Cyclone Gabrielle tools and resources

Key tools and resources to assist you in the flooding and cyclone recovery efforts. 

Contract and insurance claims

Barrister, Emily Walton gives us her tips on the best way to assess natural disaster damage.

Watch our webinar with Emily Walton and Hannah Bryce as they delve further into contract issues and insurance claims in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle and earlier flooding.

Grants for businesses affected 

If you own a business in parts of the North Island and have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle or January flooding you can apply for support to help your recovery.

New Zealand Claims Resolution Service

The New Zealand Claims Resolution Service has been introduced to help avoid disputes, resolve issues, and settle claims for homeowners after a natural disaster. The service is modelled on the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS) and Residential Advisory Service (RAS), which were used during the Canterbury earthquakes and proved to be successful with insurance companies. Homeowners who have concerns about their claim or are unsure about the process can contact NZCRS at 0508 624 327, email [email protected] or visit the website.

IRD offering tax relief

Inland Revenue is offering tax relief to affected customers and businesses and will assess each issue on a case-by-case basis. Once you're ready, they've asked you to contact them to discuss via their prioritised disaster line 0800 473 566.

IRD financial support

There are a lot of ways that the IRD (Inland Revenue) can help in the recovery and rebuild. Things like paying for accommodation costs, food, bedding and clothing as well as loss of income, power bills. Find out more with Inland Revenue.

0800 # for business advice

Business NZ is offering a 0800 number to assist businesses with any questions following the weather events. 

The number to call is 0800 500 362. Or alternatively, email [email protected]

Lines are open 8am - 5pm Monday to Friday.

Back to Work grants for Auckland businesses 

Businesses in Auckland will soon have access to more support to aid in their recovery with the launch of some new Back to Work grants. The grants cover three categories:

  • Up to $5000 for red/yellow stickered businesses
  • Up to $2000 for other businesses (not red or yellow stickered) who can demonstrate significant need
  • $750 by declaration based on demonstration of a moderate level of need.

Applications for the grants can be made through or via 0800 005 605.

Construction contractual guidance 

The Construction Sector Accord has put together some great guidance for construction contracts impacted by the weather events. Read the guidance

Resolving employment issues

The Early Resolution Service within MBIE is a free, phone-based service for employees and employers providing assistance to resolve a workplace issue early, quickly, and informally before it becomes too serious or needs a more formal process. Issues could include working arrangements, hours, pay or leave having changed without consultation, health and safety concerns, employment has ended, restructuring, redundancy or dismissal or concerns about your employee’s performance. For more information visit their website

Health during the recovery

Risks of respiratory illness and infection are rife in the environment following Cyclone Gabrielle. Civil Defence advises that dry silt poses a health risk as it’s likely to contain faecal matter and other contaminants that could become airborne. Find out more about what you can do for your health and safety during the recovery

Keeping safe during the recovery

Businesses and organisations need to manage risks to make sure working conditions are safe during the recovery. Find out how to keep safe.

Managing teams through crisis

Behavioural scientist Renee Jaine shared her tips for ensuring the well-being of your staff in a crisis.

We were recently sent this great information from AuSAE on managing teams through a crisis. When adults have the following signs, they might need crisis counselling or stress management assistance – look out for these signs in yourself and your teams, and check out the support options below:

  • Difficulty communicating thoughts
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty maintaining balance in their lives
  • Low threshold of frustration
  • Increased use of drugs/alcohol
  • Limited attention span
  • Poor work performance
  • Headaches/stomach problems
  • Tunnel vision/muffled hearing
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reluctance to leave home
  • Depression, sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Mood swings and easy bouts of crying
  • Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt
  • Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone

New Zealand crisis phone #s

Engineering NZ resources

Engineering NZ has also shared some great resources on the emergency response.

Business continuity planning

Business NZ has a great step-by-step guide on continuity and contingency planning and being prepared for all types of disruptions.

Emergency plans

Workplace has put together a guide on how to prepare and maintain emergency plans.

Looking after your staff 

Behavorial scientist and founder of Thrive Lab, Renee Jaine, shared her tips for ensuring the well-being of your staff: 

  • Check-in directly and personally with everyone in your team. People will really appreciate a phone call or a text to see how they are doing, and how their families and friends have fared. While your immediate team members may be OK, they may be busy and distracted as they seek to help their broader community. It's useful for you to understand the context they're operating in. 
  • Do as much as you can to ease any work-related pressures for staff members who have been personally affected by the flooding.  
  • Appreciate that ongoing uncertainty may affect people's work performance. Uncertain situations are actually harder to adapt to than certain but negative outcomes - because uncertainty is attention-grabbing, and we tend to ruminate on all the possibilities. Your staff may be unsettled by the ongoing weather warnings, lack of certainty about insurance payouts, concerns that schools may stay closed, and so forth. Just knowing that uncertainty is unsettling can help you to lead your team with greater empathy. For more on this, you may like to look up Dan Gilbert's TED talk on the Surprising Science of Happiness 
  • Consider creating a dedicated space and time for people to share their experiences of the flooding. This will help affected team members to feel heard and understood, and it will strengthen the bonds between your team members. 
  • Try to help your team members to develop resilient modes of thinking. The father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, has found that people are less likely to bounce back from hardship if they fall prey to the 3 P's - personalisation, pervasiveness, and permanence. This sounds like, "it's my fault that bad things happen [personalisation], in every sphere of life [pervasiveness] and things are always going to be hard [permanence]". In contrast, people are more resilient if they can avoid these 3 Ps - with thinking that is impersonal, impermanent and specific. That sounds like: "the floods were a natural phenomenon [impersonal], and they've affected my property but not my relationships [specific], and I know we will recover in a few months [impermanent]". This may be a tricky topic to navigate with your team, because you don't want people to feel pressured to 'put on a happy face'. Instead, you could ask staff if they'd like any tools to help them mentally navigate this period of time, and if so, you could share this simple resource 
  • Some people in your team may feel 'survivor guilt' if they were not badly affected by the flooding. Others may feel powerless to help. You may like to identify a list of practical things that team members can do to help their colleagues or their wider community. You could even talk to your HR team about organising a team day, in which you provide practical support to NGOs like the Student Volunteer Army. Helping out in this manner has a range of benefits - you support your community, you strengthen bonds between team members, and you generate a stronger sense of agency within each individual team member, which will carry over into their everyday life. 

Looking after your business has some great information about how your business can operate safely, insurance claims, finance and banking and buildings and landlord responsibilities as a result of the flooding.  

  • If you need to report any flood problems with buildings or request a building assessment, phone Auckland Council 0800 22 22 00.  
  • If the workplace isn’t safe, don’t require your staff to work there. Make sure it’s safe first. 
  • If public transport is unavailable or reduced, think about facilitating car pools among staff. Smaller employers could organise carpooling with other employers nearby. Consider any impact on staff getting to work on time and whether you can be flexible. 
  • Consider wider infrastructure issues (eg road closures, power outages or water restrictions) and the impact of these on staff getting to and from work and whether you can be flexible. 
  • In an extraordinary event, you may need to approach things differently. This may include temporarily changing your leave policy, letting employees work flexibly, or adopting a flexible approach to staff make personal phone calls to check on family during the workday. 
  • Think about any negative impact on staff pay (eg processing of payroll) and try to minimise this. 
  • Act in good faith and be honest with staff about the situation. You can provide them with an expert report showing the workplace is safe, this will reassure them. If an employee has a concern about the workplace being unsafe, ask them the specifics of their concern (eg have they seen cracks) so that you can investigate. 

Find out more with