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Flooding caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in Awatoto, near Napier (Photo: Getty Images / Design: Archi Banal)
Flooding caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in Awatoto, near Napier (Photo: Getty Images / Design: Archi Banal)

SocietyFebruary 17, 2023

How to help in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle

Flooding caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in Awatoto, near Napier (Photo: Getty Images / Design: Archi Banal)
Flooding caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in Awatoto, near Napier (Photo: Getty Images / Design: Archi Banal)

A list of places in need of your support in the devastating aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle. 

Have we missed something? Let us know – 

In the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, financial donations and volunteering locally tend to be the most useful type of donation – unless of course organisations have made calls for specific items. While donated kai, blankets and clothing is generous, it can become a logistical problem for responders. Especially because many of the affected areas are entirely cut off and there aren’t enough responders to sort through items.

For example, yesterday Hasting District Council posted on Facebook thanking the community for generous donations, but asked that people stop: “We simply do not have room for them,” they wrote. “We will put a call out for items that are needed when we have a better idea of what people will need. Until that time, if there was anything you wished to donate could you please hold onto it for now.”

A home flattened by a slip in Muriwai. (Photo: Getty Images)

For now, the National Emergency Management Agency and other official agencies are responding with immediate needs and essential items for affected communities. However, it means that as time goes on, as the immediate response eases, and as the water and silt clears, there will be an immense need for support for affected communities to rebuild what’s been damaged or destroyed.

In a post on Facebook, Civil Defence Canterbury wrote, “Money will also be needed down the line and there might be small local projects (things like rebuilding a playground or fixing up a marae) that you want to support when the time comes. Sometimes people feel like they’ve been forgotten once the immediate response has passed, so support down the line can make a real difference to those people.”

Here are some places that you can support, if you are in a position to do so.

Manaaki Matakāoa

Helping the coastal communities of Tairāwhiti secure communication and power, Manaaki Matakōa is urgently calling for donations here. All funds will go directly towards supporting communications and power infrastructure for the Matakāoa, Te Puia, Waipiro, and Tokomaru Akau communities.


At this point in the response, probably one of the most useful things to give is your time. Check out your local volunteering. Likewise, if you need help from volunteers get in touch with your local volunteering group. 

Student Volunteer Army

While based in Christchurch, Student Volunteer Army are expanding their support to other regions in the North Island affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. To volunteer, sign up here. If you need assistance with clean-up, fill out this form.

Stuff’s Community Support campaign

Stuff is working to raise money for both the Red Cross and Mayoral Relief Funds in the regions that have been the most devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle. “The Red Cross is on the ground dealing with immediate welfare needs and supporting people’s emotional, practical and social needs,” the fundraising page reads. “Mayoral Relief Funds help local communities support whānau, community organisations and marae after an emergency. Donate here

Extent of flooding in Wairoa surveyed from the air (Image: Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group)

Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi 

Ngāti Kahungunu, whose tribal area has been heavily affected by the floods, is welcoming kōha to help support affected communities. Funds will be distributed to affected communities across the tribal rohe. To donate, make a direct deposit: 02-0644-0117140-00. Reference: KOHA. The SWIFT BIC code for Bank of New Zealand is: BKNZNZ22. This should be used whenever funds are sent from overseas to BNZ bank accounts.

Ngāti Porou Iwi

Another iwi rohe that was heavily affected by the cyclone is Ngāti Porou. They’ve shared an account where donations can be made which will be directly passed on to support affected communities in and around Tairāwhiti. You can make donations to the account using these details: Name: Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Acc Number: 01-0641-0232397-00, Ref: Cyclone Gabrielle or CG – “Your Name”.

Affected marae

While marae have played a vital role in looking after people throughout this emergency, numerous North Island marae and their urupā – like Tangoio, Rongomaraeroa, Utaina Ōmāhu, Takipu and Kauwhata – have also been devastated by the flooding. For now, the following marae have set up accounts and Give A Little pages for contributions to marae restorations.

  • Donate to Te Karaka and Takipu Marae here
  • Donate to Utaina Omahu here
  • Tangoio Marae bank transfer to account number: 03-1517-0011436-000
  • Rongomaraeroa Marae bank transfer to account number: 03-0779-0133949-00

Many marae are in areas with limited communication and are dealing with the immediate community response so further fundraisers are likely to be set up when they’re able to.

Women’s Refuge

Women’s Refuge are asking for one-off donations to ensure they can continue supporting women and children in the aftermath of the floods. “Unfortunately, we know there will be many weeks of uncertainty and many clients will need support above and beyond what is usually required. Our knowledge of what so often follows a natural disaster of this kind means that we also fear that many more women and children will potentially reach out for our services,” they wrote on social media. 

Pasifika Network Group 

Pasifika Network Group in Horowhenua are requesting donations to support Pasifika RSE workers who have had homes and belongings destroyed. At the moment they’re asking for mens’ clothing, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, blankets, towels, shoes, gumboots and socks. Currently they have one drop-off location listed: Levin Glassworks, 154 Oxford Street, Levin and further locations will be added. On social media they wrote, “Currently our team are scrambling to set up a support system, and will have more information later [in] the week”. For information contact Alice Mose-Tuialii on 021 292 1235, Angelina Mose-Tuialii on 021 181 4334 or Amos Telea on 022 345 6103. Visit their Facebook page for updates.

Kings House Church 

While roads are still blocked in and out of Napier, Kings House Church is providing additional support, assistance, meals and shelter to over 300 RSE workers. “Most of these guys have lost everything,” Pasifika provider Charles Faletutulu told Coconet. “Walked through neck high floods with suitcases holding all they have left.” You can donate directly to the Kings House Church bank account using the account number 38-9009-0297745-000

A dog in HUHANZ’s emergency shelter in Auckland. (Photo: Supplied)

Re-Source Hawke’s Bay

Are in urgent need of blankets and clean duvets for emergency shelters. If you are in Hastings, they are open for drop-offs at Angus McMillan Concrete, 402 Victoria Street. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for opening hours and updates on whatever else they need. If you are not in the area but want to show your support, you can donate to Re-Source here. 


HuhaNZ is currently running pop-up emergency shelters for animals in both Auckland and Hastings. If you need accommodation or support for your animals in Auckland, they can be found at 743 Papakura-Clevedon Road and you can text them on 0223919094. If you are in Hawkes Bay, an animal shelter has been set up at the Hastings Racecourse and you can contact them on 0222491020 or 027 4416474. To support the work of HuhaNZ, text HUHA to 4463 to donate $3 instantly, or click here for more options. 


The SPCA centres in Hastings, Napier, and Gisborne are still closed, but SPCA staff are on the ground “doing what we can to assist displaced and impacted animals and pet owners.” As they posted to their Facebook page, anyone needing assistance with animal rescue or evacuation, or temporary accommodation for their animals should contact the MPI emergency management team on or 04 894 0132. You can donate to the SPCA here

Stick with it

Because of the scale of this disaster, the recovery is likely to be long and involve a lot of ongoing work. That means, it’s important to continue being engaged with those communities who have been affected most, maintaining momentum when it comes to support and holding those in power (councils, the government, official agencies, MPs and candidates) to account in the ongoing response.

Keep going!