Government ends state of emergency for four regions

Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty and NEMA's Roger Ball.

Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Tararua are no longer in a state of emergency, now transitioning to the recovery period, the Government says.

Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty announced the change this morning, which was effective immediately from when he signed it at 7.56am.

The areas - which entered a state of emergency on February 14 - included the Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group areas, which include the Coromandel, Matamata-Piako, the Waitomo area and Taupō. It covers 11 council authorities.

The areas will now enter a "national transition period" a statement from the Minister's office said, which "enables a seamless transition from the emergency response phase to the recovery stage".

"It provides local Civil Defence teams with the powers they may need during the early stages of the recovery, such as clearing roads and disposing of dangerous materials. The national transition period also enables remedial works to be carried out, for example, to restore access to cut-off properties or make temporary infrastructure repairs."

NEMA was also working with affected districts in Wairarapa to understand whether they should also be included in the national transition period, with a decision on this expected in the next week.

Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay are still in an active response phase and will remain under a state of national emergency, the statement said.

Reporter Henry McMullan joined crews delivering aid to Patoka.

McAnulty said the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had met with the affected Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) groups about the move to a national transition period.

“The devastating impact of Cyclone Gabrielle is still being felt by communities across the northern and eastern parts of the North Island.

“As the immediate response to Cyclone Gabrielle comes to an end, we need to make decisions about how best to support local communities and CDEM Groups to make the transition to recovery.

“It’s going to be a long haul, and we are committed to a locally-led recovery, supported by central government. The transition period will ensure the planning is coordinated for building back better.

“Once again, I want to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of everyone contributing to what is now one of New Zealand’s most significant emergency responses, and assure impacted communities that the Government will continue to stand alongside you for as long as it takes to recover from the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle,” said Kieran McAnulty.

The national transition period in the four regions would last for 90 days unless terminated early or extended.


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