State of Emergency declared for the Bay of Plenty region

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Western Bay of Plenty Mayor James Denyer declared a State of Emergency tonight, as the conditions from Cyclone Gabrielle worsened.

The declaration was signed by Mayor James on Monday 13 February, and it aligns with the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group who’ve also declared a State of Emergency for the Bay of Plenty region.

This makes a few more resources available to us in our response, says Western Bay Civil Defence Controller Scott Parker.

“With this declaration we can do things a little more quickly and use the powers under the civil defence and emergency act and additional resources to get things done when people are at risk.”

For our community this declaration won’t change much. Under a state of emergency, you can still go about your normal life if you are not affected, but please stay across updates from council, civil defence and emergency services.

This includes things like

  • closing roads or public places.
  • undertaking works – for example, earthworks required for stabilising land and properties.
  • entering a property to rescue people or save lives.
  • removing or securing dangerous structures and material.
  • providing first aid, food or shelter.
  • Opening more overnight accommodation options.

If you receive a text message asking you to evacuate, please follow instructions and evacuate to higher ground. But you don’t need to wait to be told. It’s best to go and stay with friends or family, or if there’s no other option visit any of the evacuation centres now open.

You can visit any of the options below.

  • RSA Waihī Beach – 99 Beach Road, Waihī Beach
  • Pongakawa Action Centre – 956 Old Coach Road
    Tuapiro Marae – 24 Hikurangi Road, Tahawai
  • Orchard Church in Te Puke – 20 MacLoughlin Drive, Te Puke
  • Katikati Baptist Church – 2 Wedgewood Street, Katikati
  • Athenree Homestead and Station – 360 Athenree Road, Athenree Gorge

These centres, operated by local community response teams, have the bare essentials – tea and coffee – with people needing to take their own warm clothes and blankets, and snacks. Pets are not allowed inside the centres and will need to remain in their cages in vehicles. We thank our community for their generosity and hospitality.

For updates visit westernbay.govt.nz/cyclone-gabrielle

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