Cyclone Gabrielle response continues, with focus on supporting isolated communities

Publish Date : 16 Feb 2023
Aotea Slips

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," says Deputy Controller Rachel Kelleher.  

"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 Muriwai.   

"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," says Rachel.  

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. 
  • Anyone with damage to their house, or who has slips close to their property, please contact 


  • 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.  
  • An up-to-date list of where you can go to get help and information is on the Auckland Emergency Management website 


  • 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.   

Information about cleaning up safely can be found on the Auckland Emergency Management website.

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