Cyclone Gabrielle Dancing Through Northland

Feb. 13, 2023, 3:24 p.m.

Northland has entered a State of Emergency as of 4.30pm Sunday 12th February 2023. It is currently in place for an initial seven days. Authorities can now exercise powers that would otherwise not be available which allows them to respond to emergencies more efficiently.

The declaration allows Northland’s Civil Defence Emergency Management group to more swiftly co-ordinate emergency services; ensure temporary accommodation, food and water are available; make sure access to dangerous areas is properly controlled; and provide regular public information meetings.

The seven-day state of emergency could also unlock central government resources.

The Far North currently has Cyclone Garbielle sitting out to the east and is unleashing extreme winds of up to 160kts. To give an idea of how strong these winds are, Kaitaia Aerodrome aborts any aeroplanes landing from 25kt crosswinds.

Cyclone Gabrielle comes only weeks after Northland faced mass flooding which caused a significant amount of damage across the region.

There is a range of distruction around the rohe. Councillor Felicity Foy has shared that the roof is missing from her family's porch in Houhora. Meanwhile floods begin to cause panic for motorists who are attempting to cross the rising tide in Kaeo and Kawakawa.

Over 1700 homes have faced power outages and retail outlets are implementing product restrictions on items such as toilet paper to ensure every household has a chance to buy the essentials.

Evacuation centres have now been activated across the region. Ngāti Manawa marae has been set up as one of them. Margaret Ngaropo-Hati detailed;

"Tēna koutou e te whānau, by now you would be aware that Cyclone Gabrielle is predicted to hit Northland from this Sunday, and it has been upgraded to a Category 3 event, bringing heavy rain and strong winds.

Please keep safe, stay home if you can and have a plan ready in case your whānau needs to leave home at short notice.

As a precaution, the evacuation plan for Whakarapa and surrounding areas is to make your way to Ngāti Manawa marae for safety.

Te Kupenga will provide fresh water, first aid kits and hygiene packs at Ngāti Manawa marae.

If you need assistance, please contact:

Mina Pomare-Peita: 021 082 13113

Doug Te Wake: 027 5406326".

Mayor Moko Tepania shared information via his Facebook page and to assist the region during this time;

"Te Tai Tokerau / Northland Update!

A State of Emergency has been declared for all of Northland to ensure services have powers to respond as and where they are needed. 

MetService New Zealand have updated:

  • Red Heavy Rain Warning
  • Strong Wind Warning

Remember to follow Civil Defence Northland for official updates. They are not currently operating any evacuation centres but these will be published and notified as and when they are needed. Please reach out to friends or whānau if you are in need of somewhere to go in the first instance. 

Auckland Emergency Management are operating centres in Wellsford and Warkworth which are available for any travellers that cannot return home safely. Stay up to date with the state highway network with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency - Northland.

There are a number of community-led welfare centres which are being operated. This list is not complete, please follow your local community or rūnanga page for more information and to reach out to the community groups operating these before you go there. 

North Hokianga 

Te Kura o Mātihetihe (West Coast Rd, Mitimiti)

Ngāti Manawa Marae (2192 West Coast Rd, Panguru)

Mōrehu Marae (10 Te Riha Roadway, Pawarenga)

Motutī Marae (325 Motutī Rd, Motutī)

South Hokianga 

Pākanae Marae (200 SH12, Pākanae)

Rāwene Town Hall (9 Parnell St, Rāwene)

Te Whakarongotai Marae (12 Akiha St, Ōmāpere)

Waimamaku Town Hall (7232 SH12, Waimamaku)


Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Whangaroa (2209 Wainui Rd, Matauri Bay)

Whangaroa Golf Course (1745 SH10, Whangaroa)

Te Hiku

Roma Marae (134 Roma Rd, Ahipara)

To report storm related issues to the Far North District Council phone 0800 920 029.

To report power outages to Top Energy NZ phone 0800 867 363.

Radio Station Info:

📻The main Northland radio station frequencies you should tune to include:

- More FM (91.6 FM Whangārei & Kaitaia | 107.3 FM Kerikeri | 95.2 Paihia/Russell | 94.4 Tutūkākā)

- The Hits (95.6 FM Whangārei | 106.1 FM Russell | 96.4 FM Far and Mid-North | 105.9 Doubtless Bay)

- RNZ (837 AM & 104.4 FM Whangārei | 837 AM & 101.1 FM Kaitāia | 981 AM & 101.5 FM Kaikohe | 101.2 FM Lower Northland)

- Newstalk ZB (1026 AM - 1215 AM Northland)

There are also local area radio stations which will provide community information:

- Big River (98.6 FM Kaipara | 88.2 FM Ruawai)

- Heads FM (106.4 FM Mangawhai)

- Ngati Hine FM (99.1 FM & 99.6 FM Northland)

- Sunshine FM (104.3 FM Kaitaia)

- Tai FM (106.7 FM Ōpononi & Kaitāia)

- Radio Tautoko (97.5 FM Mid-North | 99.5 Far North)

Several supermarkets will be closing early due to the weather, see Countdown Supermarkets or New World for updates.

Several schools have already indicated they will be closed. Please contact your local school for updates. 

Please keep safe and take care!

Ngā manaakitanga".

Climate Change Activist Mike Smith spoke to Te Hiku Media about what to expect over the coming days and how to manage your household during this time;

"Ask your whānau and neighbours if they need anything when you go into the shop. Take cash and be prepared for power outages, especially if the eftpos machines aren't operating. Check in on your kaumātua and kuia at this time and plan ahead".

If you need information, assistance or to report urgent cyclone-related issues, here are the key contact numbers for each district:

• Whangarei: 0800 932 463

• Far North: 0800 920 029

• Kaipara: If you require welfare assistance due to Cyclone Gabrielle please contact 09 439 1111. To report damage to roads or log other service requests please phone 0800 727 059.

Please call 111 immediately if life or safety are at risk.


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