Cyclone Gabrielle: Gisborne's water supply still 'extremely' low, but EFTPOS and Wi-Fi returning

Gisborne's water supply remains at "extreme alert level" as officials scramble to pump more water into the city and residents are urged to keep conserving. 

But there was some good news for the region on Sunday - EFTPOS and Wi-Fi are slowly starting to come back. 

An 800-metre section of blue pipe arrived, and it could prove crucial to keep Gisborne's water flowing.

"The idea is to try and get more water into Gisborne. We're hoping this is going to increase the capacity maybe 15 percent more," said Adrian Van Zyl, utilities divisional manager at Fulton Hogan.

Tapping off a bore, the temporary fix will send more water towards town from Wednesday, adding to restricted supplies. 

"We've got to get the pipe in the trench, then we need to do a pressure test and disinfect to make sure it's all clean and clear," Van Zyl said.

This is the big problem. The city's main water supply pipeline from Waingake Water Plant is buckled and broken, and work is underway to reconnect crucial pieces. 

"They're being cut, re-welded, put back together, so bent back straight with new steel. Hopefully we will be putting those back on sometime later next week," said Dave Wilson, director of community lifelines at Gisborne District Council.

But in the meantime, supply is still critically low and the city is on extreme alert, with the Waipaoa Plant being relied on. 

It is Gisborne's only water supply at the moment. It's a backup supply, usually used in the summer. It can only do about 40 percent of what Gisborne residents would usually use in a day.

Connectivity has been another big issue. Fibre optic cables that should be buried in the ground below are starting to become visible above ground. But on Sunday came a major reconnection. 

"Most of our residents would have received the good news that Wi-Fi is back. It's been a long few days with no connectivity, but slowly, slowly the fibre is coming back," said Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz.

Central city Gisborne residents have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle in very different ways.

Many homes were untouched by floodwaters but sit just streets away from those who have seen the worst.