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Cyclone Gabrielle: A message to clubs from our CEO

Issue date

Dear members, 

As you will no doubt be aware, our weather agencies are closely monitoring the latest tropical storm that is expected to form north of the country over the weekend.  

While it is still too soon to know with any certainty if and where Cyclone Gabrielle will make landfall, and with what intensity, modelling suggests it could arrive by Sunday and last until late Tuesday - bringing with it more torrential rain, strong winds and rough seas. Regions expected to be impacted, at this stage, are Northland, Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. 

Residents in these areas are urged to use the available time to prepare – ensuring your whānau are safe and your property is protected. 

Before the forecast weather arrives, and if it is safe to do so, please encourage a group of members to also check in on your club – ensure drains and gutters are unblocked, inspect and trim trees if required, and move inside or tie down any boats or other items that could get damaged or become a hazard in strong winds. If your club building is prone to flooding, move valuable and dangerous items as high above the floor as possible and use watertight containers. 

If you have club vessels that need to stay on the water, check their berths or moorings and lines to ensure they are properly moored. Anything that can come loose during the storm should be removed or secured and openings should be sealed. Remove as much rigging, canvas and deck gear as possible. And of course, please encourage members to do the same with their personal vessels. 

Ensuring you have the right insurance in place to cover any potential damage or losses is also crucial. 

Below are some helpful links for the latest updates, ways to prepare and where to get help: 

• Latest weather updates: WeatherWatch NZ, NIWA, MetService. 

• Latest emergency updates per region: Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty. 

•  Advice on how to get ready for the storm and an emergency preparation checklist. 

• Tide charts for your area. 

• Where to find help in an emergency: Northland, Auckland (or ring 0800 22 22 00), Waikato, Bay of Plenty. 

• For urgent insurance claims, Aon NZ clients can contact their broker on 0800 267 276 or get in touch with their local branch here.

Our thoughts are with those clubs still dealing with the damage caused by the recent flooding in Auckland and other parts of the North Island, and it has been heartening to see our clubs and communities again come together to support each other - and their neighbours. 

If you would like to help with clean-up efforts in Auckland, you can contact the council on 0800 CLEANUP (0800 253 268) or head to Volunteering Auckland. 

The Student Volunteer Army are also coordinating response assistance to the flooding across the North Island. 

We will be keeping a close eye on the official updates and advice, including other council-coordinated initiatives, over the next days and will share this as it becomes available. 

In the meantime, please reach out to us with any questions or concerns. 

Kia kaha, 

David Abercrombie 

Yachting New Zealand chief executive