Prime Minister Chris Hipkins speaks to media in Auckland

  • 12/02/2023

Chris Hipkins has spoken in Auckland as Cyclone Gabrielle hits the upper North Island.

The Prime Minister visited the Auckland Transport Operations Centre (ATOC) with Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Minister of Transport Michael Wood. 

Hipkins urged people to take this cyclone seriously and follow all guidance that officials give.

"Weather is notoriously unpredictable," he warned.

Official Government update – Cyclone Gabrielle

  • Cyclone Gabrielle will impact much of the North Island with severe gales, heavy rain and very large waves forecast from today through to Tuesday.
  • This is expected to be an unprecedented and dangerous weather event. 
  • MetService has issued severe weather warnings for many parts of the North Island.
  • Keep up to date with MetService weather warnings and advice from your local Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.  
  • Adhere to all advice and instructions from authorities.
  • Cyclone Gabrielle will also exacerbate the impacts for those communities recovering from recent floods
  • Avoid travelling during severe weather, and check Waka Kotahi for road closures. 
  • Do what you can to prepare your household for the coming days.
  • Information about preparing for storms can be found at
  • Call 111 if you feel in any danger.
  • Stay safe. Don't take any chances.

"There's no need for panic-buying. Supermarkets will stay open ... so people will still be able to access the essentials they need," Hipkins said.

"Shop for a couple of days, not a couple of months."

He said people need to have a grab bag ready to go in case they have to evacuate.

He also encouraged people to minimise the traffic on the roads, so if this means working from home for some people, then they should consider that.

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