The desperate search and rescue mission is ongoing in Gisborne and Hawke's Bay after Cyclone Gabrielle, with Prime Minister Chris Hipkins saying people should "be prepared for the likelihood that there will be more fatalities".

Police confirmed the body of a 60-year-old man was found in flood waters overnight, taking the death toll to five, including a child and a volunteer firefighter.

Police still have "grave concerns" for several missing people in Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti.

Thousands of residents are still without power and have been warned they may be without for "some days". Those with power in affected regions are asked to conserve power.

The Government has announced a $2 million support package for the east coast of the North Island.

It comes as MetService has issued thunderstorm watches for parts of the North Island.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in place for Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Taihape until 10pm Thursday.

The weather forecasting agency is expecting localised downpours of 25 to 40mm per hour and hail.

"Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips," MetService.

The thunderstorm activity is predicted to die away overnight.

Official Government advice:

  • Severe impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle are being seen across the upper North Island
  • If it is safe to do so, stay at home. Avoid all non-essential travel
  • Have an evacuation plan in case your home becomes unsafe to stay in
  • If you have evacuated, please stay where you are until you are given the all-clear to go home
  • Stay away from floodwater and never drive through floodwaters
  • Check in on neighbours and family members if it is safe to do so
  • Please stay up to date with the forecasts from MetService and continue to follow the advice of civil defence and emergency services.Advice on how to get prepared, including in te reo Māori, is at
  • Call 111 if you feel in any danger. Stay safe - don't take any chances.

What else you need to know:

  • The Government has declared a national state of emergency
  • Tens of thousands of people across the Far North, Northland, Auckland, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay are without power. Civil Defence says it could be "up to a week" before power is fully restored in Hawke's Bay
  • Severe thunderstorm watches are in place for Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Taupō, Rotorua and Bay of Plenty on Thursday
  • Residents in Gisborne and parts of central Hawke's Bay are being told to urgently conserve water
  • Nine-thousand people are displaced in Hawke's Bay alone, the Government says
  • Some communities on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula are cut off.

Useful websites: 

Newshub's live updates have now ended.

9:45pm - Floods, Cyclone Gabrielle, devastating earthquakes - is 2023 feeling a bit much already?

For advice about mental health strategies to help cope after disaster strikes click here.

9:20pm -  There are serious concerns about the food supply in New Zealand after Cyclone Gabrielle destroyed huge swathes of crops. 

The cyclone devastated crops in regions considered the country's food baskets and experts are saying it could take years to return to normality.

Read more here.

9:00pm - The Ministry for Primary Industries is working to support farmers, growers, whenua Māori owners and the rural communities in which they live.

"The Government is providing an initial $4 million in rural recovery support. We’ll be working with sector groups and organisations, including Dairy NZ, Beef, Lamb NZ [and] Federated Farmers," the Ministry said in a statement.

To register as a volunteer to assist in the recovery, click here.

Federated Farmers is also collecting donations to assist farmers to get back on their feet. To donate, click here.

8:55pm - Auckland pet owners who have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle can get advice, pet food and free dog registrations at Moana-Nui-a Kiwa Leisure in Māngere.

8:05pm - A second link between Napier and Hastings is now open for essential travel.

SH2 Napier-Hastings Expressway has reopened on Thursday evening from the roundabout at the intersection of Pakowhai Rd and the Whakatu Arterial Link, north to Napier, Waka Kotahi said.

Both north and south bound lanes will be opened.

8:00pm - Footage sent to Newshub shows lightning over the Papamoa hills in Tauranga on Thursday night.

Lightning over Papamoa hills.
Lightning over Papamoa hills. Photo credit: Supplied/Chris Roe

7:50pm - Photos sent to Newshub show the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle in Havelock North in the Hawke's Bay region.

Havelock North flooding.
Havelock North flooding. Photo credit: Supplied/Kate Vogelaar
Weather: Cyclone Gabrielle live updates - Thursday, February 16
Photo credit: Supplied/Kate Vogelaar
Weather: Cyclone Gabrielle live updates - Thursday, February 16
Photo credit: Supplied/Kate Vogelaar

7:42pm - Metservice said extensive thunderstorms continue across the North Island, especially Bay of Plenty. About 4400 lightning strikes were registered.

7:35pm - Waka Kotahi said State Highway 25 is now open on both sides of the Coromandel Peninsula.

7:15pm - Newshub reporter Alexa Cook has seen the trail of destruction Cyclone Gabrielle left in Gisborne.

A huge slip near Gisborne just missed a house.
A huge slip near Gisborne just missed a house. Photo credit: Newshub.

People are being flown from Gisborne into Tokumaru Bay, which is completely cut off. Newshub understands medical supplies, nurses and doctors are being flown in. 

People are being flown from Gisborne into Tokumaru Bay, which is completely cut off.
People are being flown from Gisborne into Tokumaru Bay, which is completely cut off. Photo credit: Newshub.
Flooding in Māhia, located between Gisborne and Wairoa.
Flooding in Māhia, located between Gisborne and Wairoa. Photo credit: Newshub.

6:30pm - An update from Gisborne Council:

Care in the community

  • All GP centres and pharmacies are open from 9am to 4pm and are doing their best with reduced staff. GPs are working on a walk-in system and urgency-based system and all scheduled appointments have been cancelled.
  • Te Whatu Ora is working closely with Civil Defence to transport medication to the coast and transport any patients out by air.
  • Health workers have been deployed at welfare centres and other community locations such as Te Poho-o-Rawiri marae. Please visit for any non-urgent health advice.
  • Please treat all flood water as contaminated.
  • For pregnant women, if you require URGENT midwifery care while communications are offline, you can come to the hospital, as there will be an LMC working alongside the hospital maternity team.

Contacting Emergency Services

  • You can dial 111 from a landline or one of the payphones listed below.
  • Alternatively go to the fire station on Palmerston Road or ED in Gisborne Hospital.


  • 176 Gladstone Rd outside Whitcoulls
  • 300 Gladstone Rd outside Z station
  • 37 Peel St outside library
  • 209 Grey St outside Visitor Information Centre
  • Gladstone St corner Lowe St. outside BNZ Bank
  • 274 Gladstone Rd Pak’n Save
  • 14 Ormond Rd corner Fitzherbert St
  • 401 Gladstone Rd outside Caltex station
  • 182 Gladstone Rd corner Bright St outside Whitcoulls
  • 126 Ormond Rd corner Balance St outside shops
  • Wainui Rd corner Maki St outside BP station
  • 92A De Latour Rd corner Turrene St
  • Wainui Rd outside Kaiti Mall near carpark
  • 701 Gladstone Rd outside The Mill
  • Grey St outside NZ Post
  • 344 Ormond Rdoutside Mangapapa Garage
  • Lytton Rd corner Potae Ave outside Lytton west shopping centre
  • Childers Rd corner Lytton Rd Outside Shop
  • Oneroa Rdoutside Sandbar Wharf Café
  • SH35 21 Moana Rd outside Okitu store
  • 804 Childers Rd
  • Cook St outside Telephone Exchange
  • Nuhaka Opoutama Rd outside Opoutama school
  • 2 Ratau St
  • SH35 outside Mayfair shop
  • 10 Mahia Ave outside Avenue Dairy
  • Marine Parade, near Harcouts walkway entrance
  • SH35 outside Te Puia Springs store

Convoy update

  • A short-term solution to bring essential supplies into the region started today (Thursday) and went well.
  • The convoy was a civil defence exercise to get through unsafe roads in order to get food and supplies to people.
  • Weatherall’s had 13 trucks and trailers carrying supplies that left Opotiki at 9am bringing supplies into Gisborne
  • Civil defence is planning for daily trips in and out of the region. The road is still closed to the public for the safety of contractors so they can continue to carry out repairs between convoys.
  • There are multiple hazards en route, in particular a section of Otoko Hill where a slip has left the road narrow and slippery.
  • Tairāwhiti Civil Defence group controller Ben Green says Police will provide security at both ends of the convoy to ensure it is only for trucks carrying essential supplies.
  • Mr Green thanked his team and the inter-agency support for ensuring this short-term solution could go ahead.
  • “This means we can feed our community and they can refuel their vehicles,” he said.
  • “We want to reiterate that SH2 north is still closed to the public, and this is for their safety and that of our contractors clearing the road.
  • “We appreciate your patience. The faster we can do this work the faster the roads can be open.”
  • Once in Gisborne normal distribution channels will ensure these supplies get into stores around Gisborne

Waste clean up and kerbside collection

  • For Fergusson Drive and Thompson St, skip bins will be dropped from 8am tomorrow (Friday)
  • These are only for flood-damaged items not domestic items.
  • For normal kerbside collection for Gisborne city, this will continue as normal however, we ask people to reduce the amount of waste going out. The limit is 2 bags and 2 recycling bins per household.
  • Because roads going out of the region are closed, we are having to store waste within the region, so we need people to consider storing clean recyclable material on their properties.

Transfer Stations

  • Te Karaka transfer station is closed until further notice.
  • The Te Karaka caretaker will do a kerbside collection of only domestic rubbish and recycling and take this to Whatatutu Station.
  • For Te Karaka residents who have flood-damaged items, please store these in your front yards. Council’s Solid Waste Team is formulating a plan to remove these items.
  • Whatatutu Station is open this afternoon.
  • All other transfer stations are open.


Overall picture is establishing fibre data comms, this is more likely north rather than south.

Fibre optic cable breaks North of Gisborne

  • Data will still be off for some time.
  • Bridge and cable lost at Hikuwai No 1 and No 3 bridges
  • Major breaks between Toko and Te Puia (Gorge)
  • 2 breaks north of Te Puia (Makarika)

Fibre South to Wairoa / Napier

  • Damage at 17km north of Wairoa
  • Puturino bridge lost
  • At least 3 damages south of Puturino

Priority for Gisborne Downer crew is

  • breaks north of Te Puia –  configuration is also needed by Spark at network level to route traffic north around to Bay of Plenty. Once completed this will liven some of the cellphone coverage to the northern coast. All going well, hopefully tomorrow morning
  • Hikuwai bridge(s) – will enable connectivity once the Gisborne South link is restored but won’t provide immediate benefits

Priority of Hawkes Bay Downer crews is

  • Working way north for Hawkes Bay/Putorino break
  • Puturino break will be a major challenge



  • Te Runanga O Ngāti Porou at Titini office in Huxley Rd and Te Runanga O Turanganui a Kiwa are helping people with Welfare assessment.
  • MSD are present as well.
  • Go and have a chat if you need help.
  • They’re distributing solar power radios, one to households. Please can listen to the radio for advice and information.

Rural communities

  • Welfare containers are located at Wharekuhiki, Te Araroa, Rahini in Tikitiki, Ruatoria, Te Puia and hospital.
  • Containers include enough supplies for 50 households.
  • 100 boxes of food boxes enough for 4 people for 3 days. Household boxes include hygiene packs.

MSD – information on webpage.

Civil Defence payments are available for people affected by the severe weather and flood events across Tairāwhiti. Assistance may include:

  • Emergency food, clothing, and bedding if they have been damaged or destroyed.
  • Accommodation costs if you have been evacuated and are staying in accommodation such as a motel, hotel or temporary rental accommodation.
  • Loss of income due to an inability to work caused by the weather event.
  • Payment if you have evacuees staying with you in places such as a private home, marae or community centres.

Assistance with other costs

  • Depending on your situation, there's other ways the Ministry of Social Development may be able to help with medical costs, bedding, food, rent, power bills, water tank refills and essential repairs such as effluent systems.


  • If you don’t have electricity, please prepare for the possibility that you may be without power for some days
  • Keep clear of power lines and treat them as live at all times
  • The Gisborne city area and parts of Wairoa have power. Ruatorea, Te Araroa, Tokomaru Bay and Tolaga Bay townships, and Mahia, are running on generators.
  • Please conserve your power use as much as possible, to help us maintain the current level of supply to the region.
  • Unfortunately there are 4,500 customers still without electricity, including more than 1,600 in Wairoa. We ask you to prepare to be without power for some days.
  • There are multiple major faults and access issues across the district. Reconnecting the region is our priority. Our teams are assessing the damage where access allows, and making plans to restore power as and when they can.
  • Treat all lines as live at all times. We’ve had reports of people using chainsaws and vehicles to clear trees and roads, where power lines are down. This is a serious risk to your safety – keep well clear. 
  • We’ll post updates on our FB page, and encourage everyone to follow the local Civil Defence pages and listen to the news.

Building information

  • Council Rapid Building Assessors have been deployed across the district to establish the safety and usability of buildings. The primary focus of the assessors is on immediate public safety.
  • Rapid Building Assessors assess damaged buildings, existing or potential hazards, record details of the damage and assign appropriate stickers to buildings to identify use.
  • A red sticker means entry is prohibited. Your building may pose a significant risk to public safety, health, and wellbeing. The risk could be from the building itself, from adjacent buildings or from land instability.
  • A yellow sticker means that access to your building is restricted and cannot be used, or you cannot enter except under supervision for a limited time or on essential business. Part or all of the building may have sustained moderate damage, or some areas of the building, neighbouring buildings, or land instability pose a significant risk.
  • As of February 16, there have been 8 properties red-stickered – 3 in Manutuke and 5 in Gisborne city. 42 houses have been yellow stickered – 4 in Te Karaka and 38 in Gisborne city.
  • There are over 50 properties to be assessed in the Gisborne city and more in the townships.
  • The assessors are severely limited by communication connectivity and road closures. They are responding to communities where they know flooding has occurred, but a lot of the East Coast is not currently visible at this stage except at a macro level.  There are two additional helicopters that have arrived from Otago that may help with an overview, but fuel is limited.

6:05pm - The press conference has now ended.

6:04pm - Hipkins said there is infrastructure in New Zealand we need to look really closely at and make sure it is as robust as possible as we are likely to see more weather events in the future.

6:00pm - Hipkins said in terms of displaced people, there are approximately 3187 people and an additional 800 evacuated households in Auckland and Northland.

5:55pm - Hipkins said the cyclone is a "significant event" on a "scale with what we've seen with the Christchurch Earthquake, for example, and it's going to take some time to work through it".

5:50pm - Back to the press conference, Hipkins said his understanding is the cyclone's path skipped the Chatham Island, does not have an update for that area.

5:45pm - A $2 million support package has been announced by Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty for East Coast communities impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

"Cyclone Gabrielle has caused widespread damage across the East Coast and this contribution will make sure financial support can be given to affected communities as quickly as possible," McAnulty said in a statement.

"The Government is making an initial contribution of $1 million to each of the Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay disaster relief funds.

"It's too early to know the full cost of the damage, but we want to make sure these regions have the resources to get immediate support to those who need it.

"I'm anticipating more requests for support as the need across affected regions becomes clearer. We’re meeting requests as they come through.

"I've been on the ground in Tairāwhiti with the Prime Minister and Minister Allan to get a gauge of the impact first hand, and plan to get to other affected communities in the next few days.

"My thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle over recent days. What we saw today was gut wrenching.

"We know we have a long recovery ahead of us and the Government is committed to supporting communities through this.

"I want to thank everyone who has moved quickly to respond to this event – the Council, Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, marae, volunteers, and first responders who have all stepped up to keep people safe.

The focus at the moment, for all those involved, is on continuing to respond to the emergency event. Central government continues to be available to support the local response teams as needed."

5:42pm - Hipkins said 100 additional police officers are being deployed to support local police in Hawke's Bay and Tairawhiti areas who are working long hours. The Police Eagle Helicopter will be deployed on Friday.

He also said the police are going to "crackdown" on opportunists looting flood-damaged houses. 

5:38pm - Hipkins said all hospitals in affected regions are open and functioning well.

5:37pm - Five impact assessment teams, made up of 25 people, are coming to NZ from Australia to work with FENZ and USAR teams.

5:35pm - Hipkins said every resource is being used to find and rescue missing people. Those in isolated areas are being prioritised.

Hipkins believes the majority of uncountable people simply can't make contact. People who have been registered as missing but are okay are asked to register themselves as safe.

Hipkins said we need to prepare ourselves for the likelihood there are other fatalities.

Police still have "grave concerns" for several missing people.

5:34pm - The Government has released $1 million for Gisborne and a further $1 million to Hawke's Bay to help with the cyclone relief response.

5:33pm - Hipkins said the damage to roads is the most significant issue officials are facing. People are urged to avoid unnecessary travel.

5:31pm - Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said during a press conference he has returned from Gisborne where the damage is "extensive" and locals he spoke to were in shock. Hipkins said communities affected by the recent weather are under enormous pressure.

Ten more Starlink units are on their way to Gisborne, five have been delivered to Hawke's Bay and Wairoa and more are on the way. They've managed to reach Hawke's Bay and Gisborne by road and supplies are on their way.

5:25pm - Police update:

As of 2pm today, 3544 people have been registered via the Police 105 online reporting form as uncontactable.

The vast majority are from Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti.

It’s important to note that many of these reports are likely duplicates or because people are unable to make contact.

Four hundred and fifty people have reported themselves safe however we expect that number to rise significantly.

If you are still unable to reach a loved one, please do not submit multiple reports.

Your initial report can be updated with additional information, if required.

If you locate the person you reported missing, please update your report with this information.

At present, five people are confirmed dead following the storm.

Most recently, the body of a man in his 60s was recovered from flood waters in Gisborne.

Throughout the district, many rivers remain flooded, and water levels are dangerously high.

We urge people to stay out of and away from all floodwaters — if you have evacuated your home, please stay where you are until you have been given the all-clear to return.

If not, you risk putting yourself in an unsafe situation at a time when emergency services are already stretched.

Please do not panic-buy petrol or food — there is enough for everyone as long as people only buy what they need.

Motorists are urged to stay off the roads unless their travel is urgent.

Private vehicles are causing unnecessary congestion on local roads, delaying the response of emergency services to people in need of assistance.

5:20pm - Waka Kotahi roading update:

  • SH1 Dome Valley will reopen to all traffic at 8am Friday
  • SH1 Brynderwyns remains closed. A local detour is in place for light vehicles via Cove Road / Mangawhai. Heavy vehicles can now use SH12/14 which was opened on Thursday
  • SH15 is open but reduced to one lane in some areas due to multiple slips. Please drive to the conditions as the ground is still very wet and across the network there are multiple trees down.

5:05pm - Te Whatu Ora said urgent medical supplies are being flown from Auckland to flood-devastated areas Tairawhiti and Hawke's Bay to ensure people get the care they need.

The essential supplies, which include medical oxygen and other gases, chemotherapy medication, pharmaceuticals, medical nutritional supplies and blood products, are enabling hospitals to provide critical care and support primary and community health providers.

A New Zealand Defence Force Hercules C-130 delivered shipments to Napier and Gisborne on Wednesday, and brought another load to Napier on Thursday

4:45pm - The National Emergency Management Agency advises that as storms approach you should:

  • Take shelter, preferably indoors away from windows
  • Avoid sheltering under trees, if outside
  • Get back to land, if outdoors on the water
  • Move cars under cover or away from trees
  • Secure any loose objects around your property
  • Check that drains and gutters are clear
  • Be ready to slow down or stop, if driving.

During and after the storm, you should also:

  • Beware of fallen trees and power lines
  • Avoid streams and drains as you may be swept away in flash flooding.

4:40pm - MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for South Waikato, Rotorua.

"At 04:07 pm, MetService weather radar detected severe thunderstorms near WAIOTAPU, WAIKITE VALLEY, WAIREKA and GUTHRIE," MetService said.

"These severe thunderstorms are moving towards the northeast, and are expected to lie near ROTORUA, WAIOTAPU, WAIKITE VALLEY, WAIREKA and GUTHRIE at 04:37 pm and near ROTORUA, WAIOTAPU, WAIKITE VALLEY, LAKE TARAWERA, WAIREKA and GUTHRIE at 05:07 pm.

"These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by torrential rain.

"Torrential rain can cause surface and/or flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas, and make driving conditions extremely hazardous."

4:35pm - NZ Telecommunications Forum update:

Lots of progress overnight and into today with regards the Hawke’s Bay.

2degrees reports that Napier and Hastings are online with generators being used to maintain power, especially in Napier. 

2degrees has fibre connectivity into Napier and cellsites at three small East Cape towns have been restored. Satellite and small cell equipment have been mobilised to Gisborne and are being installed today. Additional backhaul connectivity is being arranged via microwave and satellite in Gisborne to bring some macro cell coverage online as soon as possible. 

Spark had 152 sites down at the peak and has restored services to 72 of these sites to date. Additional satellite units and generators have arrived in Gisborne and Wairoa via helicopter.

Links have been stood up over Spark fibre, restoring connectivity to Hastings and Napier from a network perspective. We are working with Chorus and 2degrees to restore fibre north and south of Gisborne and between Napier and Taupo.

Vodafone has turned on a number of sites overnight, and is continuing to work with the Rural Connectivity Group which oversees much of the rural broadband network.

Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees have arranged for mobile cellsites-on-wheels (COWs) to be transported to the region to fill in connectivity gaps and increase the footprint of the network in the area.

Gisborne emergency connectivity is priority one with satellite equipment continuing to be deployed to emergency and essential services. Vodafone has established small cell connectivity at Gisborne Airport, Gisborne Police Station and Muriwai, and is aiming to stand up a further four large cell sites in the next 24 hours. A small cell site has also been established at Wairoa. Wainui will be commissioned via Optus satellite to provide some macro coverage in the area.

Chorus is hard at work on the restoration project for the fibre lines into Gisborne and supporting the industry in terms of backhaul capacity.

On the ground in the region, NOW ISP is fully operational and working with customers who are still affected by power outages.

4:15pm - Te Whatu Ora has published a list of health services available in Hawke's Bay.

Urgent clinics open include City Medical at Napier Health Centre (open 24-hours) and rgent care clinic at Hastings Health Centre (until 7pm tonight).

Read the full list below.

4:10pm - Fire and Emergency said between FENZ, Civil Defence, Police and the Defence Force, 290 rescues have been carried out during Cyclone Gabrielle so far.

FENZ now have 62 USAR personnel helping with rescues and disaster assessments in the Hawke's Bay. There are also rapid damage assessments for buildings and critical infrastructure is being carried out across the region.

"We still have new incidents coming in which we’re working through, and we continue to prioritise those people who need the most urgent help, such as those trapped in vehicles and houses," Te Ūpoko Region Manager Bruce Stubbs said.

4:05pm - The Auckland Business Chamber has opened the Back to Work grants for applications.

Footage posted on Facebook by Vet Services Waipukurau shows a herd of cows swimming neck-deep in flood waters in Waipawa.

Thankfully, the cows were able to swim over 500 metres to safety.

They have since been checked by the vet and have been moved to a safe paddock to rest and recover.

4:00pm -  Lightening strikes have been detected across the North Island.

"There is a moderate risk of thunderstorms this afternoon and evening about eastern parts of Northland and northern Auckland (including Great Barrier Island), the Coromandel Peninsula, and a moderate to high risk of thunderstorms from Waikato and Bay of Plenty to central Hawke's Bay as indicated on the chart. These thunderstorms will produce localised heavy rain (10 to 25mm per hour) and hail, along with a low risk of localised downpours and one or two small tornadoes," Metservice said.

"For Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, eastern Taupo, the ranges of Hawke's Bay and Gisborne, also Gisborne north of Tolaga Bay, the risk of thunderstorms is considered high, and there is a moderate risk a few of the thunderstorms could be severe with localised downpours (25 to 40mm per hour), squally wind gusts, and a low risk of a small localised tornado. A SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WATCH is now in force and people within this area should keep up to date with the latest forecasts. 

"A low risk of thunderstorms covers other northern and central North Island areas as indicated on the chart, along with northwest Tasman and the far north of Buller."

3:50pm - Westpac NZ is urging customers to be vigilant after Cyclone Gabrielle-themed scams have been circulating.

The scams are texts and should not be clicked, Westpac said.

3:45pm - The Auckland Business Chamber has opened the Back to Work grants for applications.

The categories for the Back to Work grants includes:

  • Up to $5000 for businesses that are red stickered, yellow stickered or not currently operating as a result of the flooding
  • Up to $2000 for businesses that are operating and have suffered a loss in excess of $2000 as a result of the flooding
  • $750 for business that are operating and have suffered a loss in excess of $750, but less than $2000 as a result of the flooding

To apply, businesses must:

  • Be based in the Auckland region where a state of emergency has been declared as a result of the 2023 Auckland Anniversary weekend flooding
  • Have no less than one employee, and no more than 20 full-time equivalents (An FTE is equivalent to 40 hours. For example, two employees working 20 hours is equivalent to one FTE)
  • Have been directly impacted, including but not limited to, having sustained damage to property/stock and have been unable to trade during normal trading hours
  • Face significant cashflow issues due to continued challenges with customer access, ability to source stock, or 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
  • Commit to acting in line with employment law and with due regard to their employees
  • Be relied on as a main source of income by its owner(s).

To make an application for the Back to Work grants, or to find out further information, visit

3:20pm - A beach clean-up has been organised for Saturday, February 18 at Murray's Bay Beach in Auckland from 9:30am until 10:30am.

The Murrays Bay Residents Association and Auckland Council have organised skips.

Attendees are asked to bring gloves, spades, rakes, rubbish, bags, wheelbarrows, buckets and a couple of chainsaws are needed as well.

"Join us this coming Saturday and help bring back our beautiful beach again."

3:10pm - Hawke's Bay Civil Defence said people who would like to register as a volunteer to help out communities affected by the cyclone can email:

Businesses or organisations that can provide significant assets or services, such as large vehicles or air transport, large quantities of supplies, or other large scale or critical resources, please email details to:

3:05pm - Unison is urging connected Hawke's Bay customers to conserve power.

Unison has now restored power to 39,400 customers since Cyclone Gabrielle hit on Monday night, cutting power to around 77,000 homes across Hawke’s Bay, Taupo and Rotorua. Most of Rotorua and Taupo have now had power restored with 44 households remaining.

There are still 37,548 homes still without power in Hawke’s Bay, 31,527 of these are from Napier which has been affected by a loss of supply from Transpower’s Redclyffe substation, which feeds most of Napier and parts of Hastings.

"Although we’ve managed to restore power to almost all of Rotorua and Taupo, Hawke’s Bay continues to be challenging to limited regional supply from Transpower," Unison's Relationship Manager Danny Gough said in a statement.

"We're asking all Hawke’s Bay customers now reconnected to the network to please conserve power where possible. We can’t stress this enough as a genuine plea for people to look at every opportunity to save power from turning off air-conditioning and devices on standby, to being mindful with the lights and any high-consumption devices. This will help to manage and distribute the limited supply we do have coming into the region from Transpower."

2:55pm - Auckland Emergency Management has posted an update on the Cyclone Gabrielle response. Read it here:

Auckland Emergency Management's continued response to Cyclone Gabrielle is now focused on those communities that have been isolated by floods and landslips. 

"While the weather here in Auckland has improved in recent days, we are still not completely out of the woods," Deputy Controller Rachel Kelleher said. 

"Land, particularly around our western beach communities, continues to be unstable. 

"We urge people to remain vigilant. Have a plan and be ready to leave quickly if you need to, particularly if you are in an area prone to slips.

"Our focus today remains on those communities that have been isolated by landslips and flooding, such as Piha, Karekare, Te Henga Bethells Beach and Muriwa  

"Yesterday afternoon, 12 tonnes of supplies were delivered by air and ground into Karekare and Piha. This included water, food, baby and sanitary items, medicine, a generator for Karekare, portable toilets and a satellite phone.

"Today, we are working to get essential supplies into families isolated at Kaipara Flats, and Bethells and to properties in other parts of Auckland. We are also taking additional water into Muriwai.

 "This is a very fluid situation. If you need help, please call Auckland Emergency Management on 0800 22 22 00. If your life is in danger, call 111."

Building assessments 

  • Yesterday, Auckland Council building assessment teams conducted rapid impact assessments on the safety of properties across South Auckland communities impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle and most of the central city.  
  • As at 10am today, a total of 5854 building assessments have been undertaken as part of the emergency response. Of these, 2,281 properties have been found to be significantly impacted (red and yellow placards).  
  • A total of 423 building assessments have been conducted following Cyclone Gabrielle, resulting in 46 red and 101 yellow placards being issued.  
  • West Coast beach communities continue to be the most challenging to access, and there are specialist teams focusing on the Muriwai, Karekare and Piha areas, assisted by USAR personnel. 
  • In regard to Muriwai, building consent teams are confident they will have completed the remaining rapid building assessments in Muriwai by the end of today. 
  • The focus now shifts to the overall stability of the area that is cordoned off. Geotechnical advice is being sought and will inform decisions regarding the size of the exclusion zone. More information will be provided to affected residents later today. 


  • Vector has advised that, as of this morning, there were approximately 16,000 families and businesses that remain without power, which is down from the 25,000 reported yesterday.   
  • Counties Energy is reporting approximately 760 properties in Counties Manukau are currently without power.    
  • Blocked roads, caused by fallen trees and slips, continues to be a key challenge and are preventing crews from accessing sites. However, Vector is working closely with authorities to gain access to these areas and restore power as soon as is safely possible. 


  • While tap water is still safe to drink, Auckland’s water infrastructure has been impacted by the cyclone. 
  • The treatment plant in Muriwai is offline due to the landslide and the reservoir is empty. 
  • Residents in the area can access emergency water from a tanker outside Sand Dunz Café. Please bring containers.   
  • Residents in Helensville and Parakai are urged to keep all water use to a minimum as their treatment plant is offline, and their water storage reservoir is being topped up using tankers.   
  • Everyone else in Auckland is encouraged to conserve water. This means limiting outdoor water use and keeping showers short.  


  • Demand for Auckland Emergency Management’s Civil Defence Centres and Shelters has reduced, with 77 people staying overnight. This included around 20 passengers from Auckland Airport.   
  • In line with this, we’ve closed some of the centres and shelters so that that resource can be redirected to those areas most in need. 


  • This has been, and continues to be, a significant event for the Auckland region, especially for the West Coast of Auckland.   
  • Authorities urge people to stay away from affected areas and for residents to continue to follow the advice and direction of Auckland Emergency Management and the emergency services.   
  • Auckland Emergency Management has heard reports of people heading out to these communities with excavating equipment to help clear slips etc. While this is well intentioned, it is not safe.   
  • The ground is still unstable, the soil is saturated and there may be new ground movement in days to come. For safety reasons, we ask that people please leave this work to the experts and avoid impacted areas.  

Cleaning up after the storm  

  • Kerbside rubbish, recycling and food scraps collections have now resumed on your normal cycle. If your normal collection day is Monday or Tuesday, your next collection will be next week.  
  • Council has also resumed its kerbside collections of flood-damaged items. People can call 0800 22 22 00 to log a request. 
  • Construction / demolition waste and large green waste items such as trees should not be left on the kerbside.  
  • A reminder that if you’re cleaning up your home and property, please wear gloves, long-sleeved top and trousers, and a face mask if you can. Take extra care around mould or possible asbestos.   

2:50pm - Drone footage has shown the level of destruction in some of the worst hit places by Cyclone Gabrielle.

To see the cyclone's impacts on Eskdale click here.

To see the cyclone's impacts in Hastings click here.

Eskdale has been inundated with mud and silt.
Eskdale has been inundated with mud and silt. Photo credit: Newshub.

2:40pm - Eastland Network general manager Jarred Moroney is reminding residents in Tairāwhiti and Wairoa to conserve power.

The Gisborne city area and parts of Wairoa have power. Ruatorea, Te Araroa, Tokomaru Bay and Tolaga Bay townships, and Mahia, are running on generators.

"Please conserve your power use as much as possible, to help us maintain the current level of supply to the region. This is limited due to the flooding at Transpower's Redclyffe substation," Moroney said in a statement.

Around 4500 customers are still without electricity including 1600 in Wairoa - they are being asked to prepare to be without power for some days.

"Treat all lines as live at all times. We've had reports of people using chainsaws and vehicles to clear trees and roads, where power lines are down. This is a serious risk to your safety – keep well clear," Moroney said.

"Reconnecting the region is our priority. Our teams are assessing the damage where access allows, and making plans to restore power as and when they can."

2:25pm - MetService said thunderstorms are popping up over the North Island, including directly overhead in Thames, Whananaki and near lake Taupō.

The weather forecasting agency said the risk for more thunderstorms continues around the North Island on Thursday afternoon and evening.

2:14pm - Auckland's Watercare is urging Helensville and Parakai residents to immediately reduce water usage.

"We're tankering to local reservoirs but we're struggling to keep up with demand. Keep showers to 2mins," it said in a statement. "Only use the dishwasher when it's full. Only wash full loads of laundry."

1:59pm - Transport Minister Michael Wood earlier told AM Cyclone Gabrielle has had a "major impact" on the road and rail network across the upper North Island.

Wood spent much of Wednesday on the Coromandel Peninsula, inspecting the damaged roading network there from a helicopter. He said the destruction was "severe" and some routes will be "long-term projects", such as State Highway 25A across the peninsula.

Watch the full interview here.

1:48pm - At the earlier press conference, Auckland Emergency Management duty controller Rachel Kelleher said 12 tonnes of essential supplies have been delivered to cut-off Piha and Karekare.

1:43pm - Cyclone Gabrielle is contiuing to move southeast away from the Chatham Islands, MetService says.

However, there's still a risk of thunderstorms in flood-affected areas on Thursday.

"The thunderstorms will be short-lived and fast moving. With that front whipping up from the south, any thunderstorms that do form will move through quickly," MetService meteorologist Andrew James said. "They're not going to hang around.

"MetService is only expecting a few thunderstorms to pop up this afternoon - most likely in the Bay of Plenty region, and the Tairāwhiti/Gisborne and Hawke's Bay ranges."

1:30pm - A "very hard line" will taken on criminal behaviour in the Hawke's Bay region after "unfair" burglaries targeting flood victims overnight, police say.

Eastern District Commander Supt Jeanette Park told reporters earlier five people were arrested overnight following a burglary at a commercial building. 

1:26pm - During the press conference, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the Government was accepting offers of international assistance in response to Cyclone Gabrielle.

1:15pm - PM Hipkins says he has no details about the body found in Tokomaru Bay.

1:13pm - Chris Hipkins says water use is also an issue in the Gisborne area.

Temporary water supply is en route with convoys of trucks making their way into the region.

Hipkins says it could be some time before broadband is restored.

Weather: Cyclone Gabrielle live updates - Thursday, February 16
Photo credit: Newshub.

1:10pm - PM Hipkins has acknowledged the local community in Gisborne, saying it's "clearly a significant event and traumatic for those affected".

Hipkins says there's no doubt the community is under pressure - but we have seen the best of New Zealand in terms of helping each other.

He says the pressure point is communication which is creating uncertainty for families.

The Government is working as quickly as possible to get connectivity restored, he says.

1:09pm - Chris Hipkins is arriving at his press conference now - you can watch that live in the second video player above.

1:05pm - Craig Stevens, the volunteer firefighter who survived a slip in Muriwai, remains in the hospital in a critical but stable condition, Fire and Emergency New Zealand district commander Vaughan Mackereth says. 

1:04pm - The Gisborne District Council says a mission to get essential supplies into the region is underway.

"Trucks carrying food, water and fuel will travel between Ōpōtiki and Te Karaka on SH2 in a managed one-way convoy led by a Downer contractor," the council said in a statement.

"There will be two trips a day, one going south from Ōpōtiki in the morning and another returning north in the afternoon. The road is still closed to the public for the safety of contractors so they can continue to carry out repairs between convoys."

1pm - The Prime Minister's press conference is expected to be delayed by 10 minutes. In the meantime, you can watch a live update from Civil Defence on Auckland's response to Cyclone Gabrielle above.

12:58pm - Prime Minister Chris Hipkins is due to speak to the media at 1pm, while Auckland officials are also holding a press conference to provide the latest on the region's recovery. You can watch them both in the videos above.

12:41pm - Newshub's Alexa Cook, who's in Tairāwhiti, says medical supplies and a doctor have been taken into the East Coast's Tokomaru Bay.

The community remains completely cut off and it's understood it won't get road access for some time.

12:39pm - Foodstuffs, the parent company of supermarket giants including New World and Pak'nSave, has provided the below update:

  • Our focus remains on getting essentials to isolated areas, reopening and replenishing stores  
  • The message to cut off communities is to know we are coming. We have a plan to get your store reopen as soon as possible
  • We have the stock we need and our teams are working round the clock
  • New World Onekawa (Napier) and seven Four Squares in the Hawke's Bay are not yet able to open
  • North Islanders should continue to buy only what they need.

12:29pm - Newshub understands another body has been found on the East Coast's Tokomaru Bay.

It is not yet clear whether the death is flood-related.

12:18pm - Hawke's Bay Emergency Management has quashed rumours the Clive Bridge on State Highway 51, between Napier and Hastings, has collapsed.

"The Clive Bridge on SH51 between Napier and Hastings has been CLOSED for a safety assessment," Civil Defence said. "The bridge is INTACT but CLOSED. Please note - rumours have circulated that the bridge was damaged with cars still on it, this is INCORRECT, THIS BRIDGE HAS NOT COLLAPSED."

12:11pm - The Government is temporarily expempting flood-affected Kiwis from the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act so they can get easier access to loans.

"While the exemption does not cap interest rates or fees, I have asked the banking sector for assurances that  interest rates will be at usual or possibly lower rates," Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Duncan Webb said. "So far the response has been positive with one bank indicating their overdrafts will be interest free.

"I would encourage people who have been affected by flooding and for whom other support is not available, or not adequate for their needs, to check with their lender to see what support or temporary lending options are available to them," Dr Webb added.

The New Zealand Banking Association has said it supports this move from the Government.

11:55am - The only available route between Napier and Hastings - State Highway 51 - has again closed as the Clive Bridge undergoes a "safety assessment", the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi says.

"We will continue to provide updates as soon as possible," the agency said. "We would like to thank essential travellers currently in the queue for their patience."

11:50am - The Government has asked for Australia's help in its disaster response, The Guardian is reporting.

"I can confirm we have received a formal request from New Zealand less than an hour ago," said Elizabeth Peak from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"We set up yesterday a national management coordination function to be able to respond very quickly when the request came through... and we will certainly do that," Peak said, as reported by The Guardian.

Newshub has contacted Prime Minister Chris Hipkins' office for comment.

11:40am - The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi has provided the below update on the Northland highway network, as floodwaters continuing receding in the region:

  • SH12 Dargaville to Kaikohe is now open
  • SH14 is now open. As flood waters recede, we will continue to clear
  • SH15 is now open.

Meanwhile, in Coromandel, SH25 between Thames and Matarangi has reopened but for essential travel only. Below are the status' of the district's State Highways:

  • SH2 Mangatarata to Paeroa: OPEN
  • SH2 Paeroa to Waihi inc. Karangahake Gorge: OPEN - ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY
  • SH2 Waihi to Athenree Gorge: OPEN
  • SH25 Kopu to Thames: OPEN
  • SH25 Thames to Ruamahanga Bay: OPEN but COMPROMISED - ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY
  • SH25 Tapu to Coromandel: OPEN but COMPROMISED - ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
  • SH25 Coromandel to Te Rerenga  OPEN but COMPROMISED - ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
  • SH25 Kūaotunu to Whitianga: OPEN but COMPROMISED - ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
  • SH25 Whitianga to Tairua: OPEN but ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY
  • SH25 Tairua to Hikuai: OPEN
  • SH25 Hikuai to Whangamata: OPEN but COMPROMISED - ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
  • SH25 Whangamata to Waihi: OPEN
  • SH26 Morrinsville to Paeroa: OPEN
  • SH26 Paeroa to Kopu: OPEN
  • SH27 Mangatarata to Te Poi: OPEN
  • SH29 Kaimai Ranges: OPEN

11:30am - In the Tararua District, more than 50 roads remain closed.

"We want to reassure the community that clearing roads is one of our highest priorities. Our teams have been working on opening roads across the district as efficiently as they can," the district council said in a statement.

"While some roads appear to be clear they are only suitable for emergency access until they have been appropriately assessed and signed-off. These are still hazardous and not suitable for members of the public to travel on.

"For the safety of yourself, our staff and our partners and suppliers, please refrain from non-urgent travel, especially in the Northeast of the district."

11:16am - It was "really disappointing" to see Wellington motorists driving without lights on and too close to other cars when Cyclone Gabrielle hit on Wednesday, the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi says.

The agency posted a video on social media showing motorists on various highways in the Wellington region tailgating with their lights off amid heavy rain and poor visibility.

See more here. 

11:13am - Te Matatini, the world's largest kapa haka festival, will go ahead for its 50th anniversary on February 22 even though a number of competing teams have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Digital entertainment editor Darren Bevan reports.

11:07am - Nearly 590 people in Auckland have registered for temporary accommodation after the flooding, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) says.

"Temporary accommodation service activated in Auckland on February 8 following the floods, the response has been extended to support households affected by Cyclone Gabrielle," MBIE's Mark Lytollis said on Thursday.

"As of 9:30am this morning, the temporary accommodation service has had 588 cases registered."

11am - The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi has sent an urgent reminder to Hawke's Bay residents that State Highway 51, between Napier and Hastings, is to only be used for essential travel.

"Health authorities have reported that in some cases, emergency services have been waiting up to four hours to travel the road, specifically as the road narrows at Clive Bridge.

"It's really, really important that emergency services are able to access this route easily and quickly.

"We understand how crucial this link is and we know so many people will be keen to travel the road, as the only current link between the two cities. However, please if you don't need travel it, avoid it," Waka Kotahi Hawke's Bay system manager Martin Colditz said.

10:50am - MetService is warning of more wet weather on Thursday as Cyclone Gabrielle moves away from New Zealand.

10:30am - Slow but steady progress is being made restoring power to the cyclone-battered East Coast. 

State energy firm Transpower said despite major setbacks, officials have gained access to Redclyffe substation near Taradale .

Floodwaters exceeded 1.5m inside the control room. 

There are 40,800 homes still without power in Hawke's Bay - 31,700 of which are in Napier.

"We recognise the significant impact that this loss of power has on people affected in the region, our thoughts are with them and we thank them for their patience," Transpower said. "We assure them that our people are continuing to work tirelessly with local lines companies to get as much power restored into the area as quickly as possible."

10:23am - Five people have been arrested after burglaries at commercial premises in Napier overnight, police say.

10:12am - Residents of Drumpeel Rd in central Hawke's Bay's Ōtāne are being told to evacuate immediately.

Meanwhile, Civil Defence says it's urgently trying to establish contact with cut-off Wairoa.

10:07am - Civil Defence says it's going to be "up to a week" before power is fully restored to Hawke's Bay.

Weather: Cyclone Gabrielle live updates - Thursday, February 16
Photo credit: Newshub.

10:03am - The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi has provided the below update on the Gisborne and Hawke's Bay highway network:

  • SH35 between Hicks Bay and Gisborne CLOSED
  • SH2 between Ōpōtiki and Gisborne and then Gisborne to Napier CLOSED
  • SH51 between Napier and Hastings OPEN under 30km/h speed restrictions
  • SH2 between Napier and Hastings (Ngaruroro Bridge) CLOSED
  • SH5 between Napier and Taupō CLOSED
  • SH51 between Napier and Elwood Rds CLOSED
  • SH50 Expressway between Napier and the Taradale turnoff CLOSED
  • SH50 between Takapau and Hastings CLOSED
  • SH50 at Fernhill (Ngaruroro Rover Bridge)  CLOSED

9:49am - Prince William and Princess Kate have issued a touching message for New Zealanders devastated by the flooding.

"We are thinking of all the communities who have been affected by the devastating weather events in Aotearoa New Zealand," the couple said in a statement on their official Twitter account.

"As ever, we are in awe of the valiant efforts of emergency responders risking their lives to help those in danger.

"Kia haumaru koutou katoa."

9:45am - Earlier, Napier MP Stuart Nash told AM's Ryan Bridge he's extremely concerned about the weather forecast.

Storm-like conditions are set to sweep through Tauranga, down to the East Cape and the northern end of Hawke's Bay between 3pm and 10pm on Thursday.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in place.

9:30am - Civil Defence, Mayors and other emergency officials are holding a media stand up in Hastings at 10am. You can watch that live on Three, ThreeNow or in the video above.

9:24am - Hawke's Bay Airport has provided the below update:

The airport is still open and helping to support travellers and locals alike.

If you want to know what the latest flights scheduled is, go here.

Some roads between Hastings and Napier are now open but for essential travel only, so travel only if it's absolutely necessary and plan ahead.

9:13am - Napier MP Stuart Nash has told AM he believes warnings of no power for two weeks in the city are "over the top".

9am - Multiple health services across Hawke's Bay are being cancelled over the course of Thursday and Friday.

All elective surgeries, endoscopy services and outpatient appointments will need to be rescheduled as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle. 

Te Whatu Ora/Health New Zealand said three acute theatres will continue operating in Hastings - allowing emergency c-sections and cancer surgeries to continue.

Members of the public looking for missing family members are being urged to stay away from the emergency department.

8:57am - The power is expected to be out in Napier for at least two weeks, the Hawke's Bay Regional Council says.

8:50am - State energy company Transpower provided the below update on Thursday morning:

Late yesterday we were able to gain access to our flooded Redclyffe substation near Taradale. An initial assessment indicates that there is extensive damage after flood waters reached heights exceeding 1.5 metres inside the control room.

Given the extensive damage and the likely time to repair the substation, our focus now is on creating a bypass for our 220KV line to enable it to connect to the Whakatu substation north-east of Hastings. We have been working with local lines company Unison on this bypass option and expect to be able to provide an update later today on when it will be completed.

Yesterday we were able to use a helicopter to assess more of the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle on the national grid from the air and to get some of our staff and service providers into the area to start working on the bypass.

In addition to flooding at our Redclyffe substation, there has been extensive flooding at our Whirinaki substation north of Napier which supplies power solely to Pan Pac Forest Products Limited. It is also the entry point to the grid for generation from Contact Energy.

Access to this site is currently only by air.

During the flyover we also identified a tower that has fallen between our Redclyffe and Fernhill substations next to the Ngaruroro river near Fernhill. Due to the flooding at Redclyffe these lines are not live and the downed tower does not pose a safety risk or currently have an impact of supply power to consumers.

There are a number of towers that have slips in close proximity that we will be completing detailed inspections of in the coming days to ensure they are secure (there is no immediate risk).

Local lines company Unison Networks advise there are 40,800 homes without power in Hawke's Bay, with 31,700 of these from Napier which is the area most impacted by the loss of the Redclyffe substation.

There continue to be logistical challenges in restoring power in the region as a result of damage to roading, significant debris and damaged communications networks. We are working closely with both NEMA and local Civil Defence agencies to get access to the resources we need.

We recognise the significant impact that this loss of power has on people affected in the region, our thoughts are with them, and we thank them for their patience. We assure them that our people are continuing to work tirelessly with local lines companies to get as much power restored into the area as quickly as possible.

The Redclyffe substation.
The Redclyffe substation. Photo credit: Transpower/Supplied

8:45am - Below is an update from Te Whatu Ora/Health New Zealand Hawke's Bay:

Health services cancelled in Hawke's Bay for Thursday, February 16 and Friday, February 17:

  • Elective surgeries
  • Endoscopy services
  • Outpatient appointments in Napier, Hastings, Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay.

Affected patients are being contacted and offered a telehealth appointment if appropriate or rebooked as soon as possible.

Three acute theatres (including emergency c-sections and urgent cancer surgery) and radiology are operating at Hawke’s Bay Hospital in Hastings.

Te Whatu Ora acknowledges whānau will be concerned about the whereabouts of loved ones who may have been impacted by flooding but asks people do not come into the Hawke's Bay emergency department unless seeking urgent medical care.

If you are going to run out of medication in the next two days, pharmacies can dispense a small emergency supply without a prescription. If possible, this should be from your normal pharmacy.

Please don't go to the emergency department for your medication.

Urgent clinics open

  • City Medical at Napier Health Centre is open (24 hours)
  • Urgent care clinic at Hastings Health Centre (until 7pm on Thursday)

General practices

Power outages have caused communication barriers but below are the general practices we've been able to reach and confirm are open. (Note: some general practices are operating in constrained environments and are offering variable hours and services).


  • Maraenui Medical Centre (10-12pm)
  • Taradale Medical Centre (9am-midday)
  • Greendale Medical Centre
  • Carlyle Medical Centre (limited hours)


  • Medical and Injury in Hastings is also open
  • The Doctors Hastings
  • Totara Hastings
  • Totara Flaxmere
  • The Doctors Gascoigne
  • Hauora Heretaunga


  • Tukituki Medical Centre
  • The Doctors Waipawa
  • Patients who need further care will be transferred to Hawke's Bay Hospital.


  • Most pharmacies in Hastings are open including:
  • Hastings Health Centre pharmacy
  • Unichem Russell Street Pharmacy at The Doctors Hastings
  • Bay Plaza Pharmacy Hastings
  • Gilmours Havelock North Pharmacy in Havelock North
  • Flaxmere Pharmacy
  • Denton’s Pharmacy in Havelock North
  • Taiwhenau Pharmacy within Hauora Heretaunga
  • Care Pharmacy at Totara Health
  • Countdown Pharmacy open
  • Whittakers Havelock North
  • Parkvale Pharmacy
  • Life Pharmacy Hastings
  • Unichem Stortford Lodge

Pharmacies in Napier open include:

  • Napier Health Centre pharmacy
  • Unichem on Munroe Street at The Doctors Napier
  • Greenmeadows Pharmacy at The Doctors Greenmeadows
  • Glenn's Pharmacy
  • In Central Hawke's Bay, Unichem Waipukurau and Waipawa Pharmacy are open.

Pain clinic open in Hastings for 0 to 8-year-olds

If you have a child in pain, please contact the Hastings Central Dental Clinic which is providing a relief of pain clinic between 8am and4:30pm. Please call 06 873 4860.

8:43am - Auckland power authority Vector says 16,000 households and businesses remain without power in the region, down from 25,000 on Wednesday.

"Blocked roads, caused by fallen trees and slips, continues to be a key challenge and are preventing our crews from accessing sites. We are working closely with authorities to get access to these areas as soon as possible," Vector said on Thursday morning.

"Yesterday, we sent a helicopter up to assess the damage in those hard-to-reach areas. Our teams are currently reviewing the footage and we’ll share more information about this when we can.

"We'd again like to remind people that although it’s forecast to be another sunny day, our teams are only just understanding and working through the full extent of the damage and being able to plan accordingly to make restoration and repairs for communities."

8:30am - More rain could be on the way for the North Island, with a severe thunderstorm watch in place for Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Taupō, Rotorua and Bay of Plenty.

The storm-like conditions are set to sweep through Tauranga, down to the East Cape between 3pm and 10pm on Thursday.

MetService said any thunderstorms will be isolated but may bring localised downpours of between 25 and 40mm/h.

It's feared the rain could bring further surface or flash flooding, making driving conditions hazardous.

8:15am - Supermarkets say they're pulling out all stops to get stock back on the shelves in the most flood-affected areas. 

The majority of Foodstuffs supermarkets, including Pak'nSave and New World, are now trading. However, essential items will still be prioritised in some places. 

Foodstuffs chief executive Chris Quin told AM most stores have two days worth of stock, which has already started being replenished.

7:59am - A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for Gisborne and Hawke's Bay as well as Taupō, Rotorua and Bay of Plenty.

"An upper trough crosses the North Island this afternoon and evening, generating very unstable conditions over northern and central parts of the North Island with scattered thunderstorms bringing localised heavy rain and hail," MetService said on Thursday morning.

"Between 3pm and 10pm... a few of the thunderstorms could be SEVERE about Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, eastern Taupō, the ranges of Hawke's Bay and Gisborne, and Gisborne north of Tolaga Bay, with localised downpours of 25 to 40mm per hour and hail.

"Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips. Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain."

7:45am - In central Hawke's Bay, water sources have been restored for many in Waipawa, Waipukarau and Ōtāne.

But Mayor Alex Walker told AM the water needs to be boiled and warned not everyone will have access to it.

7:40am - The copious amounts of rain over the past few days have made the majority of Auckland beaches unsafe to swim in.

Nearly 40 beaches across Auckland have been black-marked on the council's Safeswim website. You can see them here.

7:30am - Joe Faram, a helicopter pilot rescuing people in Hawke's Bay, is certain the death toll will rise further after Cyclone Gabrielle.

On the East Coast, 1400 people are still uncontactable - many of whom will be safe but the true toll on life is still unknown.

Faram told AM he was still finding people stranded on Wednesday afternoon.

7:15am - Dargaville residents aren't in the clear just yet, with high tide still looming.

Fresh evacuations took place on Wednesday night, with an increased threat of flooding from 9am on Thursday.

Kaipara Mayor Craig Jepson told AM he's hoping the evacuations will turn out to be precautionary.

7am - Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will get a first hand look at the devastation in Gisborne on Thursday.

The HMNZS Manawanui is also expected to reach the region on Thursday morning, carrying crucial resources.

Thousands are still displaced across Tairāwhiti and water, fuel and food supplies are running low. 

Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz told AM the arrival of Manawanui is desperately needed.

6:45am - Below is MetService's short forecast for Thursday:

Northern half of the North Island from Taumarunui and Taupō northwards, including Gisborne and Hawke's Bay

Isolated showers becoming widespread from Thursday afternoon, with thunderstorms and localised downpours possible, especially Bay of Plenty and the ranges of Gisborne and northern Hawke's Bay.

Taranaki and Taihape to Wellington, also Wairarapa

Rain spreading north on Thursday morning, with heavy falls possible about Wellington and Wairarapa, then easing in the evening.

Nelson and Buller

Cloudy periods. A few showers, mainly about the ranges, possibly heavy on Thursday afternoon.

Marlborough and Canterbury

Periods of rain, mainly north of Christchurch, with some heavy falls about Marlborough. Rain easing on Thursday morning and clearing for most in the afternoon.

Westland and Fiordland

Fine weather.

Otago and Southland

Morning cloud with some drizzle but staying dry about central Otago.

Chatham Islands

Low cloud with occasional rain.

6:37am - Farmers are having to dump their milk throughout the Coromandel as tankers can't get to them due to extensive road closures in the region. 

The Transport Minister spoke exclusively to Newshub after surveying the roading network on a helicopter, describing the damage he saw as "extreme".

Ashleigh Yates reports.

6:30am - Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will get a first hand look at the devastation in Gisborne on Thursday while he's continuing to make every attempt to visit the Hawke's Bay region. 

The HMNZS Manawanui is also expected to reach Gisborne at first light, carrying crucial supplies for the region. 

Hawke's Bay will also receive further assistance, with the HMNZS Te Mana expected to arrive in the region later on Thursday.

The two regions are among the worst hit from Cyclone Gabrielle with thousands still displaced and running out of essentials.

More than 700 Defence Force personnel are now involved in relief efforts.

6:11am - The death toll from Cyclone Gabrielle has risen to five, with a person in Tairāwhiti/Gisborne believed to have died after getting caught in floodwaters, police said on Thursday morning.

An investigation is underway into the death and police said further information will be provided when it becomes available.

6:06am - AM will have the latest on Cyclone Gabrielle. You can watch the show here.

6:02am - Dunne says volunteers and emergency response workers have been hard-working, determined, dedicated and showing real community sacrifice. 

"The thing about it all, these very people themselves are also going through the same stresses and strains, their houses are at risk, and their neighbours, friends and neighbourhoods have been damaged as well," he said. 

"So it's a remarkable tribute to their self-sacrifice, but their determination is paramount.    

5:56amPolitical commentator and former United Future leader Peter Dunne told AM Early the response from volunteers to Cyclone Gabrielle has been "fantastic"

"I think however well planned and organised you are, an event of this catastrophic intensity can never be predicted entirely," he said. 

"They have been noble, they have been smart. I obviously pay my sincerest sympathies to the family of the volunteer firefighter at Muriwai who was so tragically killed, but in a way that is an example of the selfless behaviour of the volunteers and all the emergency response workers through this very difficult time."

5:25am - Counties Energy has restored power to around 1000 properties in Auckland and there are approximately 990 more in the region currently without power.   

Five hundred of the properties restored were in the Awhitu Peninsula, an area that suffered many landslips and trees falling on lines. Around 400 properties remain without power in this area.

"We understand that these customers have been without power for over 48 hours and thank them for their patience and understanding as we work to restore power as quickly and safely as we can," Counties Energy said in a statement on Wednesday night.

"To restore the majority of these customers tomorrow a difficult construction job on the corner of Hamilton Rd and Manukau Heads Rd has been prioritised for the morning."

"There are still some prolonged outages that crews will be unable to restore even as we head into tomorrow night and customers should prepare for this."