Watch: Auckland Emergency Management give latest Cyclone Gabrielle response update

1:32 pm on 22 February 2023

Auckland Emergency Management controller Rachel Kelleher says the focus remains on supporting communities 27 days after the first flooding in the region.

Rain is forecast in the next few days which will no doubt cause some anxiety, she said, though MetService has not yet released any weather watches or warnings for the Auckland region.

"We are expecting isolated showers this afternoon and tomorrow morning followed by showers throughout the region, which could be heavy with low risk of thunderstorms and peak rain rates of about 10-15mm per hour."

The rainfall was not expected to cause more flooding but could cause instability in slips across the region, she said.

It was important people stayed away from cordoned areas and buildings.

"We are aware of a king tide high tide and unusually large swells at Piha beach today."

Surf life saving lifeguards are not on duty and people are asked not to swim or surf there.

Yesterday, access to Karekare was partially restored for emergency services. Power was restored in the Karekare Valley area as well as telecommunications using generators.

Power in Te Henga and Bethells Beach have been partially restored, Kelleher says.

Repairs begin today on the washed out road at Bethells Beach, with work on the road itself starting on Friday and going throughout the weekend until complete.

During this time, there would be no resident access between 7.30am and 5pm.

Supplies were being helicoptered into South Head including nappies, wipes and portaloos which were being dropped off in Dairy Flat.

Residents in areas where there are ongoing works are advised to have a plan to get through the weekend.

Access is still limited in Muriwai and Piha but power has been partially restored, including telecommunications using generators.

Kaipara flats have had their access restored.

Most building assessments done

Officials are working as quickly as possible on a plan for re-entry for those who have not been able to access their homes.

Auckland Council general manager building consents Ian McCormick says from a building control perspective, they are beginning to transition from response to recovery.

The majority of building assessments has been completed.

There was still localised flooding in Ramarama and Dome Valley.

"At this stage we know there are probably 12 homes that are affected and we will be doing assessments on those homes in due course."

In total there have been 1400 assessments on homes as part of the response to the cyclone. There were 215 red, 269 yellow and 891 white placards given out.

Increasingly the focus is on supporting and enabling people to get back into homes, even if this is to collect valuables, he says.

"Where the building has a red placard, it's more challenging, so where we've issued a red placard it's because at the time we assessed the building we had some serious concerns about the safety of people who are assessing those buildings."

It was important owners did not enter these buildings because they could put themselves and emergency services at risk, he said.

Anyone wanting to go into their home should call 0800 22 22 00.

There are a small number of buildings that remain unsafe to approach, in other cases it is only safe when people are accompanied by geotechnical engineers, he says.

Based on geotechnical advice, they have identified zones in some cordoned areas on the west coast based on excess risk. Residents will be contacted soon.

In the west coast a number of cordons remain and security guards are onsite.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs