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Cyclone Gabrielle Business Recovery

Waikato District Council is reaching out to businesses in our district who have been impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle to encourage and support applications for the central government Business Recovery Grant. 

At times like this we know business operators are often busy and overwhelmed. So, if you need to speak to someone about the help that is available for your business or if you require some support to access this, we encourage you to please reach out to one of our friendly Economic Development Advisors (contact details below). 

Have questions? Give us a call on 0800 492 452, or via the direct contact details below, and we’ll do our best to help. 

Northern Waikato district 

Emma Rankin
Economic Development Advisor
Phone: 021 220 6316

Southern Waikato district 

Kelvin Forsman
Economic Development Advisor
Phone: 027 271 2424

Do you need support?

If you’re in need of business financial support, there are a variety of options available, including:  

Cyclone Gabrielle Business Recovery Grant 

In a direct response to the adverse weather events in early 2023, the Central Government has announced the creation of the Cyclone Gabrielle Business Recovery Grant. This fund will be administered by Thames Coromandel District Council but is open to all businesses in the Waikato region that meet the criteria. 

An independent panel has been set up to assess all applications. 

To be eligible for this funding you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your business must be located within the Waikato region. 
  • You’re facing significant and sustained cashflow issues due to continued challenges with customer access, ability to source stock, supply chain issues, inability to operate as usual due to the physical damage to equipment or premises, or delays in insurance assessment and repairs. 
  • Your business is otherwise viable both before and after the storm events. 
  • You are not receiving any funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries  recovery fund. 
  • You commit to acting in line with employment law and with due regard to your employees.  

Fund applications close Friday 31 March 2023. Apply here. 

Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment support

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment have set up a dedicated website with tools and expert advice from government and industry, designed to help businesses succeed. View more at

Information for businesses affected by the extreme weather events, including looking after your employees, insurance claims and more is available here.

If you or your employees are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, there is free help available. Check out these resources on mental health and wellbeing support or phone one of the numbers below.

  • Call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or text 4357
  • Call Samaritans on 0800 726 666.
  • Call Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254
Farmers and growers recovery support 

Farmers and growers can apply for recovery support. Grants of up to $10,000 for pastoral and arable farmers and up to $2,000 per hectare (capped at $40,0000) to remove silt from trees and vines are available.

Find out more on the Ministry of Primary Industries website.

Regional Business Partners Programme 

Soda is the Waikato-based team delivering the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s Regional Business Partner Programme. This is a free programme to support small to medium businesses to grow and innovate. A Regional Business Partner, Soda’s focus is on how they can help businesses get back on their feet after Cyclone Gabrielle.  

If you think you would benefit from a free one-on-one chat with one of their business advisors, please email Kate

More information about the free regional business partner network programme and how this could assist your business can be found on their website here

Pakihi Māori (māori business) support

Pakihi Māori (Māori Business) support can be found through the following organisations:

Pacific business support
Pacific business support can be found through Pacific Business Trust.
Recovery Visa   

The Recovery Visa (a Specific Purpose Work Visa), will allow employers to sponsor migrants to come to New Zealand for a specific event or purpose, including working on an emergency response.  

The initial visa will last up to 6 months. The $700 fee will be refunded for successful applicants.  

The Recovery Visa couldn’t come at a better time for businesses working through how they will recover and rebuild from this month’s extreme weather. In the Waikato, this will be particularly helpful for the Coromandel, Port Waikato and Raglan communities.  

Mayoral Disaster Relief Fund 

The Mayoral Disaster Relief Fund is open to Waikato District Council residents, ratepayers or small business owners, and not-for-profit organisations who have suffered financial hardship because of damages caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Find out more.