National State of Emergency declared, conditions remain difficult in parts of the region

Publish Date : 14 Feb 2023
CD Red Alert

The severe impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle continue to be felt, as emergency services and responders work through difficult conditions to restore access and core services in parts of the region. 

This morning the New Zealand Government declared a National State of Emergency. This will further assist us in our response and recovery from this event, and we are grateful for the support and collaboration of effort that this declaration enables. 

The impacts to the west coast of the Auckland region have been considerable. Access to Piha, Karekare Bethell’s Beach was limited earlier today, and Muriwai remains cordoned off by the Police, who are asking people to stay away from the area as the land remains unstable.  

Auckland Council building inspectors have been out across the region today, conducting rapid impact and building assessments to assess the safety of properties. In some areas slips, fallen trees and flooding have hampered their ability to reach damaged homes.  

Twenty experienced building inspectors, compliance officers and geo-technical engineers were sent to support Police and FENZ with rapid building assessments in Muriwai early this morning. After a review of the area by Urban Search and Rescue and geotechnical engineers, Police and FENZ determined that the danger of further slips was too high. Assessments have stopped and Police have put an exclusion zone in place in Muriwai. 

Auckland Emergency Management is urging evacuated property owners to stay away from their properties until they are assessed as safe.  

There were 113 people in our Civil Defence Centres and Shelters overnight, and they remain open today ready to offer shelter and support for those who have been displaced.  

In the coming days, Auckland Emergency Management will assess the level of demand for each of the 27 Civil Defence Centres and Shelters and will make a decision on which are no longer needed, and which need ongoing resource. The list of CDCs and Shelters will continue to be updated on the Auckland Emergency Management website 

Power update  

  • Power outages have been widespread across the region, with high winds continuing to cause problems. Around noon, Counties Energy had 5,000 houses without power and at 1pm, Vector were reporting that around 44,000 properties were without power across Auckland. Crews have been working at pace to get the network back up and running as soon as is safely possible. 
  • Some families will have had outages restored relatively quickly, but Vector advised those in more rural areas should be prepared for several days without power.  
  • Please remember to stay well clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment, and to treat them as live at all times. ​ If you or someone in your household is using medical equipment that relies on electricity, let your retailer know (for example; Mercury, Contact or Genesis) if you lose power. If there is an immediate health threat, please contact your health provider or call 111.​ 


  • Watercare is urging its Muriwai, Helensville and Wellsford customers to please reduce their water use immediately, due to water treatment plants in these areas being affected by power outages. 
  • Water can be used for drinking and hand washing purposes, but residents are asked to refrain from using washing machines or dishwashers.  
  • Watercare advise that crews are working at pace to get them up and running, but disruption to road access has made it more difficult to access the plants. They expect to have the Helensville Water Treatment Plant up and running again by evening and will update on the other two plants in due course.  

Kerbside collections and cleaning up after the storm 

  • A reminder that strong winds are still forecast for the rest of the day, and as such, kerbside collections are suspended until tomorrow (Wednesday). 
  • All waste, including household and green waste, should continue to be stored and secured on your property until normal kerbside collections resume. 
  • Once collections restart, they will resume under the normal collection day cycle. There will be no catch-up services, so please hold on to your materials until your next scheduled collection or alternatively, take them to your local transfer station when they are open again. The transfer stations are still accepting flood-damaged household items for free. 
  • Auckland Council’s Waste Solutions team intends to resume collection of flood-damaged items from tomorrow. Please wait until the wind drops before putting items on the kerbside and call 0800 22 22 00 to lodge a pickup request if you haven’t yet done so. 
  • If you have had damage to your home or property from landslips or flooding, a reminder to take photos of the damage and call your insurer to report the damage. They’ll advise you what to do next. 

Transport update 

  • Significant road closures remain in place across West and North Auckland, isolating the communities of Piha, Muriwai and Karekare and making Wellsford inaccessible from the south.  Across the Auckland region there are currently 28 full road closures, with dozens more partially closed or with restrictions currently in place.  
  • Due to the extent of damage, it is proving difficult for road crews to access some of the sites where slips have occurred to carry out inspections.  
  • Train services will resume operating today on the Eastern, Western and Southern Lines. Rail replacement services will continue to operate in place of trains on the Onehunga Line and the Southern Line between Newmarket and Ōtāhuhu because of KiwiRail’s Rail Network Rebuild.  
  • Scheduled bus services are continuing to run today, but some delays, detours and cancellations can be expected across the network.  
  • Ferries services are significantly disrupted by current weather conditions, with some limited services running at the moment with cancelations in place for Gulf Harbour, Pine Harbour and Rakino services.  
  • If you are on the roads, please keep a lookout for debris and fallen trees on the road, and as always to drive to the conditions.  
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