How you can help those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle

16 Feb 2023, 5:26 PM

It's been heartening to see Aotearoa New Zealand rally around the communities most impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle – and our people here on the Kāpiti Coast are no exception. Ka mau te wehi!

Regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle have been inundated with your generous donations and offers of help, and the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) has passed on these tips to make sure your help goes where it’s needed most.

Please note, Council is not accepting donations.

Don't send food, blankets or other donated goods

Roads are impassable in many areas, and teams on the ground just don’t have the facilities, time or people to sort through donations. This is always a big problem in emergencies. Often goods donated with the absolute best intentions end up being more of a hindrance than a help.

Financial donations are the most useful way you can help

If you have the means, donating some money is the most useful way you can help. WREMO will be providing more information soon on how you can donate, including information on mayoral relief funds.

Don’t give money to just anyone

Please be cautious of random individuals and Givealittle pages asking for money. Financial support will be set up through various mayoral relief funds. These tend to be a safe and trustworthy way to help alongside other reputable charities.

Other ways you can help

If you don’t have the means to donate but still want to help, you can!

Larger organisations like the Red Cross and the Student Volunteer Army will be organising clean-up support once we have a clearer idea of what’s going on. If this sounds like you, get in touch with the relevant groups to see how you can help.

If you are hearing calls for specific items in an affected area, and you’re close by (for example, a local marae is asking the community for donations of bedding) and able to make that specific donation right away, that's all good, go ahead.

Central government support in a state of emergency

Remember, the impacted areas are in a national state of emergency, which means full support from the National Emergency Management Agency and all of Government are getting behind the affected regions.

The focus now is on immediate basics such as food and shelter for affected communities.

Those who’ve been hard hit will be looked after with those lifesaving essentials. So think about holding off your donation for now, as money will still be needed later on for smaller, local projects!