Published: 14 March 2023
One month after Cyclone Gabrielle wreaked havoc in Hawke’s Bay, Napier City Council is moving from response to recovery as the National State of Emergency was lifted today.
Napier Mayor, Kirsten Wise, says the move is a significant milestone for Napier as Napier City Council focuses on cleaning up and boosting up its city and citizens after what has been a distressing four weeks.
“We have a long journey of recovery ahead. It’s going to take time, expertise and effort. As we’ve heard a lot lately, it really is a marathon – not a sprint,” Mayor Wise says.
Napier City Council Community Strategies Manager, Anne Bradbury, has been assigned Recovery Manager following Cyclone Gabrielle, and she says recovery will look different for different people.
“For some people whose lives have been turned upside down with the loss of homes, recovery will mean finding a new place to call home and finding a new norm. For others, their focus will be on clearing and restoring land, repairing property, reviving business and reconnecting with their communities,” Anne says.
“We are committed to working in partnership with mana whenua, who have been pivotal throughout the response. These important relationships will continue during the recovery phase.”
Together with local councils and agencies, Napier City Council staff have been working around the clock to clear access ways, parks and tracks and restart services as quickly as possible, so people can return to enjoying what the city has to offer.
In the waste space, kerbside recycling collection has resumed and sites for the disposal of clean silt from residential sections were also identified this week. People with silt for removal need to pile it on verges or easily accessible frontages (away from drains and gutters) and call 0800 108 838 to arrange for its collection.
Progress is also being made on the removal of flood-damaged waste from properties in Meeanee. Trucks will continue to collect flood-damaged waste in flood-affected and accessible areas of Meeanee. Residents are again asked to pile this waste at kerbside, on verges, or on easily accessible frontages away from drains and gutters.
The Botanical Gardens, along with the majority of Napier’s walking tracks, parks and reserves are open for use, however the walking tracks at Sturms Gully and Park Island (around Western Hills and Park Island Cemetery) remain closed for safety reasons.
People are asked to keep dogs out of waterways as the water is contaminated and also be aware of loose debris (trees may have hanging branches that may fall in strong winds).
Access to Eskdale Cemetery has been cleared so people can tend to their loved ones memorials. Anyone entering the area should wear PPE including face masks, long sleeve tops and pants, boots, and gloves are required.
Just under $500,000 has been distributed from the Hawke's Bay Relief Trust, to applicants affected by flooding, prolonged power outages and landslips. Applications continue to be received and payment will be made to approved applicants on a weekly basis.
The fund was activated by Hawke’s Bay Mayors and Chair on 18 February this year to make it easy for people anywhere in New Zealand to donate to the region’s Cyclone recovery effort.
Mayor Wise says the way our communities have rallied together to support one another is beyond humbling and heart-warming.
“I am so proud to be the Mayor of Napier. Despite this most recent devastating event, Napier will recover and thrive.”
For up to date information on the Cyclone Gabrielle recovery, people should visit www.napier.govt.nz or call Napier City Council’s Customer Service Centre on (06) 835 7579.
For queries regarding the Awatoto area email firstname.lastname@example.org
People can apply for funding from the Hawke's Bay Relief Trust via https://hdc.smartygrants.com.au/HBDRF
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