Cyclone aid. Photo: Florence Charvin

The contract has been signed for an independent review of the performance of the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) response to Cyclone Gabrielle.

The contract was awarded to Bush International Consulting and will be led by Mike Bush, formerly Commissioner of NZ police.

Other panel members include- Debbie Francis, who has been involved in multiple large-scale and high-profile reviews for government and private industry, Ngahiwi Tomoana, the former Chair of the Board of Ngāti Kahungunu, Gary Knowles, the former Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations at the New Zealand National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Paul Vlaanderen, who has an extensive law enforcement background, including Search and Rescue (SAR) roles with NZ Police in Wairoa and Taupo.

Bush said the panel would follow “a tried-and-true method of interviewing people who responded during the event and key stakeholders, and will review a lot of documentation.”

“We’ll also set up a process for public input.”

Joint Committee Chair and Chair of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Hinewai Ormsby welcomed the start of the review.

“We look forward to receiving the review panel’s draft report later this year and a final report in 2024.”

The Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group Joint Standing Committee represents Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Napier City Council, Hastings District Council, Wairoa District Council and Central Hawke’s Bay, as well as advisory members from Ngāti Kahungunu iwi and PSGE delegates.


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  1. Hope review panel looks at distribution of CD centers
    During cyclone Hastings had 5 centers in Flaxmere and another 5 around city
    Napier had a total of 2 for whole city

  2. Why ,when phone calls were made before Ngaruroro breached the stop banks, were Civil Defence unable to activate someone.. anything to inform residents to evacuate. We were told they were too busy in Clive dealing with flooded garages. There was NO communication what so ever. We lost our home, everything.
    Why did they they not put a chopper up to evaluate the situation early in the morning so they could let residents know and act accordingly – we know no one is saving us. We have to do that ourselves. But we were unaware the Tutaikuri was breaching, we needed an alert. Even an old school siren. YOU DROPPED THE BALL!

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