Cyclone Gabrielle is the most significant weather event New Zealand has seen this century. The severity and the extensiveness of the damage has not been experienced in a generation.
That’s why, for only the third time in our history, the Government has declared a National State of Emergency. This enables us to support the affected regions, provide additional resources as they are needed, and help set the priorities across the country for the response.
What we’ve witnessed over the last few weeks has taken a huge toll on many New Zealanders. It’s been turning people’s lives quite literally upside down. But we’ve also seen people from all walks of life coming together and stepping in and lending a hand.
An all-of-Government response is already well underway and we will continue to support communities through this unprecedented event and the recovery phase. Community organisations have also moved quickly to provide flood relief and to support whānau, and our Government’s recent $11.5 million community support package will help to provide immediate relief for individuals, families, and households.
There are people in other parts of the country, and Kiwis overseas, trying to get hold of loved ones who are now cut off without reception. While emergency response teams are working as hard as they can to get communications back online as soon as possible, it is an anxious time for everyone. Keep looking out for each other. We will get through this.
Finally, we all owe enormous gratitude to our emergency responders. They’re putting in the hard yards and their lives are on the line in the service of their communities. To the Defence Force, to the linemen and women, the communications companies, the supermarkets, the transport companies working to get food and goods to where they are needed, to the roading crews that are making that all possible: thank you.
While the full impact of Cyclone Gabrielle is yet to be seen, our Government will continue to stand alongside New Zealanders and provide further support.
For now, please stay safe and keep up to date with MetService weather warnings and advice from your local Civil Defence and Emergency Management groups.
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