NPDC staff on the ground helping Hawke’s Bay with Cyclone Gabrielle clean-up

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New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) has answered the nationwide call for help with staff deployed to assist Hastings with its response to Cyclone Gabrielle which has devastated parts of the district, building on the Adopt a Community fundraising appeal launched last week by the Mayor.

On 28 February NPDC pledged to help drive financial donations by adopting Hastings to get back on its feet and has followed up with an offer of its staff to Hastings Districts Council to help exhausted teams.

With the vast scale of the disaster, specific skillsets were requested by Hastings District Council to ease the burden on their staff and members of NPDC’s Geographic Information System (GIS) and Engagement teams have been sent to Hawkes Bay to help initially.

“We all need to step up and help Hastings residents rebuild after colossal cyclone Gabrielle which will take years,” said Mayor Neil Holdom. “It’s great to see some of our expert staff on the ground, sharing the load and giving impacted East-coasters a break. We would hope that others would help us in similar circumstances, so it’s only right we offer support where we can and remember you can donate to the Hawkes Bay Disaster Relief Trust Fund 02-0700-0010824-002.”

Currently in Hastings for a week, NPDC’s Engagement Specialist Lisah Henry, who is working in the Public Information Management team, helping to manage the large media presence and share crucial updates with residents around the clock.

"The scale of the response is mind boggling with Hastings District Council covering an area of more than 5000 square kilometres, encompassing dozens of remote and isolated residents” says Lisah. “The team here has been full on since the cyclone hit three weeks ago and have done an incredible job but are understandably exhausted.”

NPDC’s Senior GIS Specialist Jimmy Millar recently returned from Hastings where he provided expertise assisting to map known areas impacted, aiding decision making in the response effort.

For more information or to make a donation visit Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust re-activated.

Photo: NPDC staffer Lisah Henry in action in Hastings.