Cyclone Gabrielle 2023 business support

Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. We have put together a list of useful links below for affected businesses to help access advice and support. We will update this page regularly with more information and advice - so please check back regularly. 


Cyclone Gabrielle – initial advice – this page will be updated with further information from IRD on tax relief specific to Cyclone Gabrielle

Tax relief for emergency events – including paying in instalments, removing penalties, removing interest and financial hardship relief

Business support 

Government grants for recovery support (applications close Sunday 16 April)

The Government is providing $25 million in recovery support to businesses affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and the January floods which are primarily located in one of the seven North Island regions where there was a local State of Emergency declared. 

You can apply for a grant of up to $40,000. The grants are to help you: 

  • keep operating and position you for a successful recovery 

  • maintain cashflow. 

Learn more here about the Government grants. 

Where to apply: Applications are being administered locally by Government approved partners in each region. Applications close Sunday 16 April. Click on your region below to learn more about local eligibility criteria and apply. 

Farmers and growers can apply for separate support from the Ministry for Primary Industries (see the agribusiness, including farmers and growers section below).  

Recovery visa

The Government has created a recovery visa for migrant workers coming to New Zealand for a short time (up to 6 months) to do a job that supports the North Island recovery from extreme weather events in January and February 2023. Employers must confirm that the role supports the North Island recovery from extreme weather events by completing a Recovery Visa Employer Supplementary Form (INZ 1377). Migrants must include the completed form with their application. This visa is not available to industries providing indirect support (e.g. businesses in the affected areas facing an increased demand for services) or to backfill vacancies of people leaving roles to work on the recovery. These employers will be able to access labour through other visas such as the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Changes are being considered to the AEWV to support faster processing for identified roles that will support the recovery and rebuild. These roles will be exempt from the labour market test.

The Recovery Visa is not limited to roles in the North Island only, recognising that some direct support industries will be South Island-based.

Learn more here

Government cyclone emergency support 

The Government has announced $50 million to deliver interim emergency business and primary sector support. They will release more details on this in the coming week, but you can read more in the Government press release here.

Agribusiness, including farmers and growers 

Cyclone Gabrielle farmer and grower recovery support

The Government is providing $25 million for farmers and growers to undertake urgent work, including fencing, and clearing silt to save trees and vines. Farmers and growers will be eligible for:

  • up to $10,000 for pastoral and arable farmers to help with initial recovery, such as repairs to water infrastructure for livestock, and fencing
  • up to $2,000 per hectare (up to a maximum of $40,000) to remove silt from trees and vines, support clean-up, and minimise future losses.

You can learn more and apply for the grant here

Initial recovery mobilisation fund 

The Government is providing an initial $4 million to help farmers, growers, whenua Māori owners and rural communities mobilise and co-ordinate recovery efforts from Cyclone Gabrielle. Note that farmers, growers, and whenua Māori owners needing immediate support are encouraged to contact sector groups or their local Rural Support Trust. Learn more here.

Rural Support Trust advice for flooding 

The Rural Support Trust has put together some advice for farmers affected by flooding, as well as useful phone numbers, including for the Feed Coordination and Feed Planning Service. Learn more here.

Rural Communities Sheep, Cattle and Deer Agribusiness Response and Recovery

This survey is to gather information on the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle and to understand the priorities for response and recovery efforts. This is separate from the current MPI farmer and grower grant funding which is currently available (see MPI website). All responses will be kept confidential. Respond to the survey here

Māori communities

$15 million short-term relief package for Māori communities

The Government announced the establishment of a short-term funding package of $15 million to accelerate the Māori-led response to Cyclone Gabrielle. This includes:

  • $9 million - distributed through Te Puni Kōkiri, an agency that is able to leverage its experience and relationships to support response efforts in Māori communities
  • $3 million - distributed through Whānau Ora to fund Commissioning Agencies to manage and coordinate responses, to augment and deploy resources to impacted regions
  • $3 million - distributed through Te Arawhiti to support direct iwi partnerships and relationship activities, strategic leadership and coordination

Learn more here


Community support packages

The Ministry of Social Development has made a range of community support packages available to help community groups and contracted social sector providers to continue to deliver their response and recovery efforts. This includes funding for Not-for-Profits, community hubs and local marae, whānau, hapū, iwi. Learn more here


Support from your bank

Talk to your bank to learn about any specific support packages they may have for cyclone-affected businesses and eligibility criteria which may apply. Several banks are providing support, ranging from temporary overdrafts to payment deferrals and other offers. Bank terms and conditions vary and are subject to change. For more information, contact your local branch or visit their website: ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, Rabobank and Westpac 

Other useful links and info

Civil Defence payment (payments will end on Saturday 15 April) - this covers loss of income because you can't work, as well as support for food, bedding, clothing and other emergency items. N.B. Applications for this benefit payment are no longer accepting online applications. The application can either be handled in person by visiting their applicant's local regional office during work hours or telephoning the 0800 number which is 0800 400 100 (this flood line number will be closing on Saturday 15th April at 1pm).

Resources from CAANZ

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand have created a Cyclone Gabrielle support page, with links to a range of resources and local support pages. Learn more here.  

Financial reporting impacts

Read our article on accounting considerations in times of uncertainty, including our extreme weather events financial reporting checklist. Learn more here.

Regional support

Tairāwhiti - Gisborne

Trust Tairāwhiti Cyclone Gabrielle response and recovery page - including information on the business needs response survey, and the Trust Tairāwhiti business hub for businesses that need to come in and use the internet to process payroll, make payments and complete other business admin

Water usage guidelines for businesses in Gisborne

Information from OSPRI for farmers affected by flooding in Tairāwhiti Gisborne

Business Support Grants

  • If your business has been adversely affected by Cyclone Gabrielle you can apply for a grant of up to $40,000. Applications close Sunday 16 April. Please note that you can only apply once for the grant – for eligibility criteria or an application form, please refer here:
  • As of 6 April 2023, 825 applications were received, 753 applications processed and $6.37 million in funds distributed.

Gisborne Chamber of Commerce

The Gisborne Chamber of Commerce have been providing insights via their weekly newsletter with links to resources for coping and recovery for businesses, including:

Striving through: Tips, tactics, and plans for managing your business through a crisis

Staffed or stuffed: Creating resilience through your people

Rate relief options

Learn more here about rates relief options provided by Gisborne District Council for businesses that have been hit hard by Cyclone Gabrielle.

To talk to your local BDO Gisborne team, click here

Hawke's Bay

Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Fund

Support is available up to a maximum of $1,000 per household or $2,000 for organisations, marae and community groups.

You may be eligible for assistance from this fund if:

  • You are experiencing hardship (financial or emotional) as a result of the Cyclone Gabrielle at the time of your application.
  • You are/were a resident (owner/occupier or occupier) or ratepayer in one of the worst hit areas of Hawke’s Bay at the time of the event.
  • As long as you are not eligible for funding assistance from any other source for the same item/s or purpose.
  • For family or personal crisis support which is not covered by insurance, or by another agency or fund (such as MSD).

Learn more here

Hawke's Bay Emergency Management page

To talk to your local BDO Hawke's Bay team, click here

cyclone in hawkes bay

Article: Tax relief for Cyclone Gabrielle-affected farmers

Farmers in regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle are eligible for a range of tax relief available through the Income Equalisation Scheme.
Learn more

Key contacts