Helping impacted communities across the country 

20 April 2023

Fortnightly update 4: New Zealand Disaster Fund

How we’re helping

Ngāti Pārau Trust, Hawke's Bay

We’re supporting the installation of new water pumps, building assessments, and reports to help with the rebuilding of damaged homes and with temporary shelters.

The rohe of Ngāti Pārau Trust in Waiohiki, Hawke's Bay was badly impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, with damage to many of their homes and buildings. We’ve contributed $70,000 to help.

“We have had strong support from various organisations, one of them being New Zealand Red Cross, who have given us some critical funding in a short time to get essential services up and running in some of the dwellings that can still house our whānau, such as access to water and electricity,” Joe Tareha, Ngāti Pārau Trust says.

“On behalf of the whānau from Ngāti Pārau in Waiohiki a big thank you to the people at the Red Cross.”

Esk Valley Community Hub 

For many Esk Valley residents, being close to their property, homes and community has been an important part of recovery. We contributed nearly $45,000 to the Esk Valley Hub for temporary accommodation such as caravans, to enable residents to stay at their properties.

“For them it was about being able to stay at their residences and feel like they could continue to be able to move forward bit by bit,” Sarndra Spice, Esk Valley Community Hub Coordinator says.

The first four caravans were delivered on the morning of Wednesday 18 April, two of which went to two families with young children.

“Three families, they’ve all got children, and they are all living under one roof because it’s the only house on the whole property that didn’t actually get affected. It’s just peace of mind being able to go out with our kids, and have their own space,” Spice says.

Te Karaka, Whare Awhina – household bundles  

In Te Karaka many homes were badly damaged by Cyclone Gabrielle. Forty percent of yellow stickered homes were uninsured. Toitu Tairawhiti Builtsmart Limited’s Whare Awhina is aiming to build 50 temporary housing units, with power connected and furnishings, for whanau to live comfortably until they are able to rebuild their homes.  

We are working with them to provide household goods bundles for 26 of the most vulnerable households. We’ve committed $300,000 to these bundles. 

Household goods will include: 

  • Furniture – beds and mattresses, dining table, drawers, etc. 
  • Appliances – such as fridges, washing machines, heaters,  
  • Cooking needs – kitchen knives, cookware set, utensils, dining set, etc. 
  • Bathroom goods. 
  • Bedding.  

If these bundles are successful, we’ll look at working with partners to provide the bundles to other similar households in badly impacted areas.

Here for good  

Our mission is to be here to support those most vulnerable in our communities. Recovery from an event of this scale will take years. We want to ensure we help where our help is needed most, don’t take a 'one-size-fits-all' approach and use the Fund to support impacted people where there’s a gap in the support available.

We’ve learned from other emergencies and are not picking up the responsibilities of other organisations or duplicating the work of groups already doing wonderful mahi. 

One hundred percent of all donations to the New Zealand Disaster Fund – including any interest earned – will go to those impacted by the severe flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle. 

We intend to have the majority of funds distributed by August – six months after Cyclone Gabrielle. Any remaining will be committed within 12 months. 

By the numbers  

Total committed funds: Approximately $3.98 million 
Total donations: $22 million 

Partnership grants Programme  

Using support and enable grants to fund organisations who can make an impact supporting affected communities. 

Entities supported so far include:  

  • Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust  
  • Buttabean BMotivation  
  • Ngāti Pārau Trust, Hawke's Bay 
  • Esk Valley Community Hub 
  • Wider Piha Community 
  • Wairoa Liveable Homes Fund Support 
  • Te Karaka Household Bundles pilot 
  • Tairawhiti Multicultural Council 
  • Radio Hawke’s Bay 
  • Ngaa Hapu Hauora o Waiariki Discretionary trust 
  • The Period Place 
  • Ngā Toi Hawkes Bay  
  • Puketapu School Parent League  

Total approximate spend  $2.8 million  
Community Support Grants approved: 7 grants totalling approximately $202,000 
Community Enable Grants approved: 6 grants totalling approximately $2.6 million 
Total Grant Applications: 37 

Response and recovery Programme  People trained in Psychological First Aid: 257 over 16 courses 
Deployment: Travel and equipment for Disaster Welfare and Support Team members, to support local Civil Defence Emergency Management Group requirements. 
Equipment: Includes generators, first aid kits and other items relating to emergency accommodation and other immediate community needs. 
  • Hastings District Council 
  • Salvation Army  
Total approximate spend $1.16 million 
Investment Programme   Preparing communities for future disasters and emergencies. This includes activities like community resilience workshops   Total spend $ -  

Learn more 

We’ve been around for nearly 100 years. As the impacts of climate change increase the frequency and severity of weather-related emergencies across the country, we’ll keep being here. 

The New Zealand Disaster Fund helps us to support communities to respond to, recover from, and prepare for disasters and emergencies in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

New Zealand Disaster Fund hub

If you want to stay up-to-date on how the New Zealand Disaster Fund is making a difference you can register for email updates. 

Sign up for regular updates about the New Zealand Disaster Fund (

Practical support and information to help you care for yourself and others after the recent flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle. 

Caring for yourself and others after an emergency or disaster

Volunteer with us 

We can’t do our work without the thousands of Kiwis from all corners of Aotearoa New Zealand who give their time and energy to volunteer.   

We’re always on the lookout for dedicated people to join us in our humanitarian work. Join over 8,000 other humanitarians in New Zealand and volunteer today.

Find a volunteer role near you

Red Cross in your community 

New Zealand Red Cross is part of your community. We have 16 offices around New Zealand including our head office in Wellington. You can join your local branch, group in over 40 cities and towns around New Zealand, or shop at one of our 50 retail stores. 

Map of Red Cross locations 

New Zealand Red Cross has 15 ‘areas’ across the country. Each area has its own area council, which is elected by the local Red Cross members. 

About our area councils  

There are nearly 50 branches of New Zealand Red Cross around the country. Branches have a hands-on local-community focus, and are run by volunteers. 

About our branches 

Find out more about what we do in New Zealand  

What we do in New Zealand 

Support our work 

Our emergency management work is funded through the generosity of donors. 

Donate to New Zealand Disaster Fund 

Fortnightly updates

Related stories