Assistance available for cyclone-affected Northlanders

15 Feb 2023, 1:28 PM


As Te Taitokerau begins the massive clean-up and recovery job following Cyclone Gabrielle, a compilation of what support is available and where to get help is now available.

With many communities in Te Taitokerau cut off or with limited communications, Northland Civil Defence and its partner agencies are working to share this information as widely as possible so people can get the help they need.

Download a print version of the following information (PDF, 419KB) 

What support is available and where Northlanders can get help

Here is a list of services and agencies that are available to help you and your whānau. The type and amount of assistance available will differ depending on your needs and situation.
District councils

If you need information, assistance or to report urgent cyclone-related issues, here are the key contact details for each district:

Emergency financial assistance

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) may be able to help with urgent or unexpected costs - from emergency food, medical costs, and bedding to home repairs, power bills and loss of income. See reverse side for further information.

Support Service Directory - Hearts & Minds Tai Tokerau

This directory is your pathway to the support and resources available in your local community. Services listed include community information and resources, crisis and emergency disability/special needs, hardship support including foodbanks, counselling/support and many more:

Māori community / iwi support

Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups are working alongside marae, hapū, iwi and Māori community groups across the region. To be connected in with the appropriate person or agency for advice and support please contact Carol Manukau, Te Kahu O Taonui - Email: [email protected] or phone 021 025 98435.

Animal welfare

If you are concerned about your animals or pets, contact your veterinarian in the first instance. If you need to report an animal welfare issue or have an animal welfare query, contact Ministry Primary Industries (MPI) animal welfare team 0800 008 333. If you need assistance or advice on farm, please contact the Rural Support Trust for advice 0800 787 254.


If your home, car, or contents have been damaged by the severe weather please contact your insurance company. Many household insurance policies will also cover commercial accommodation if you have to leave your home due to damage. The Insurance Council has some good information for landlords, renters, and business:

Victim Support

Victim Support can deliver 24 hours, seven days a week support services to help people recover from the stress and trauma brought on by the storm. Call 0800 VICTIM (842 846).

For further information visit


Civil Defence Payment

Support and assistance may be available if you're in the Northland region and have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

There are lots of ways we can help, and we can point you in the right direction based on your situation. You don't have to be on a benefit. You may have to pay the money back depending on your situation.

Who can get it

You may be able to get a Civil Defence Payment if either:

  • a Civil Defence emergency has been declared, or
  • the event meets the guidelines for a Civil Defence emergency.

You must be in one of these situations because of the emergency:

  • you had to leave your home (e.g. you've been evacuated or you're on stand-by)
  • you were away from your home at the time of the emergency and can't return
  • you need help with food, bedding or clothing
  • you can't go to work.

You must also:

  • not be able to cover your costs from insurance (or you haven't been paid yet)
  • not have access to any other help, e.g:
    • public donations
    • other government relief funds
    • charitable relief funds.

If you're not sure whether insurance will cover your costs, you may still qualify for a Civil Defence Payment. However if you get a Civil Defence Payment and then your insurance pays for any costs covered by this, you'll need to pay us back.

What you can get depends on your circumstances. You can apply for help with more than one type of cost.

What Civil Defence Payments can help with

  • emergency food, clothing and bedding if yours has been damaged or destroyed by the cyclone
  • costs if you've had to leave your home
  • loss of income because you can't work due to the cyclone
  • a payment if you have evacuees staying with you in places such as a private home, marae or community centres.

Other costs we can help with

We can also help with:

  • medical costs
  • bedding
  • food
  • power bills
  • repairs or replacing appliances.

We also provide other help such as benefits and help with paying your housing costs.

Everyone’s situation is different, so what you qualify for will depend on your situation.

How to apply

To apply, call Work & Income on 0800 400 100. We’re open 7am-5pm Monday to Wednesday, and 8am-5pm Thursday and Friday.

These payments are available for a limited time. There’s more detail about the Civil Defence payments, including who can get these and how much you can get on the work and income website.