have received or be eligible to receive any funding from the MPI recovery fund at the time the business is being considered for a grant under the Business Recovery Grants Programme
  • commit to acting in line with employment law and with due regard to its employees.

Health support / advice
  • Healthline 0800 611 116
  • Need to talk – text or phone 1737

Gisborne office on Palmerston Road ph: 0800 473 566

Qualifying farmers can receive up to $6000 to seek independent financial or business advice. The Farm Business Advice Fund is managed by Rural Support Trusts. Banks are jointly funding the initiative.

Apply through your local Rural Support Trust

This fund provides financial assistance where there is an identified urgent need due to a declared adverse event such as a drought, fire, flood or earthquake.

It's available to individuals, communities and groups, with a particular emphasis on rural women and children.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) ph: 0508 754 163

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) ph: 0800 836 262 or

Support for farmers and growers

Flood recovery resources

Ph 0800 787 254 or

Ph: 021 529 041 Sandra Faulkner

Ph: 0800 233 352 or  Flood recovery support

Ph: 0508 467 869 or Andrew Bristol 021 216 2021

Horticulture NZ

Ph: 0800 327 646 or their website Adverse event information

Federated Farmers - Charlie Reynolds 021 529 126

Ph: 0800 432 479 69 or Flood information

Storm assessments and reports