Response efforts connecting isolated communities
Published on 20 February 2023
Food packs, bottled water and other essential supplies have been delivered to isolated communities across the district through the combined effort of iwi, hapū, Civil Defence teams, NZ Police, FENZ, NZ Defence Force, council staff and a large number of volunteers with the support of community-led centres.
Widespread power outages caused by wind damage and heavy rain created the biggest challenge of Cyclone Gabrielle in the Far North with the impact causing issues with council water treatment plants, cellphone towers and to communities cut off with limited access to food.
Since Friday 17 February, 748 food packs and 60 sanitary packs have been dropped to 47 locations with the support of 39 community–led centres. Food packs included bottled water, rice, soup, tinned meat, canned goods, flour, sugar, oil, toiletries, nappies, formula, sanitary pads, as well as cat and dog food.
Staff continue to assess the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle as the council transitions into the recovery phase. No further food packs will be distributed now that roads, shops, and other services are open.
At the height of the cyclone 29 roads were closed or partially closed in the Far North, but by this morning (Monday 20 February) only two roads remained closed. With access to the Far North no longer an issue, the council is focusing on supporting the communities still experiencing power cuts. Approximately 480 homes are without power as of Monday 20 February.
As part of the transition into recovery Far North Kahika (Mayor) Moko Tepania has established a Mayoral relief fund to assist people affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. If you need to report cyclone related issues, please use the dedicated Request for Service link or call us on 0800 920 029.
Image 1. Five Field Officers loading up basic supplies to send out to people including Marae feeding 60 people.
Image 3. A production line was set up
Image 4. NZDF to drop off kai and water to North Hokianga and also inspect lines along South Hokianga along with crew from our New Zealand Response Teams - NZRT and Civil Defence Northland.