Cyclone Gabrielle: Government announces initial $4 million support package

Feb 17, 2023

An initial $4 million is now available from Government to help farmers, growers, whenua, Māori owners and rural communities in the regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle to mobilise and co-ordinate recovery efforts. This adds to an earlier $11.5 million community support package from government to assist in the response.

Damien O’Connor: This is a difficult time for many.”

A rare national state of emergency was declared for Gabrielle’s unprecedented and once-in-a-generation event on Tuesday morning for the seven affected North Island regions: Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Tāirawhiti/Gisborne, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Tararua District.

Announcing the new support package, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said: “This is a difficult time for many, with thousands of people’s home and businesses affected by this large-scale adverse event – the Government is here to provide support.”

He acknowledged the “dynamic situation” and noted “conditions make it difficult to assess the full extent of crop damage, livestock losses and disruption” and that conditions are expected to exacerbate feed issues."

NIWA continues to monitor the overall situation, while MPI has staff in the cyclone-affected North Island regions in its MPI Rural Communities and Farming support, On Farm Support, Animal Health and Welfare and Māori Agribusiness teams. It is also working closely with DINZ and other sector groups to provide help and assess what else might be needed.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has updated its information and resources on its website to help farmers dealing with floods. See here >>

Farmers needing to urgently move deer or cattle, animal welfare takes precedence. If the deer are needed to be trucked from a neighbour’s yards, the movement can be recorded as coming from the home location to the receiving location, so long as the animals:

  • Are not held in the yards or associated paddocks overnight,
  • Do not mingle with other animals from a different NAIT location, and
  • The sole purpose is to load the animals on to a truck.

If deer or cattle urgently need to be moved out of a TB movement control area, OSPRI will issue a permit to move without pre-movement testing. If you have phone access, call OSPRI to arrange the permit. If you can’t communicate with OSPRI beforehand, they will issue a permit retrospectively. OSPRI Freephone 0800 482 463 as soon as practical.

OSPRI has also extended reporting timeframes for impacted farmers. See here>>

Deer farmers requiring urgent grazing should contact their local NZ Deer Farmers Association branch or the DINZ office 027 668 0141.

Deer farmers needing further advice and support can also contact:

Offers of Help

The tight deer farming community are helping each other and checking in with DFA branches will be co-ordinating offers of assistance to flood and drought affected areas.

If you have an offer of help please pass it on to DFA at the DINZ office 027 668 0141 who can co-ordinate with the DFA branch network to get assistance to those in need.

Animal welfare during Cyclone Gabrielle

  • MPI is coordinating animal welfare response efforts in flood impacted areas in Hawke’s Bay.
  • MPI has been made aware of horses and other animals in the Hawke’s Bay that are missing or needing assistance.
  • Please contact MPI’s on-call animal welfare emergency management team directly at or 048940132 if you need assistance with animal rescue or evacuation.
  • We have received offers of temporary accommodation. Please email or call 048940132 if your animals need to be accommodated.
  • If you have a horse that has gone missing please list it for free on and then share the listing on equine Facebook pages 

And here is the CDEM update: Cyclone Gabrielle - What support is available and where can you get help » National Emergency Management Agency (


Continue reading: DINZ news in brief | Issue 95 >>

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