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One month on: Transition to recovery underway in Hawke’s Bay

Hawkes Bay Numbers at a Glance Update 2 page 001

One month on from our region first experiencing the devastating impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle, the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group are moving out of the immediate response phase and transitioning into recovery, while ensuring ongoing support to those who need it.

Group Controller Ian Macdonald said the transition to recovery will not mean any reduction in support for impacted people, with the focus remaining on providing essential supplies and services to isolated communities and supporting individuals through the welfare helpline.

“As of today, we still have around 1,500 people in 19 rural isolated communities who we are supporting through the provision of essential supplies and services by air and land. Today alone, eight tonnes of supplies were sent out from our Regional Distribution Centre. We are currently streamlining our process for supporting these communities into a regular weekly cycle,” Ian Macdonald said.

“For the last two weeks we have also been taking a more individualised approach to people and their whānau, through our 0800 welfare helpline.

“Moving to recovery doesn’t mean the agencies, organisations and support services who have supported our communities in the response phase pack up and go home. Essential support activities will continue for our isolated and impacted communities for as long as they're needed,” Ian Macdonald said.

Ian Macdonald said entering the transition phase was only possible due to the efforts and support from local, regional, national and international partners during this response.

“We know there are still people displaced from their homes, remote and impacted communities feeling it hard, and people grieving the loss of loved ones,” Ian Macdonald said.

“Cyclone Gabrielle was an unprecedented disaster for our region with far reaching impacts for our people, our environment, and our economy.

“This event is by far the largest in terms of scale and impact that the Hawke’s Bay Emergency Management Group has ever had to respond to. It is only the third time a National Emergency has been declared.

“I want to thank our Treaty partners, Māori Wardens, partner agencies, councils, emergency services, defence forces, overseas partners, NGOs, community networks and the many volunteers who have come together as a dedicated Civil Defence team with a common purpose to help our communities and each other.

“I particularly want to acknowledge Ngāti Kahungunu and mana whenua around the region, for their partnership during this response and for the support they continue to provide to displaced whānau. 

“The state of national emergency over Hawke’s Bay ended today and a national transition period is now in place. Our regional leaders and central government have also announced a Regional Recovery Framework and the appointment of Keriana Brooking as Interim Recovery Manager.

“We will be working closely with Keriana as we begin the move into recovery.

“There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but these are important milestones in the Hawke’s Bay response and they signal a step towards getting life back to normal.

“Some of our communities have a long recovery journey ahead, and we will be here to keep you informed and provide support along the way,” Ian Macdonald said.

24 March 2023

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