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Kindness, resilience, teamwork and patience following Cyclone Gabrielle

Waikato District Council and its Civil Defence Team would like to extend a massive thank-you to the community for their patience, resilience, kindness, teamwork and understanding in the wake of the multiple adverse weather events we’ve experienced lately.

A special mention goes to hard-hit Port Waikato, which has been an area of particular focus for the team due to safety, access and land stability concerns exacerbated by the cyclone.

“Our communities – particularly in the north – were already in a fragile state following the adverse weather event over Auckland Anniversary Weekend,” says Waikato Civil Defence Controller Kurt Abbot.

“Cyclone Gabrielle came in on the top of this and caused further widespread damage, not just to Council infrastructure such as parks and roading, but also to personal property and emotional wellbeing for many.”

However, the way that individuals and communities had come together to support each other in response to the event was not just encouraging, but inspiring.

“Our communities banded together to support each other in many ways; this was both encouraging and inspiring to all involved,” says Abbot.

“Whether you supported your community by offering shelter for whanau or friends, took in your neighbours pets, helped to deliver essential supplies to isolated communities, opened your doors to the community seeking refuge in time of need or anything in between  – we want you to know that we see you, we acknowledge you, and we thank you for your continued support during this time.”

Despite the worst of the weather moving off, Council wishes to reiterate that the clean-up is ongoing, and urges for the public to be patient as they work to get everything back up to business as usual.

“The exact timeline for recovery is yet to be determined,” adds Abbot.

“Not just for our roading crews, who are working to restore travel links across the district, but for our residents and farmers too.”

What to do if you need support

  • The Ministry of Social Development has set up a dedicated floodline for those in need of financial support as a result of the floods. Please call them on 0800 400 100.
  • MSD support for disabled people is available here.
  • Waikato district residents in need of support can call the welfare team on 0800 492 452 for advice.
  • Here To Help U is always available to assist our communities, with access to temporary accommodation, food, wellbeing and other general support.
  • The Rural Support Trust is available to support rural residents who are experiencing or worried about any or personal and/or business-related pressure, whether it stresses related to employment, financial, animal welfare, health and wellbeing challenges and more. They are asking impacted residents in the Waikato district to contact them by Friday 17 February; you can call them on 0800 787 254.