Cyclone Gabrielle: Farming communities feel abandoned as pockets of Napier remain without power

One week on, pockets of Napier are still without power and some farming communities still feel abandoned.

But the city council were able to meet in person for the first time since Cyclone Gabrielle hit, and other places were slowly starting to feel normal again.

People were helping out with donations wherever they could. For pub owner Sarah Kelly, packing parcels and the van to deliver kai to communities in need was a change of pace from pulling pints.

"It's just the smallest things but it's just trying to help wherever we can and look after everyone."

And the donations just kept coming.

"We're just so overwhelmed by how much has been brought in, so we're just trying to sort everything out. There's snacks, milk, so much baking," Kelly said.

And out the back, hot food was being prepared for those without electricity.

The CBD looks much like normal because power has been restored there - but you don't have to travel far for signs of Cyclone Gabrielle. Give-way rules apply at traffic lights as 27 percent of Napier is still without power a week on.

Power is still not on in the main street of Taradale. The shops that are open are using a single generator, but that's not their only issue. Some have been targeted by looters and business owners were reluctant to go on camera for fear they may be targeted again.

Accusations that looting has been carried out by gangs has been refuted by the gangs themselves, who say it could just be members going rogue.

"It could be individuals within the chapter," said Waikato Mongrel Mob leader Sonny Fatupaito.

"I think the gang community should be more productive and constructive in helping. This is an opportunity for them to show their true sense of self-worth with the community."

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster is also downplaying reports that widespread looting is an issue. He said the number of thefts in the region is lower than normal, but domestic violence is what's of real concern.

"In terms of our numbers, it is the family harm that is up at the moment," he said. "I'm told in the vicinity of 60 percent."

When Napier City Council met in person on Monday, there was a strong message from some farmers: "We need help."

"So, there's areas like Tutira, who haven't seen Silverfern Farms, Federated Farmers, the farming support groups, haven't been in contact," said Napier City councillor Ronda Chrystal.

"Because they are desperate. And I had my family on the phone to me this morning in tears, saying that the farming agencies need to get up there and help them. I can tell you guys this because the nation will see it."

While back in the city, there are some silver linings.

"Honestly I think the council's done a really good job after the last floods and clearing all our drains out," one person said.

"The CBD, you know, there were a few streets that flooded, but overall, it was a lot better than the last floods that we had."

At last, some parts of Napier are getting back to some kind of normal.