Cyclone Gabrielle Update
Updated 5pm Monday 27 February 2023.
Cyclone Recovery Update - Foodstuffs Partners with Whakarongorau Aotearoa to Promote the 1737 National Mental Health Helpline
In response to the distress caused by Cyclone Gabrielle and the ongoing bad weather, Foodstuffs, the 100% New Zealand owned and operated co-operative behind PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square, has partnered with Whakarongorau Aotearoa // New Zealand Telehealth Services, to help ensure those impacted and affected know free, 24x7 mental health support is available by calling or texting 1737, the national mental health helpline.
Chris Quin, Managing Director of Foodstuffs New Zealand says: "We understand events like Cyclone Gabrielle and the ongoing bad weather can cause significant stress and anxiety for individuals and communities. That's why we're partnering with Whakarongorau Aotearoa, to remind people that support, and advice is available, and how to access it when they’re ready."
“If someone is feeling stressed or overwhelmed, we want them to know there’s free, specialist support available, so for our stores in affected areas, we’ve added messages promoting 1737 to our till receipts, we’re running announcements over instore speaker systems and we’re promoting the service via our Facebook pages and over email.”
The 1737 service provides free, confidential support for anyone feeling distressed, overwhelmed, or anxious. By calling or texting 1737, people can connect with a trained counsellor who can provide support, advice, and ideas to help manage stress and anxiety, and what’s happening for them right now.
Glynis Sandland, Acting Chief Executive of Whakarongorau Aotearoa said: “The impact of Cyclone Gabrielle is far reaching. Just as important as physical and practical support is providing psychosocial support, for people’s wellbeing. With the help of Foodstuffs, we’re ensuring people know that if they, or someone they know, needs mental wellbeing support or advice they can call or text 1737 anytime.”
"The 1737 team can support people and their whānau during this difficult time" added Sandland.
For more information on the 1737 helpline, visit www.1737.org.nz.
Updated 10am Thursday 23 February 2023
Foodstuffs North Island, the 100% New Zealand owned and operated co-operative behind PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square in the North Island is pleased to announce all its affected stores have successfully reopened following the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle.
Cyclone Gabrielle brought strong winds, heavy rain and flooding to the North Island, causing loss of life, damage to homes, businesses and crops. When the Cyclone hit, Foodstuffs North Island had 33 stores that were unable to open.
Chris Quin, Chief Executive of Foodstuffs North Island said: "Our thoughts remain with all those who continue to be affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, our teams have done an incredible job getting all the affected stores open. We’re now delivering stock by road to all stores, except Four Square Tokomaru Bay, where we’re continuing to deliver stock by helicopter. The safety of our customers and our teams is always our top priority, and we took the necessary steps to ensure our stores were safe to re-open.”
“Having seen the devastation first hand, I’ve got so much respect and admiration for the hard work of our owner operators, truck drivers, team members, support teams, business and supplier partners. Given the cyclone struck a week ago, it’s a big milestone to have all our stores open and its testament to the dedication, commitment and culture we have here at Foodies.”
The final store to re-open was Four Square Taradale in Napier. With the area being evacuated on Tuesday, 14 February, the store was without power and unable to trade for a week before regaining access to mains power on Tuesday, 21 February.
“Getting all the stores open and serving our communities is just the beginning, we want New Zealanders to know we’re fully committed to supporting the recovery from here. I’m proud of our team's response to the cyclone, we’ve had team members chartering helicopters to fly in product, Waka Kai has been on the water delivering essentials to isolated communities in the Coromandel, our IT team has been flying in Starlink kits to restore connectivity and our truck drivers have shown great bravery delivering through the storm. We’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time.”
Foodstuffs North Island has a long-standing commitment of supporting local communities and being HereforNZ and one of our promises is to make sure every New Zealander has access to food. Every locally owned New World and PAK’nSAVE has a direct link to at least one foodbank, food rescue, or social supermarket partner and we’ve been working with them and other community organisations and charities to honour this promise in the wake of the recent Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.
In the last few weeks, our HereforNZ team has donated over $335,000 worth of product, or cash funding to support the immediate need and in the coming days, we’ll be increasing our support as we work with our community partners.
Updated 10am Sunday 19 February 2023.
Our thoughts continue to be with all with the families of the people who’ve lost their lives due to Cyclone Gabrielle, those who’ve lost their homes and property and who aren’t able to reach their families and loved ones.
We’re getting to all but one of our stores by road now, New World Wairoa has received two large deliveries, which was really reassuring for the community and gratefully received. The only store we can’t get to by road right now is Four Square Tokomaru Bay on the East Coast, 91km north of Gisborne - we’ll continue to get essentials to the store by helicopter until we can reach the store with a truck. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all our drivers who’ve gone above and beyond, battling through in the most extreme of circumstances to make sure we can get the essentials through.
All PAK’nSAVE and New World stores are open nationwide, we have a couple of Four Squares not yet able to open and they’re in communities where there are other larger shopping options. We’re asking customers in the worst affected areas to continue to only buy what they need, so everyone can get their fair share when they shop, if there’s a gap on the shelf at the store, know there’s more stock on its way.
Now all PAK’nSAVE and New World stores are open, shoppers in the Hawkes Bay cities and suburbs of Hastings and Napier are encouraged to shop at their local store, this will help even out the load between all the stores.
Foodstuffs stores are 100% New Zealand owned and operated, we have a long-term commitment to be HereforNZ and one of our promises is to make sure every New Zealander has access to food. Every locally owned New World and PAK’nSAVE has a direct link to at least one foodbank, food rescue, or social supermarket partner and we’ve been working with them and other community organisations and charities to honour this promise in the wake of the recent Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle. In the last few weeks, our HereforNZ team has pledged over $300,000 worth of product, or cash funding to support the immediate need and in the next week, we’ll be increasing our support as we work with our community partners.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to our teams, supplier partners, communities, absolutely everyone who’s pulled together to help get all the stores affected by the cyclone back up and running. It’s a really stressful time so we’re asking to please remember to be respectful to each other and our team members when you shop with us, we’re all going through a lot and we’re in this together. Kia kaha, take care.
Updated 6.30pm Friday 17 February.
Today we’re deeply saddened by the passing of one of our team members, Marie Greene, who lost her life at home as a result of the cyclone. Marie worked on the checkouts at New World Greenmeadows and was a generous and kind people-person who was much loved by her team-mates. We’re heartbroken for Marie’s family, friends and everyone who knew and loved her.
New World Greenmeadows Owner Operator Iain Beaton says: “Marie was a much loved member of our checkout team and will be greatly missed.”
There’s a long journey ahead for communities hit hard by Cyclone Gabrielle. As well as looking out for each other at this really sad time, our priority is to make sure everyone has access to essential groceries and to support the recovery where we can make the most difference.
We’ve set up our emergency HereforNZ fund to react quickly to what communities need and are partnering with local food banks, food rescue and other community groups to provide support, by way of product donation, so they can keep their shelves full and get food and essentials to where they’re needed most. For example, we contributed $20k to Super Grans, a local foodbank in Tairawhiti/Gisborne. We’re doing this through our locally owned and operated stores and so far, we’ve provided over $300k in support for flood and cyclone impacted communities and individuals. We want to thank all our partners for their hard mahi – we love partnering with you all and you’re doing incredible work.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to all our teams, suppliers and business partners who’ve been working tirelessly to make sure essential supplies can reach affected areas. Yesterday we got deliveries by truck into several communities that have been isolated including Gisborne, Tairua and today, Ruatoria.
Over the last few days drivers have braved very challenging conditions like slips, fallen trees on roads and flood waters, on occasion coming up to window height. At times drivers were having to leave their vehicles to clear trees and debris from the roads so they can continue their journey and get supplies into stores. Just some of the heroics that so many people have displayed.
Our brand-new Cross Dock in Hastings is just a few weeks old and has proved invaluable as a staging point from where we’ve been able to coordinate our deliveries. Yesterday and today has seen us shift 40 pallets of stock and Starlink kits by helicopter to isolated communities like Wairoa, Tokomaru Bay, Tologa Bay and Ruatoria.
Some Coromandel communities have been getting deliveries from Waka Kai - New World Whitianga’s delivery boat which has been out and about over the last few days delivering to places hard to access via road across the greater Coromandel region - Cooks Beach, Hahei, Matarangi, Opito Bay, Whangapoua, Tairua and Pauanui.
Foodstuffs North Island’s IT team and its partners have been deploying Starlink kits, satellite-based internet solutions, to help affected stores open for business and to continue serving their communities. The Starlink kits and IT technicians have been flown in by chopper to areas without road access in order to get stores operational.
Take care everyone.
Updated 16 February
Foodstuffs North Island Cyclone Gabrielle Update
What a tragic 72 hours, so many New Zealanders lives have been impacted. Our deepest condolences go to those who have lost loved ones and who are facing the challenge of rebuilding. To everyone affected, please know our teams have been working around the clock. We’ve got the stock, we’ve got the plan and we’ve got the means to get essential items to you as we support your towns and communities to recover.
In the past 24 hours our team has made significant progress getting essentials to isolated communities and reopening and replenishing our stores where we can make deliveries.
All PAK’nSAVE stores are open, and there is just one New World closed, New World Onekawa in Napier, and there are options available for shoppers. Today, we hope to gain road access to Onekawa in order to move a generator through to enable the store to reopen. There are seven Four Squares not yet able to open, all in the Hawkes Bay.
Replenishing isolated communities is our absolute focus. While there’s lots of great work going on to clear slips and reopen roads, people need the essentials now. We have a plan to re-open each store and we have the required stock and resources to make it happen. The biggest hurdle for us remains the roads. To get stock through in the past 24 hours we’ve used back roads, Unimog's and we’ve contracted a helicopter that can lift 2-3 ton to get essentials like toilet paper and water into stores that cannot yet get a delivery by road.
We’re using our Hasting depot as a staging point with the helicopter helping shift up to 40 pallets of stock and technology, such as Starlink kits for connecting to the internet, into the communities of Wairoa, Tokomaru Bay, Tologa Bay and Ruatoria.
Where connectivity allows, for the latest information on local stores, customers should check the store’s Facebook page.
Our HereforNZ team is working with community partners like Civil Defense Centres, Foodbanks, Social Supermarkets, City Missions, Community Trusts and charities like Butter Bean Motivation to provide support. We’ve now given at least $260,000 worth of food and goods to our partners.
Yesterday we provided around $50,000 to Hawkes Bay community partners and we’re actively working with Gisborne partners as well.
A huge shout out to our incredible teams for their heroic work and for continuing to go the extra mile every hour, while we make sure we get essentials to New Zealanders to recover from the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.
Updated 15 February
As we see the horrific impact of this event across the North Island our thoughts are with the families of the people who’ve lost their lives due to Cyclone Gabrielle, those who’ve lost their homes and property and those who aren’t able to reach their families and loved ones.
There was advanced warning of the cyclone, and our teams used the time to prepare by getting more stock into stores ahead of the extreme weather, which means we went into the event in as good a shape as we could hope to be.
Today our teams are switching from full time crisis management to a combination of crisis management and recovery. We have a focus on getting essentials to communities that haven’t had a delivery for a couple of days and reopening and replenishing our stores where we can make deliveries.
As of midday, Wednesday 15 February, there are two New Worlds and 17 Four Squares unable to trade. A store might be closed because there’s no power, team members can’t get in to run the store, there’s flood damage, or Civil Defense has asked us to temporarily close until it’s safe to open. Thankfully most of these stores are in communities where there is another local option where people can get to for groceries.
Our heroic drivers and our supplier partners are doing their best to safely get their deliveries to where they need to be nationwide, and we ask that customers in North Island only buy what they need for a couple of days and customers in South Island continue to shop as they normally do.
The current weather conditions will mean there may be some NZ produce grown in North Island that is affected and there will be delays in shipping product between the North and South Island, but it’s currently too early to tell how this will affect availability. Some of our suppliers who manufacture products have also been having challenges. We ask customers to be understanding if their first choice isn’t available when they shop.
The community of Wairoa in Hawkes Bay has been hard hit and there’s currently no access by road. New World is the only full-service supermarket in town, we’ve made contact with our local owner operator and team this morning and everyone’s OK. The store is open and has enough stock, as long as everyone only buys what they need. Our priority today is on getting essentials to this community by other means, including helicopter, plane, or by sea.
Other communities we’re focused on getting supplies to are East Cape and Coromandel. Tairua in particular, and our teams are looking at alternative ways to get stock in, other than by road.
A huge shout out to our incredible teams who continue to go the extra mile every hour, while we make sure we get essentials to New Zealanders and recover from the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.
Updated: 1pm Tuesday 14 February 2023
Our thoughts are with the people who’re affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and we’re grateful all our people are safe.
With difficult road conditions and closures throughout the North Island last night and this morning, our drivers and our supplier partners are doing their best to safely get their deliveries to our Distribution Centres and stores.
While there has been some disruption to deliveries, all the preparation we’ve done in advance means we have plenty of essentials already at store. The current road conditions may mean deliveries to affected areas are delayed today and we kindly ask customers to continue to buy only what they need, so communities can get their fair share when they come to store. From time-to-time, customers may see temporary product limits for items that are in high demand.
This morning, we have 23 Four Square stores not yet able to open, mainly due to power issues, or under Civil Defence advice. As it’s a very dynamic and changing situation, we’re advising customers to follow Civil Defence advice in their local area - and if it’s safe to travel, to check their local store’s Facebook page to check their store is open, before they set out.
Our priority is always to keep our teams and customers safe - take care and we’ll continue to keep you posted.
Updated: 13 February 2023
Cyclone Gabrielle – We hope you’re ok where you are. If the weather is severe where you live, please follow the guidance of Civil Defence before coming to shop.
Please check your local store's Facebook page before setting out, as we have several North Island stores that are temporarily closed, and others may change their opening hours.
Please buy only what you need for 2-3 days. Our priority is always to keep our teams and customers safe. Take care.
Updated: 12 February 2023
Cyclone Gabrielle – a huge shout out to all our teams, drivers and our suppliers and business partners for all you’re doing – and everything you will do – to make sure we’re as prepared as we can be for what this next weather event brings.
Our stores are open, if you’re coming in and the weather is bad where you are, please take care.
Depending on what the weather brings to your area, your local store opening and closing times may vary, so please check their Facebook, or website page before you set out.
Our priority is always to keep our teams and customers safe - take care over the coming days.