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The Effects of Cyclone Gabrielle

  • On Tuesday 14 February 2023 - Hawke's Bay was hit badly by Cyclone Gabrielle.

  • A Hawke's Bay-wide State of Emergency was Declared.

  • Communities were evacuated from their homes, some too late, and were needing to be rescued from the rooftops of their homes as swift waters wildly moved through rural communities or residents in areas near rivers wiping out orchards, farms, and bridges, causing great damage in those communities.

  • Homes were left filled with silt, debris, and water. Many properties were destroyed. Many farming animals died in the event.

  • Marae and urupa and community were underwater. Tangoio was severely damaged. 

  • Civil Defence Centres were immediately set up in safer areas in Flaxmere and Hastings to house stranded families and our RSE - Recognised Seasonal Employer (workers). 

  • As soon as it was safe whānau started cleaning up. Communities have come together and have shown great leadership in moving their whānau through to recovery, but the situation is very traumatic. . 

  • The support for help has been amazing from everywhere. People young and old, organisations, agencies, friends, whānau, the whole community has been amazing. 

Images of Tangoio Marae


Be safe as you return home to clean up

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Iwi Response

  • It is important to Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated that our whānau are safe, healthy, and well. 

  • Our COVID-19 emergency response team 'Tihei Mauri Ora' TMO stood up to provide leadership to respond to the needs of the whānau who were evacuated from their homes. 

  • Hubs were set up at marae to take in and care for these whānau. 

  • Food and immediate care needs were purchased to support these hubs. 

  • TMO initiated the set up of the Hawke's Bay Distribution Centre at the Showgrounds in Heretaunga.

  • Communications requesting support by way of food and clothing was sent out with great response. 

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Phases of Emergeny Management

​These common elements allow you to prepare for and protect yourself and your animals from disaster. Emergency managers think of disasters as recurring events with four phases

  • Mitigation,

  • Preparednes

  • Response

  • Recovery

Help is Available

Government agencies are providing support to help whānau cope with these times. Click on some of the links below to view this support. 


0800 400 100

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0800 611 116




Key Messages for Iwi Recovery

  • The mission of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated (NKII) is to enhance the mana and well-being of Ngāti Kahungunu. 

  • We are deeply concerned for our whānau who have been sorely affected by the cyclone. Many have lost their homes, marae, kura, livelihood, their animals, their precious taonga and valuable things.  

  • While the focus shifts to planning recovery and rebuilding of our marae, and hapori, support continues to whānau who are still displaced from their homes and community, and those that remain isolated. 

  • The Tihei Mauri Ora Distribution Centre led by Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi in conjunction with Civil Defence continues to operate distributing supplies to hubs to support whānau pounamu. With the Civil Defence evacuation centres now closed, marae are providing support where they can to their displaced whānau, identifying what options are available for short to medium-term accommodation, and coordinating welfare checks.


  • Regional recovery planning has begun under the Matariki structure with Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi, Taiwhenua and post Settlement entities working collectively with Local and Central government. Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Chair has, along with other members of Te Kahui Ohanga met with Ministers to discuss options for the recovery. Uppermost in our minds are ensuring solutions incorporate and uphold the aspirations and voices of marae and whānau.

Chief Executive - Chrissie Hape & Chairman - Bayden Barber

Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated

Supporting People affected by emergencies and traumatic events. 

Whānau are dealing with the grief of Cyclone Gabrielle in different ways. Everyone has been affected differently by the Cyclone and it is very important to be understanding and mindful of everyone's feelings, concerns, and needs during this time. Emotional stress is very normal in an abnormal situation. 

NZ RED CROSS are professionals in times of disaster. They are usually the kind caring volunteers first at the scene to provide physical first aid in their response and recovery work. One of the things they also offer is Psychological First Aid - He Whakarauora Hinengaro. Their kaupapa promotes five elements of Psychological First Aid - Safety, Calm, Connectedness, Self and group efficacy, and Hope. Like First Aid for physical injuries, you don't need to be a professional to administer first aid, but just like DRSABC, there are principles to help guide you so you are helping the situation and not making it worse. In a Māori perspective, we call this providing manaaki and support. In this case however we need to understand that we are not there to fix them but rather to reduce stress and help them foster the capability to adapt, cope and recover themselves. If you're interested in learning more call 0800 RED CROSS.   

Te Aka Whai Ora /Māori Health Authority - messaging to support whānau


This is a great time to record your stories. A time to write down how you feel or express yourself using different forms of art.  


Te Aka Whai Ora /Māori Health Authority - messaging to support whānau and encourage safety

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