Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty, has today extended the states of national emergency for a further seven days to all but one affected region, in response to the widespread impacts caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.
The extension covers the states of national emergency over the Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Tairāwhiti, Waikato, and Hawke’s Bay regions, and the Tararua District until 7 March.
The Bay of Plenty is no longer covered by the declaration.
“The impact of Cyclone Gabrielle continues to be deeply felt by many communities in the North Island,” Minister McAnulty said.
“The states of national emergency are being regularly reviewed and I anticipate that some areas still covered by the declaration will transition to recovery before 7 March.
“Thousands of people are still unable to return to their homes due to flood damage, and tragically eleven people are known to have lost their lives”, Kieran McAnulty said.”
The extension will come into force on 28 February and will expire on 7 March. The Bay of Plenty is now able to manage its recovery within its ‘business as usual’ council operations, the Minister said.
“While enormous progress has been made to return power and telecommunications to the areas hit by the cyclone, there is still significant damage to roads and other critical infrastructure meaning many communities remain isolated or difficult to access,” he said.
“We need to keep coordinating this response at a national level to ensure we are properly supporting local civil defence emergency management, and coordinating resources such as machinery, personnel, and essential supplies into the affected areas.
“To everyone out there continuing the mahi to get things up and running again – community groups, iwi, NZDF and other agency staff, medical professionals, supermarket and petrol station staff, roading and utility crews, truckies, everyone pitching in to dig out silt from a neighbour’s house and deliver meals to those in need – thank you,” the Minister said.