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Cyclone Gabrielle - help for Farmers and Growers

This page offers information, advice and help for farmers, orchardists and landowners who have experienced damage from Cyclone Gabrielle.

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 What help is available to farmers and growers?

We know that farmers and growers are working together in localised hubs, with council and agency assistance. At HBRC we want to help as best we can. You can call on 0800 108 838, or 06 835 9200.  

There is financial support available to farmers, growers, whenua Māori owners, and rural communities to support the immediate response and recovery efforts. Check out the quick links on this page. 


What is HBRC doing for the rural community?

The most pressing issue for many farmers and growers is waste disposal and clearing of land. We are providing advice on waste disposal - silt, wood, animal carcasses, posts and wire – and we offer assistance to rural landowners where large-scale clearance of material is needed - Check out our waste information flyer here. We are also providing advice and assistance to rural landowners still dealing with ponding on their land.

We are also putting a huge amount of effort into the repair the region’s stopbanks so people and land are protected from further heavy rain events. We have completed a comprehensive survey of the damaged stopbanks, mapping out the critical areas for urgent repair. All stopbank breaches now have temporary repairs in place and our Rapid Response teams are working hard to permanently repair any damage. 

If you need financial help, we have reactivated the region's Disaster Relief Fund Trust to take donations, and distribute one-off grants to people in need to help them with their recovery efforts.


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The aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle has resulted in large volumes of waste.  If you have waste on a lifestyle block, farm or orchard, we will be able to help you remove the larger volumes. 

Different waste types need to be dealt with in different ways.  Please try to keep these waste types separate so that we can minimize the amounts of mixed-waste that end up in our already overloaded waste sites. 

The types of waste covered in this advisory are: 

  • Silt 
  • Wood debris 
  • Posts and wire 
  • Animal (stock) carcass retrieval and disposal  

Advice on disposing of hazardous materials/ contaminated silt, and chemical waste can be found here.

Silt removal  

If you have waste on a lifestyle block, farm or orchard, HBRC will be able to help you remove larger volumes.  Landowners are asked to remove the silt and move it to a location on their own property with suitable access for trucks. Contact us 0800 108 838 as we will coordinate with a contractor for the removal of the silt. 


You can phone us 0800 108 838 to advise your address for pick up.  Property owners need to arrange to have the silt on their properties and from under their homes piled onto the verge outside their home (not in the gutter), or in front garden if the verge is not large enough. It will be picked up and disposed of by contractors, with the pile pick-up and disposal council-funded.  All sites are only able to be accessed by contractors.


Wood waste  

Wood waste has washed up on beaches, river sides, roadsides, public areas and private properties after the cyclone. We will remove debris from public places to chip it, starting with the immediate area around the Heretaunga Plains and then progressing further afield. We strongly recommend against burning this waste as it will be contaminated and burning the waste risks spreading any contamination.  

If you have wood waste on a lifestyle block, farm or orchard, the Regional Council will be able to help remove larger volumes.  Landowners are asked to move the wood waste to a location on their property with suitable access for trucks. The landowners can then contact us on 0800 108 838 or 06 835 9200 as we will coordinate with a contractor for its removal. 

Posts and Wire  

The cyclone has caused many vineyard, and orchard posts and wire to be ripped out of the ground, and these are now scattered across properties, neighbouring land and roadsides. 

IMPORTANT! Tanilised posts and wire that make up this waste cannot be disposed of through burning; burning of this waste will release toxic chemicals into the wider environment.  

Where landowners have large quantities of posts and wires from fences, viticulture and horticulture operations, these can be collected by HBRC and held in a secure site for further work. HBRC will arrange collection and suitable remedial work to separate wire, for wire recycling and return of usable posts to farmers. Landowners can contact the regional council on 06 835 9200 or 0800 108 838 to coordinate the removal of posts & wire fences. 

Stock carcass removal  

If already on a farm, farmers may be able to bury their own dead stock as per normal conditions. Large scale events should be reported to HBRC so that in these instances the dead stock can be removed from the property, particularly if located over an unconfined aquifer or within a source protection zone. If disposing of stock on a property, please consider the following before burying:  Proximity to waterways, noting burials should be at least 50 m from a waterway or critical source area, and the usual pest/ vermin control. 

If deceased stock are not on a farm, or there are too many on the property for the landowner to deal with, please phone us on 0800 108 838 or 06 835 9200 as we will coordinate collection and appropriate disposal.  

Who is doing the silt testing, what’s being tested for and at what sites?

We contracted an expert to test silt samples from across the Heretaunga Plains, from Esk to Twyford and surrounds.  Testing was carried  out to characterise the material in the silt, and for possible chemical contaminants.

We want to make sure we are not mixing ‘clean silt’ with potentially contaminated silt.  The likely contaminants are horticultural chemicals, animal waste, and localised oil/ diesel contamination from vehicles caught up in the flooding.

Do you have any results back  or when are they due?

The initial feedback from our external consultant is that in the areas excluding Awatoto, there is  nothing significantly contaminated. People should continue to take precaution and wear suitable PPE, but we can safely take the silt from farms and orchards and store it.

We are still waiting for a formal report from the consultant.

How are the results going to be used?

These results will be used by the Regional Council to support the safe removal and storage of silt in appropriate sites.

Please note: We are co-ordinating the pick up and deposit of sites from farms and orchards only.

Please complete the Cyclone Gabrielle rural reporting form and tell us of any damage you know of in your area.  Please pinpoint the location as best you can and upload any photos you may have.

Landowners with large areas of ponding can contact us for advice and assistance, 06 835 9200 | 0800 108 838.  

We understand that there will be an urgent need to carry out some works directly related to damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle. This might include, for example, repair or replacement of damaged culverts or other access structures. We have created a simplified application to use in these circumstances. 

Go to this page for information about applying for an urgent consent

Napier Port has returned to full operations, following only minor damage to port operating assets.

Extended opening hours are currently in place and will be reviewed weekly based on customer requirements and road network conditions.

The extended hours are aimed at helping to ease congestion on the road network and support growers moving into peak season for produce exports.
As at Monday, 27 February the extended hours for Napier Port Gate and Deports are:

Day Service Container Terminal Thames St 1 Depot Thames St 2 Depot*

  • Monday - Friday Full service 0700 - 2300 0700 - 2300 0700 - 1830
  • Saturday Closed Closed Closed Closed
  • Sunday Closed Closed Closed Closed

*There will be no late empty return process for Thames Street 2 Deport.

Any questions on opening hours, please contact Napier Port's Western Gate Team -

Despite the damage to regional rail transport infrastructure, Napier Port’s supply chain services are operational and connected. Reach out to their logistics team for any assistance if needed to arrange cargo reaching the port. Email:, or contact – Matt: 027 263 1902 or Nicolas: 027 213 7278.


Civil Defence payments from Work and Income are available for all people in affected areas; no previous interaction with WINZ is required. These can help with accommodation, food, bedding, clothing and other urgent costs, and are available to cover lost income if you can’t get to work, your workplace is closed, or you need to stay away from your normal home so you’re too far away to get to work.

Government recovery funds  -The Government is providing $25 million for farmers and growers to undertake urgent work, including fencing, and clearing silt to save trees and vines. The grants are to help farmers and growers get back on their feet as quickly as possible. They include:

  • up to $10,000 for pastoral and arable farmers to help with initial recovery, such as repairs to water infrastructure for livestock, and fencing
  • up to $2,000 per hectare (up to a maximum of $40,000) to remove silt from trees and vines, support clean-up, and minimise future losses.

Find info in this factsheet

Financial help to recover from Cyclone Gabrielle MPI

Disaster relief fund - Hawke’s Bay Mayors and Chair have activated the Regional Disaster Relief Trust, making it easy for people from anywhere in New Zealand to donate to the region’s Cyclone Gabrielle recovery effort. Donations can be made online here .  Text donations can also be made by texting DONATE to 5569.   

Information on the Fund eligibility is available here.


If you need extra help on your farm, you can get help from the Farmy Army here 

Applying for an urgent consent for damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle

We understand that there will be an urgent need to carry out some works directly related to damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle. This might include, for example, repair or replacement of damaged culverts or other access structures.  We have created a simplified application form for use in these circumstances. 

Find more details and apply on this page


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While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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