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Dr Muriel Newman

Lessons From a Cyclone

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Cyclone Gabrielle was a tragedy that has exposed life-threatening frailties and failures within our infrastructure network.

Once the immediate problems have been addressed, a comprehensive public inquiry rather than the internal government review signalled by the Minister for Emergency Management, should be held to ensure that lessons will be learnt and changes made to mitigate the effects of potentially damaging natural events in the future.

Widespread power and cellphone network failures left hundreds of thousands of families without any means of emergency communication.

While some would have been better prepared than others, for many an old-style transistor radio was their only communication with the outside world. Driving to safety was not an option for those stranded by floods and damaged roads – and when the power goes out, those with electric vehicles are without transport.

Too many people were on their own – without power, cell phone coverage, and with no means of escape.  

A National State of Emergency was declared on Tuesday for the six affected civil defence emergency management group areas of Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Tai Rawhiti, and Hawke’s Bay – along with the Tararua district – to enable a more coordinated response, utilising the Army and other national resources.

It’s only the third time in our history that such a declaration has been made – the first was for the Christchurch earthquakes, and the second, the Covid-19 pandemic.

It wasn’t until Friday, that a co-ordinated search was finally launched to attempt to locate over 3,000 people reported as missing. While most are expected to be unaccounted for as a result of having no means of communication, it does highlight the significant danger that exists when people are unable to reach out for help.

With many communities still cut off, and in some areas power outages expected to continue for weeks, the impact of this event, which has affected almost half of the population of New Zealand and cost lives, homes, and livelihoods, will be significant.

And while the neighbourhood and community support to assist those in need has been heart-warming, a number of troubling issues have surfaced that need to be addressed by the inquiry.

Prime amongst them is the prolonged power outage. It exposed the fact, that while most emergency services and many bigger businesses had generators on standby, many others that should have had back-ups available, did not.

We clearly need to hear from the power companies about what can be done to build more resilience into our electricity networks. Should more power lines be underground? Is a greater effort needed in line maintenance, to clear nearby trees and vegetation?

The failure of the cellular network came as a major shock to many people who were under the impression that their mobile phone would be their lifeline in a crisis.

It now turns out that not all cellphone towers have emergency power backups, and many of those that do only have capacity for a couple of hours – while others rely on solar backups that are ineffective during storm events.

Some telcos say the biggest problem is with the government-backed Rural Connectivity Group sites, which carry mobile services in rural New Zealand, but that is the sort of detail that needs to be fully investigated through the inquiry. 

Another issue that must be addressed is the situation that occurred during a critical weather update predicting the path of Gabrielle on the eve of the Cyclone, when the announcer persisted in using Maori placenames, instead of English, confounding the confusion and fuelling the panic.

In fact, as part of the policy reset, that the Prime Minister hopes will win him the 2023 election, Chris Hipkins should stop the public service using Maori words in official English communications. The situation is completely out of control and needs to be sorted.  

The inquiry should, of course, cover infrastructure to assess which of the damaged roads and bridges need to be repaired, replaced, or relocated.

And clearly, the enormous and on-going problem with ‘slash’ from the harvesting of pine forests being washed into waterways destroying everything in its path, must be addressed, especially in light of the mad rush into carbon farming, whereby vast swathes of productive farmland is being converted into pine plantations.

There should also be an assessment of recent environmental law changes to see whether they are contributing to the problem and leaving New Zealanders far more vulnerable than they need to be.

In particular, three matters spring to mind, where ideology has triumphed over common sense.

Just as green advocacy has made it more difficult for property owners to build sea walls to protect their land and homes from coastal inundation, so too the dredging of silt from harbours, estuaries, and rivers to keep them free-flowing and help prevent upstream flooding in the event of heavy rainfall, has become more problematic.

In both cases, laws and regulations need to be re-assessed to ensure safety is prioritised.

A second policy area that needs to be addressed is the unacceptable consequences for farmers of the requirement to fence and plant the riparian strips around waterways. While previous generations of farming families did their best to keep waterways clear to allow heavy rain to drain freely, nowadays, they are forced to watch on while tree roots and vegetation increasingly block their drainage systems, causing on-going and soul-destroying flooding.

The third policy area involves the government-encouraged over-reliance of households on electricity. If a major storm like Gabrielle had arrived in winter, the power-outages would have been life-threatening for many more New Zealanders.

The whole situation highlights how misguided successive governments have been in trying to force people to install heat pumps instead of allowing them to choose efficient wood burners with a cooktop and a wet-back to heat the hot water. The push to discourage the installation of open fires and wood burners accelerated under Helen Clark’s Labour Government, but the justification used was so questionable, that the whole issue needs to be re-assessed to ensure families can better cope with adverse events in the future.

In fact, many families will now be looking for ways to reduce their dependency on utility providers and the government should get out of the way of those who want to be more self-sufficient.

Meanwhile, some alarmists, like the Green Party’s co-leader James Shaw are making the ridiculous claim that it was man-made climate change that caused the cyclone – telling Parliament: “I don’t think I’ve ever felt as angry about the lost decades that we spent bickering and arguing about whether climate change was real or not, whether it was caused by humans or not, whether it was bad or not, whether we should do something about it or not, because it is clearly here now, and if we do not act, it will get worse. There will be people who say, it’s ‘too soon’ to talk about these things, but we are standing in it right now. This is a climate change – related event. The severity of it, of course, made worse by the fact that our global temperatures have already increased by 1.1 degrees. We need to stop making excuses for inaction. We cannot put our heads in the sand. We must act now.”

He went on to say: “There will be a certain crowd who say … let’s give up on stopping climate change and its focus entirely on responding to the effects of climate change and I cannot state enough what a catastrophic mistake that would be, because every tenth of a degree of warming increases the frequency and the severity of these events.”

But he’s wrong. Just as there has been no appreciable global warming since 2016, the number of extreme weather events around the world is falling. According to Swedish climate specialist Bjorn Lomborg, 2022 was the second weakest year for hurricanes in more than forty years.

It appears that not only is Minister Shaw unaware of this information, but he also does not appear to understand the impact that last year’s eruption of the Tongan volcano is having on the weather.

When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano erupted on January 15, 2022, it was the world’s largest explosion in 140 years. A 20m high wave of water travelled more than 100km from the volcano at a speed of around  500km/h. Pressure shockwaves circumnavigated the planet six times, and 400,000 lightning events were triggered that day.

The eruption not only shot volcanic ash 58 km into the earth’s stratosphere, but it also sent up 146 million tonnes of water – which NASA claimed was enough to fill 58,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. This boosted the amount of water vapour in the southern hemisphere’s stratosphere by around 20 percent.

Water vapour, which is our most common greenhouse gas, acts by reflecting the sun’s radiation back into space, while reflecting the earth’s radiation back down to the surface of the planet.

As a result of the eruption, the vast increase in water vapour has cooled the stratosphere and warmed surface temperatures, which Australian meteorologist Rob Sharpe predicted would lead to wetter weather in many parts of his country, and what he described as a “Flooded Summer”.

This, of course, is similar to what much of New Zealand has also experienced.

In fact, a new international study has now been launched to further investigate the link between the Tongan volcano and Cyclone Gabrielle.

While Minister Shaw has been politicising the crisis to imply that mankind caused the cyclone and promote climate change scaremongering, this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator Barry Brill, the Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition and a former Minister, believes it is time the whole zero carbon agenda was abandoned since the goals have now been largely met:

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations’ drive to manage ‘dangerous anthropogenic global warming’.  New Zealand signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the ‘Rio Earth Summit’ on 12 June 1992 and formally ratified it on 16 September 1993. Most other countries also ratified it in 1993. 

“In 1992, Convention parties had good reason to expect that future global emissions would accelerate in leaps and bounds – to double and re-double over the next few decades, on a business-as-usual basis. The data showed that emissions had grown by 140 percent in 30 years.

“But then came the Global Financial Crisis and quieter times – although efficiency enhancements  continued to roll out across the world and the historical link between energy use and prosperity became more nuanced. The result during the past decade has been both spectacular and gratifying. One could say that the goal of the UNFCCC has been fully achieved.”

Ever since the global warming became politicised by politicians, dramatised by the media, and monetised by environmental celebrities, common sense has been side-lined in many aspects of our lives. As a result, instead of making things better, environmental zealotry ends up harming people and the environment.

And that’s the point that Barry makes – continuing the Net Zero agenda will cause massive economic destruction for virtually no gain – except giving our Climate Change Minister a platform to carry on spouting his apocalyptic nonsense.

Perhaps not for long though.

Prime Minister Hipkins, on his mission to win the 2023 election by ditching unpopular policies, has already cancelled a key Net Zero policy – the biofuel mandate – claiming it would have exacerbated the cost-of-living crisis.

Perhaps he can be persuaded to defer the whole Net Zero agenda, since it will have such a detrimental impact on farmers and other food producers – not to mention all energy users – that it will significantly worsen the cost-of-living crisis.

With so many voters having to deal with the devasting impact of the floods and the cyclone, the last thing they need is the pressure of escalating costs that are unnecessary. Surely abandoning James Shaw’s hyped-up Net Zero action plan would be the sensible thing to do!

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*Do you believe there should be a full public inquiry into the failure of essential infrastructure to cope with the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle – rather than an internal government review?  (Please feel free to share your experiences of the cyclone and any comments or recommendations for the future.)


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


This enquiry needs to be out in the open, not contained within some Parliamentary enclave where it can be subjected to political manipulation as the politicians see fit. Rob
more like sabotage mike
The damage suffered resulted from a lack of adequate infrastructure. more hysteria about man made climate change is not wanted at this time. bruce
Definitely. We should be building resilience into our nation. Better roads, better communications systems that have backup systems. What if this had happened following the outlawing of internal combustion engines and gas BBQ’s. Isolated, stranded, hungry, cold people would have been significantly worse… what if there were no helicopters because the NZ govt was trying to save the world by reducing our 0.17% of world emmissions. What if? Murray
Yes, the sooner the better and lets get all this nonsense put to rest and get on with things. COLIN
Other wise how will we learn from the past errors, and to utilize new technology that has become available since the infrastructure was put in. Unfortunately all a closed Government review will do is hide the causes/mistakes and make those who are supposed to oversaw the cyclone good about themselves rather than improve. Brenton
Only a Public Enquiry would be unbiased. Denis
Vital! DICK
As said, politicians have avoided doing anything on infrastructure for years, it’s the main event for most of us! Forget about the climate, which will do what it’s always done – and, just what does James Shaw think can be done anyway? He’s a loser … Shane
The inquiry needs to be about removing politicians from having control over infrastructure and wasting Tax payer money every three years cancelling the previous bunch of politician’s projects. Bring back the Ministry of Works who’s mandate is only to provide solid long term infrustucture for the next 50 years for the Good only only New Zealand. unqualified politician’s are have ruined our lovely country. Sam
There needs to be a wholesale rethink about infrastructure and the consequences that we are now suffering from abandonment of previous sensible goals. Fraser
A public inquiry into poor infrastructure and future roaring projects that were cancelled. Building houses as a panic reaction before proper infrastructure was in place. Forestry management of by product left to waste on the land with little to no responsibility when flooding occurs due to the damage caused by this waste. Governments climate change policies that are creating rather than improving our environment. Gillian
It appears to me, at this early stage, that forestry slash and silt washed into the river system caused so much devastation that could have been avoided if government would grow some balls and legislate forestry companies to clean up their act and pay the cost of this carnage caused primarily their business activities. Ray
Any option would allow it to be sept under the carpet Peter
The government cannot be trusted with thoiz. Allan
I totally agree with Barry Brill’s view of dumping The Net Zero Carbon Policy. needs to be done right now, if not sooner! Valerie
either way it will be a waste of tax payers money, just get rid of that mad aussie shaw and his idiot cronies and leave that Paris corrupt organization. I used to be a Volunteer fire fighter and during a training course we were told to take our cell phones with us so we could talk to other members of the team during a fire/emergency but told the trainer we had no coverage in our area, wont print what he said but it began with “F” So whats changed? NOTHING. which has showed with the effects from the cyclone. Richard
Look at where internal inquirys have got us , As a nation we need to be more involved in our future or it will get taken away . Aidan
I wouldn’t trust this govt to even get past their meetings, let alone start an inquiry into this. They will still be ‘looking into it’ in 5 years.!, Elizabeth
Yes,it would show how stupid any government was as well as pointing the finger at top infrastructure and communications companies. Peter
Long overdue.. Rob
The only objective way to do it. John
Yes, because if how USA president and corporations dealings with the East Palestine train spill in Ohio are anything it go by, it is likely our governments follow the lead of such in their sugar coated avoidance of planning to really care for the people and their areas. All the government care for is the conditioning of certain main roads the link the major cities, and of course the infrastructure that is always being tinkered on within places like Auckland as part of the condensing plan for living and working. So when it comes to rural living matters, the government will either be slow to react or avoid actually doing what the people need, but just enough to cover their ass if the public media becomes to focused upon their willful neglect. Adrian
Stormwater Drainage maintenace and cleaning should be investigated and the cause for flooding in the built-up areas detrmined. Govmnt review ? What Government !! Pierre
When patch up jobs have been the norm for decades in repairing infrastructure we need to be assured that in rebuilding the roads and securing a better power installation, it is done with high quality workmanship and materials. We also need accountability for any actions and decisions made during the rebuild., from both government and industries involved. Margaret
Yes, Start with stopping logging in vulnerable areas and replant native. Not allowing waste to be burned by greens has contributed to this disaster. Allan
It’s seems in kiwi anymore ,its 1 step fwd,and 2 steps backwards, sure,some of this may have been force majeure, but much/most of it was not Malcolm
Yes ,the disastrous effects of logging Slash.Remember the vociferous deeds by the Greens who put a stop to burning /mulching of the left/over from felling.It has come back to bite them.Strange how quiet they are at this point?Just one more example of their idiotic thinking. Gale
yet again, infrastructure woefully inadequate. Peter
We don’t need an enquiry to be able to see the problems. Eileen
An enquiry must be held into Government failure to ensure resilience in our infrastructure. William
Government has been found out in their failure to ensure resilience in our infrastructure. Wiiliam
Local council’s for letting most of failure happen with no return for rate payers for Year’s Neil
Yes but don’t hold your breath for any answers of consequence. It will depend on the terms of reference and they WILL be set by the Government so as not to put any blame on them. One thing that has crossed my mind in this and other floods is the damage caused by Slash. Surely this could all be stacked up and burnt thereby removing all problems. ( Sorry can’t do that the greens will get up set with the release of plant food or CO2) Robin
First ditch mr Shaw, then the zero BS and many so called ministers who are there for their own benefit, but not producing anything positive. Peter
Another’ controlled demolition” for the climate hoax lie!! david
The GDC ( Gisborne District council) signed off on all areas that left slashing – they are responsible for much of the damage and should be held accountable. Mike
Blame the Greens. If the forestry companies had to burn the slash the problem would be halved, it is the slash that took out bridges and caused the terrible flooding. StevoC
Bring back the Catchment boards to maintain the Stopbanks and dredge the beds. alan
While the various councils encourage/permit building on odd bits of land that have been left unused for good reasons we will continue to have local flooding in places that are unsuitable for use as building sites. The practice of cutting previously used sites to below road level to produce a flat area for the building of multiple units also causes localized flooding. Some councils do not seem aware that in most parts of NZ it rains fairly frequently and heavily. The failure of the internet left a large number of people, even when perched on a roof, with no method of calling for help. Paloma
According to the Space and Science Research Organization in Orlando, Florida, USA, climate change is on the way, not global warming, but a cooling, such as a Maunder Minimum, for the next few decades. “Super” volcanism and massive earthquakes are part of the change. Maunder Minimums occur around 212 years apart. The last one was about 212 years ago! Kevan
One can never trust a Government inquiry investigation as they always write up what only the inquiry is going to investigate, they control it all. Don
Infrastructure clearly did not work Janne
While I think the inquiry will so how weak our systems , the truth is no system will beat nature, as our population grows it becomes harder and harder to cover all the bases. Sven
Most infrastructure is not designed to withstand the effects of such climatic violence. To do so would involve enormous extra cost at every turn . It would be totally unaffordable for such a small economy as ours. We are trying to accommodate many more people than our country can afford to provide for. We need to address our abilities to provide such accommodation before diving headlong into such expansive programmes resulting in vast areas of flood plain development for economic expedience. That is foolish engineering planning with a head in the sand approach hoping that it will “be alright” . Hoping is not good enough, assurances are required in order to save unnecessary wasted capital and unreplaceable lives. This country is hellbent on economic expansion and not occupant’s safety. Local authorities and even land developers are responsible for such dangerous economic decisions to force people into purchasing homes in such appallingly fragile climatic locations. Make no mistake such disasters will happen many times in New Zealand’s future if such engineering decisions require “fingers to be crossed” to guarantee people’s safety. There will be more weather events such as Gabrielle and it’s likely to follow a similar track given the earth’s climate patterns. NZ needs to plan to avoid the worst outcomes of such events. and stop the rapid development of residential zoning in areas that can’t withstand high levels of water accumulation. That may mean smaller but safer housing developments taking into account potential landslips and flooding. Forestry slash is a forest management issue brought about by the current economies of harvesting trees. Clearfelling whole hillsides and leaving the resultant unmarketable material on the ground is the reason for the accumulated “slash” which is forced down the hillsides and into waterways which are increasing in volume. The answer is the unpalatable increase in harvesting costs by managing the forest sustainably. Clearfelling vast areas of land should be made illegal. Forests should be progressively thinned to retain at lest 50% of the trees standing. This would then prevent the slash from sliding down into the waterways. It would also help to prevent unobstructed runoff from the hillsides to reduce the volume of floodwater. The NZ Forest Service which operated until a government change closed it harvested their crop by progressively thinning it from 1200 stems per acre to a final crop of 40 peeler logs and sawn timber. Today most of our timber is sent offshore. My comments are to offer safe alternatives to the present “rip tear and bust” attitudes of housing developments and forest harvesting which are endangering the lives of New Zealand residents due to financial expediency. terrence
anything that has any reference to maori should be deleted. We are all New Zealanders William
NO power but gas bbqs work And this foolish government wants to stop gas production.The same for petrol no fuel no generators for home power. Mike
Perhaps this needs to also to get scientists answers on the Tongan eruption and its effects in our region leo
With regard to the cyclone, these events happen every year, it just so happens that this one came closer to us than those in the past Warren
The failure of bridges, roads and embankments to hold up need scrutiny- as does the building of houses permitted in risky locations. Suzanne
I honestly felt like I was in a 3rd world country with the havoc caused by the failure of essential infrastructure that occurred. We should withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord immediately and use the money saved to start improving the viability of essential infrastructure components. This would be a far more intelligent and logical course of action than trying to act like King Canute. The idea that mankind causes this type of weather and can somehow control it is so crazy it is hard to fathom how the masses can be conned the way that they have been. Allan
Internal reviews are a policians means to keep control of the report outcomes. We need a more open process to let our politicians know what is required. Phil
the govt. can not be trusted, Greens are responsible for most of damage with their stupid thinking. Rod
sort out all the overseas logging companies make them accountable for all the rubbish they leave behind them Barry
Definitely Ann
I think they should spend the money on better infrastructure instead. Everyone knows it was a big fail. Kate
An internal Govt. enquiry will only be biased. Denis
Yes and also please have English place names as you have no idea where they are. The announcer that gabbles the Maori names and her English is terrible should not be announcing on news t/v Barbara
Long over due as a staggering amount of $$ has been spent on other projects.. Rex
One of the main issues in the aftermath is all the forestry slash that has caused most of the flooding and damage to bridges, roading Etc. In days gone by! All slashing were burnt off but the Greenie brigade stopped that Wayne
But will any enquiry bring positive results for the future? Maxine
Its time for everyone in the Beehive to stop politicing and start leading. Russell
The Climate change theory was invented by public servants to explain their lack of maintenance or poor building of essential infrastructure roger
A public enquiry as opposed to a governmental one would be better (not so much swept under the rug perhaps?). Thank you Muriel for putting it all so concisely. Yes there is so much to scrutinise I don’t think any government term is long enough – the cyclone caught us all on the hop as the earthquakes did, but some things could be improved upon in case there is a similar event sometime. I only have one thing to offer – in the matter of fund-raising, I find a 4-figure phone number to call to make an instant donation more user-friendly than a web page, perhaps a different number for different amount donations? Sheila
we can’t trust the govt to tell the truth in needs an international enquiry. Yes it is well past time to dump the net zero policies NIGEL
A decision needs to be made quickly and the inquiry speedy. Meanwhile our whole infrastructure needs to be examined. People also need to spend more time on being prepared. Storing water – why not storage tanks with every new house. Not just slowing down the run off but storing it. There has been too much government (both local and central) greed trying to control utilities. Peter K
But not by this Gvmt as they will lie as they do all the time Norm
Can’t see this Govt doing an Inquiry. ,especially with a Idiot Shaw maintaining its due to man made Climate change peter
yes its worthwhile to learn what we need to do when such events happen. It looks as though the country will be caught up in other like cyclonic type events and it could strike anywhere so we need to learn how we can make improvements to withstand such calamities. If we don’t or can’t learn and take no action then we would deserve the dire outcome. The councils have been slack on storm water drainage and have to take much of the blame for what has happened to date. Garry.
This cyclone weather event has shown up this Liebour Govt even more so with its incompetence & ineptitude, but hey, how does any country cope with such a major storm as Cyclone Gabrielle & the massive rainfall in a huge catchment area as Hawkes Bay & Gisborne? Bruce
James Shaw is stupid if he believes there is ANYTHING NZ can realistically do to affect the climate given NZ only produces 0.16% of world emissions. It’s laughable. Geoff
A Public Enquiry, not a Government enquiry into itself! Glyn
Apparently a similar event in 1938 produced nearly as much flooding in Hawkes Bay – plenty of warning to improve infrastructure and obviously unrelated to AGE. Peter
Of course there should be but probably won’t be as all parties in Parliament at the moment have had a hand in enacting the laws and policies that have had a major hand in causing the mayhem. Murray
The. Money being wasted on climate change should be spent on infrastructure. Heather
yes, and put a stop to all the climate change misinformation Sally
Labour are useless Allan
In particular, why is infrastructure permitted to be built on FLOOD plains? Why adjacent to cliffs? Why close to waterways and oceans? A definite lack of earth science knowledge on planning authorities. Alan
there is a need for an exhaustive investigation into the obviously incorrect thrust our present climate policies. Shaun
Much more to learn in so little time Warren
To be a politician no qualification is required, not even common sense which is not common anymore, either. There is not one person in the present govt who is qualified to assess this problem. Tom
and name the decisionmakers, too ann
1. Any enquiry needs to be independent of government. A government enquiry could easily leave out important issues which may be very different from government policies and ideas. This would undermine the usefulness of of an enquiry. 2. The recovery phase is going to take a lot longer than a year or two. Christchurch where I live has still not really “recovered” from the earthquakes of more than a decade ago. e.g., the number of vacant lots in the CBD. Current reality is that our roads are still not up to standard – potholes, etc, abound. Some folk are still fighting to get compensation for losses incurred and for repairs. Laurence
Some 20 years ago the then Ministry of Civil Defence was involved in a series of Lifeline Engineering studies, which looked at how infrastructure could be strengthened and protected form natural hazards. This included engineers representing all the major players. Canterbury University (?) produced an excellent book summarising that work. Was no notice taken of the issues identified? barry
Yes, We in Upperhutt lost a bridge due to logs and trees built up at base of massive centre pylon. Nobody cleared and next big flood moved and sunk down the concrete support. New bridge had to be built due to inaction of authorities. No one can make on the spot decisions these days, if they could bridge would have been saved. Too much red tape and Bull shit to get anything done. Get rid of resource consents. Labour has only worsened the current situation. Allan
A full public inquiry Internal inquiry smells of white wash. Realistically flood plains should not be built on. Geotechnical investigations should dictate and will expose sediment from past showing historical flooding. Thus all building should be on the foot hills of any flood plain. “Wisdom is sold in a desolate market were non come to buy” to quote William Blake. Double standards apply !! Earth quake strengthening and preparation, one set of rules. Potential flood hazards another set of rules, which seem to have been sidelined. Flood devastation is equally likely and probably more frequent. Bruce
We need the Ambulance at the top of the Cliff not at the Bottom! This tradegy couldn’t be averted once it started but surely alerts etc. could have been highlighted earlier? Frank 
James Shaw, a non productive member of our society, what would he know about anything, he and his so called greenies have to go, they serve no purpose for this country, cost us a hell of a lot of wasted money, surplus to requirement. Merryl
its an act of god robin
No-brainer-heads should roll, including incompetent politicians(which means most of the present”encumberances!!) Henry
Reparation was not good enough & having gangs looting and only an additional 126 police sent in to deal with the thieves????? Richard
People eeed to educate themselves about the scam of ‘global warming and who is making money from it. Try “Green Murder by Ian Plimer or ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science” by Tim Ball. Open your eyes! Gay
Definately Gary
Of course there should be an enquiry. Also it should be made clear to James Shaw and his nonsensical rant that NZ’s emissions are only 0.17% of total human emissions. So James – get real -there is nothing NZ can do which will make any difference. Doug
This is urgent and long overdue for public debate. Shaw and his demonic biased and totally uninformed and dangerous views should be dumped in the trash with him and his labour lemming mates. Murray
should be a priority Rex
Too many significant failures to ignore, a politically unbiased enquiry is essential. david
Business and community leaders need to be involved in a public enquiry, with a mandate to make this comprehensive Stan
Most definitely, too much money has been wasted by Labour on unnecessary frivolous pet projects and not enough money spent on existing infrastructure. 3 waters was always a scam not an answer to water quality or infrastructure. Laura
Totally, our roading system is kaput, its antiquated as are the sewage pipes and water, and electricity. So much has to be rethought through – cyclone Gabrielle has taught us a lesson, we have to learn by it. And stop using Maori names, we all need to understand what’s going on and where. It’s gone beyond ridiculous. Kerin
It never ceases to amaze me that Government and Councils ignore public opinions. How many submissions were sent to the Council about sorting out infrastructure before doing the infill housing, it fell on deaf ears. Gayle
It would be a complete waste of money and time for any inquiry. The infrastructure was never designed to cope with a storm of this magnitude. The money should be spent on repairing and upgrading the infrastructure asap. Procrastination is time wasting.. John
As well as the effects from the Tongan volcano. Claire
To suggest that this is a result of man made climate change is arrant nonsense from an ideologue with little commonsense . I am a resident of Hawkes Bay and see the damaging effects of green policies , no breakwaters , no river bed cleaning and extraction , we will wound up with stopbanks that are hilltop high and cataclysmic failures if the crazy policies continue to prevail . The total loss of all communications shows how seriously flawed our current “modern” system is with cell phone reliance and a cash less society mandate.Our frontline police are also hamstrung by a soft approach from the top , lax courts but denied by govt and top officials peter
From the photos I have seen with logs(slash) stacked on the top of bridges and dams causing rivers to flood, all for the sake of man made global warming. If it was caused by Beavers they would be culled!! Christopher
The government needs to sort out the real issues. paul
Most definitely Teresa
do not hide anything barry
There is not other way to be able to understand and deal with the situation we find ourselves in. Kevin
We live in the Coromandel, the destruction and isolation and inability to get out was profound. Help was so long in coming. Andrea
Absolutely it’s a failure of the whole system, infill housing in decade old drainage areas, poor maintenance or in most instances none and a power comms infrastructure which has proven to be poor, while the government spends money on cycleways, light rail, co governance, mri signage and a welfare system that is breeding dependants Sharon
NZ’s infrastructure has been ignored / neglected for decades now. we are now seeing the results, James Shaw is full of crap Andrew
This event in Esk valley has happened at least twice before – 1936 and 1988. That valley should expect a one in 40 year weather event like this but civil defence prepares for a one in 200 year event. People on huge salaries with no idea of the past, or of what they are doing in that role, are in charge with evacuation. Kiwi’s are now dependant on uni grads with no real experience. The civil defence plans of 30-40 years ago need to be brought back and history referred to and used in planning. Not future modelling predicted by the US and the UK as happened last week. It is plainly obvious after this event that all of us are very much on our own if this happens where we live and most of us live by some form of overdue natural disaster. S
An internal Govt inquiry will produce absolutely nothing. It’s the old adage – ‘ more is said than done” but that’s Labour’s way. JOHN
A waste of Public money, its bloody obvious there has been numerous stupid decisions made to build, rebuild roads on unstable ground, substations on flood plains, plant another billion bloody Pine trees, anybody with half a brain can see the damage caused by pine slash, we have had way to many stupid decisions made by dumbass people that have resulted in compounding this event, which by the way had the perfect supporting weather conditions to track Gabrielle to New Zealand. to continue this garbage about Cow Farts causing these storms is fantasy. We sure as hell don’t need another multi million, 200 page report yo tell us what went wrong. Just get the bloody job done ! Bryan
this govt spent our money on purchasing votes and pampering the criminal element , instead of spending on critical infrastructure…..it goes on ; we the tax payer ….pay again . Roy
Yes, but do not hold your breath that any benefit will result from it for Joe public in a timely manner.all polititions should be excluded from the enquiry to avoid corruption and politicisation. gale
Absolutely, we dont need a cover up by the government. Get rid of all the global warming bullshit as well. Peter
Mismanagement of our Rivers and Drainage Systems by Regional Councils that wish to have our systems in “their natural state” and not keep clean to enable the maximum flows of water have resulted in flood devastation that could have been vastly reduced. “Feel good” has overtaken good sound Civil Engineering Practices. Noel
currently C02 is only 0,04% in our atmosphere. should that drop to 0.02% all life would cease to exist. Furthermore we are overdue for another ice age, so global warming is irrelevant. Aubrey
The terrible effects of the cyclone mean that there should be a full public enquiry Dorothy
The problems are already known. The solutions need to be implemented instead of money being spent on wasteful projects like light rail and cycle bridges. Mark
We’ve fallen behind in recent years ! ! Mo
There needs to be rules established to prevent the free access to waterways by the huge amount of forestry low quality reject logs, and normal debris ( chip it or burn it!! ) , demonstrated by a huge amount of TV news report photography !!! Ross
Boy we sure fell down on this one. Govt and local govt have not had their fingers on the pulse. There is so much that could have been done. I clean the drain out by my place all the time and being ex Military I am well equiped to deal with most things. Barbara
Absolutely – and the inquiry panel should NOT be selected by, or have affiliation to, any political party in NZ Pam
What, our lying cheating stealing idiology-befuddled gumberment investigates itself? It couldn’t run a bath let alone an enquiry that actually enquired. To say nothing of the lying and cheating. Mark
We need to assess this information to move forward and avert similar outcomes. Chris
Is it even possible to have an INDEPENDENT enquiry? Caren
Definitely an independent inquiry. No other news tells of the Tongan volcano impact on our weather for a few years. heather
Who would trust a Labour government committee to achieve anything? Frank
I think that we really need to have a good look at the forestry industry and all the slash that it leaves behind alot of which was responsible for taking out bridges. Unfortunately with how costs of labour machinery and transport the economics of chipping it are not good. Gaire
Third world stuff gordon
I believe that the cyclone was geoengineered to cause the damage it did. Manipulating our realm’s weather is causing the collapse of the ecosystem. In other words, the criminals that are doing this are purposefully destroying our planet. Makes no sense to a “right” thinking person. Problem for the Oligarchs of the world is that the populations are waking to their evil plans and are saying NO, leave us alone, we want none of your plans. This cyclone was predicted by the geoengineering that caused its formation. There are those that are skilled in recognising these actions by the weather geoengineers. If you don’t think this is happening, do some research! They are not doing it for good, they mean to harm us!!! Neil
The river Stop banks did an amazing job .They were full to the top and the speed of the flow was unbelievable. But then there was just so much extra water that come from the headwaters. It was like a river on a river. steven
Our infrastructure is so fragile now that huge investment is required just to get back to a point of where we have been – The way forestry operates needs a good constructive look at and the question needs to be asked “What can we do to USE Slash” productively and turn it all into useful product. Bruce
Only if there is some promise of effective action designed to minimise the impact of another cyclone. Allan
This country has been totally let down by this Labour Government. They need to be gone…..yesterday! Heather
Yes I do. – the track record of this current governments efforts into getting reports to fit the idealistic policy changes is well documented. Maurice
How will authorities ever learn without it? Chris
It is obvious to all that an all encompassing enquiry is required to include all aspects of the event. The newsletter covers major topics but financial solutions to destruction of homes and businesses. Esk valley residents could attest to that. Dennis
There should also be an inquiry into the role of weather modification, of which there is much evidence. The “official narrative” is Climate Change; the reality is frequent, often daily chemtrailing to metallise and weaponise the atmosphere; scalar waves and HAARP stations to manipulate the weather. This was a coordinated strike by the GeoEngineering division of the Great Reset. Bill
My first thought was why doesn’t the govt emergency response team have huge generators in storage that can be airlifted in by eg Sigorsky helicopters? Rod
Beef-up our resilience to such events including earthquakes. Ian
How else will we glean the FACTS of the matter rather than multifarious opinions on the matter Cliff
Firstly I would acknowledge the terrible tragedy that has visited so many families throughout the flooded regions. Too much money has been unwisely spent by successive governments and local councils, on everything BUT infrastructure! Now look what has been reaped the fools in”power”. Darryl
Under grounding costs orders of magnitude more than overhead lines. Perhaps instead of knee jerk suggestions people could return to an era of self sufficiency with a lidded bucket, few dozen cans of food and a small gas cooker to get them through the first week. Bronwyn
Mainly we need to address the crap that is left behind by forestry. Now that controlled burn off seems to be frowned upon, it builds up facilitating forest fires and contributes to damage in floods Charles
Yes this should be without any government interference or restrictions. David
I believe that electrical supply is a natural monopoly and needs to be under Government control. Therefore, the concept of reliable supply, rather than cheap supply could be resolved. Bring back the NZED. Miles
Do we seriously trust the Labour/Maori/Greens who have passed a swath of racist legislation under urgency and misinformed the public about what it really is ? What is the likelihood of them finding any fault with government policy or their own management ? Nil, Zilch Nada … Trevor
Oh so easy to blame thjs on climate change when the real issues re not being addressed. This greenie Govt.. will not recognise the massive effect of the undersea Tongan Volcano. They also fail to take into account the Climate Engineering effects the USA is having on the rest of the World. The seeding of the atmosphere with Aluminum Oxide to cause Global Cooling is a real ignored Health Hazard. David
It will happen again if it’s not fully investigated this time Kevin
V much part of the mess if nz can b reminded ??? Mark
This Labour, Greens, Maori government put a lot of major roading projects off in recent years to spend that money on thier “Social engineering ” adgenda and other ridiculous projects while neglecting the need to invest in our important infrastructure etc. Robin
PC hi vis use of CUNSULTANT S by incompetent Councils Tararua DC has spent $11.2 million on our roads in the last 2 years and the roads have got worse. Our mayor TWACY is completely useless and spends more time learning Te Reo instead of actually concentrating on INFRASTRUCTURE Greg
Yes — but it should be by those qualified and totally independent from this Government. Alan
The old copper phone lines would have worked in the case of electricity cuts. Many of us felt pressured to get rid of these in the haste to go to fibre. I wonder how much different it would have been or people if this network had still been available. Diana
It should be available for all to see so that we can be educated instead of fooled by shim sham Linda
There was so much wrong with what happened with infrastructure that questions need to be answered!! Like why did they release the Waihi dam in the middle of a cyclone, thus flooding Wairoa. Why is it that after 12 months of severe weather events, worse than the current one, suddenly the internet and phone go off…but they can be used at ‘certain’ places. Nothing makes sense. Sally
I’m sick and tired of the blame game the global warmists and their cozy bedfellows the Main Stream Media continue to push. They will ride this wave of fear-mongering to the misinformed and brainwashed public, all the while using one-off weather events to spread their story of doom and gloom. As Muriel’s article points out there is always another side to the cause of these catastrophes. Unfortunately the loudest voice in the room always gets listened to. Rob
Especially considering the problems created by slash. John
When is some CHURCH MINISTER going to have the GUTS to say, because we are following the moari DEMI GODS NZ is coming under the same CURSES as they are if we dont stop worse is yet to come David
Public inquiry absolutely essential. Ann
no good leaving up to the Govt they will only go round in circles like a dog chasing its tail Russell
The government needs to be held accountable for the neglect of infrastructure not an in-house debacle that would get nowhere. Ray
Limited or no flood mitigation measures such as dams have progressed. Forestry practices need to be reviewed. I worked in forests for 15 years and the slash presented a tremendous fire hazard so it was not left in the plantation. It was processes – this is just bad practice. john
Forestry has a lot to answer for as is obvious by the damage caused by slash. Labour has to own this as nothing has been done since the last incident of flooding where slash was a major problem. Rod
We have had a no spend on infrastructure by the Labour Party Since Cullen and Clark days It was John Key who done a lot of motorway work and without that we would be not looking good Martin
The Greens are idiots and very one in the Labour Party are useless career politicians – most with their noses in the trough!!!!!! Mark
You sum it up in your editorial. So pleased I have a carbon fueled car Jeff
I see absolutely no point in either a full public enquiry or a government review. Whichever, it will be stacked with this labour cults toadies, paid by them and the rules governed by them and the result would be that it was all down to the previous government. Even those from the judiciary are mere sycophants of the present regime and unwilling to delve too deeply lest they find poorly covered corruption. Apart from that, this country is, because of this incompetent government, in enough financial doo doo without spending another few hundred million for a talk fest by a few bureaucrats busy butt covering, drinking tea and scoffing bickies. ‘Widespread power and cellphone network failures left hundreds of thousands of families without any means of emergency communication.’ People have lived for centuries like that and made it through to the present day. The declaration of an emergency for covid has now proved to have been little more than a power grab by a totalitarian cult intent on pursuing their ideology of socialism and apartheid. The main reason that a lot of people don’t now have a back-up source of heating is, as pointed out, successive governments have been so focussed on introducing legislation and regulations that a great number of people are content living under the influence of a nanny state rather than get off their butts and going out to find some firewood. The on-going problem of ‘slash’ from pine harvesting didn’t used to be a problem because after harvesting the slash was burned under a controlled burn and the residual ash added to the fertility of the soil. Fat chance of that happening with the likes of James Shaw screaming about his imaginary climate change. How much of the repairs and reconstruction would the $1.4 billion wasted on his IPCC be able to cover, compared to the return the country gets on that donation to a third world country that doesn’t give a toss. Ditch the whole climate change rort and we could have those thousands of hectares of pine forest back in production just by removing the carbon credits paid to foreign owners. Win-win. The money doesn’t go to foreigners and the increased production of beef and lamb helps the GDP Terry M
Warnings seemed to be in sufficient, too late & too reliant on social media Paula
Yes and also into the speed of response. Engineers were available to start responding/assessing the damage much earlier than MBIE were contacting them. Gareth
The Greens have an agenda and its no good for you or me, its just for the one world government run by the 1 per cent elites. alan
My family and I survived cyclone Bola in Wairoa in 1988, but our stock died and the land was changed. Slash took out the town bridge and the town was halved for over twelve months with access by army barge across the river. NOTHING was queried about the slash damage and so 35 years later it returns but with such vengeance. How careless we have been.. Helen
There should also be a full public inquiry into the question of whether or not deliberate geoengineering by HAARP was involved in either or both of the recent catastrophic weather events. The use by Chippie in the aftermath of the globalist slogan “build back better” should make everyone suspicious about this possibility …. Sue
This day and age it should never happened. What has our successive Governments been doing to us? William Clive
Absolutely necessary. Problem will be how long it will tie up actual work on the problem, whilst politicians bounce things around. Carl Carl
Most definately a full inquiry For staters Global Warming gone along with it’s scare tactics and 24/7 media hype. The SLASH that is never FULLY addressed. It has been filling our backyards highways and beaches far too long. Accountability failure. All rural communities communication networking on same level. Every community should have backup for survival situations. This is a wakeup call we all need to be accountable for. Should be taught in the schools. Alison
Let the inquiry be a ” what can we do better” and not a finger pointing exercise. This was an extraordinary event. Hugh
Absolutely. It’s criminal the way money is being wasted on the Govt’s net zero policies instead of building decent infrastructure. Have we leaned nothing from the 2005 Matata floods? That was caused entirely by slash from toxic pine forests. And this muppet govt. is boasting of plans to plant a billion pines??? Sheer incompetence………. Dave
We need full transparency in any and all enquiries. In particular an enquiry into the Covid and vaccine scam. Lets see some heads roll. Jenny
The public enquiry must include someone with an international record and reputation for large engineering projects. WE want to know what would be the best solution (long term), even if the cost is prohibitive ,at least we will know what we can or cannot afford as a nation. Francis
This video will prove to you that the current quakes are not natural. Please watch it, https://www.brighteon.com/e1a64946-3e98-4ce6-8de8-4e09c94814c2 fred
Climate change is natural. It ha so bedn politicised for Government coffers. Al Gore, US introduced the theory. The year after, his PERSONAL electricity bill was US $10,000!!! Lyn
Full enquiry to safe guard future Disaster’s John 
Emphatically NO! Ian
As more people are allowed to enter this country our infrastructure is not big enough. Through the governments and rules governing building , we are getting 10-12 people on to an area designed for 2-3. This should be stopped until the infrastructure is enlarged upon. Diane
A full investigation needs to be done and quickly. Not taking 5 years. Select a group of 6 intelligent, experienced infrastructure building people and have them go around the country with some planners who know what they are doing. Leave out any suggestion of greens or environmental idiots and get the job done. The get the spades out and get on with it!!! James Shaw is a lunatic. Just watch him when gets a head of steam up about some climate hysteria and you see in his little black eyes the glint of insanity. dianna
I would also like the readers to consider how confident they are that a rebuild will be handled appropriately. I live in CHCH. We are still a broken city. We were promised a rebuild which we are yet to see. I have no confidence but every sympathy for those affected by Gabrielle. I fear they will be expecting something that they will never see. Janette 
Enquiries by dicks are time wasting, expensive and non productive. John
it is time we looked very closely at WHERE and HOW we build in the future-and perhaps we stop BRAIDING rivers and build more stop banks based on DUTCH style Levees LesW
Clive dodged a bullet as the combined river mouth at the Waitangi estuary remained open mark
Get rid of all the staff employed for the three water take over, terminate the office spaces leased and put this million dollar a week taxpayers money into the recovery of devastated towns and communities. Including strong river stop banks and legislations to make slash never able to do this again. Julz
Yes …. BUT don’t play politics with it! Fire aimed factual shots at the Government not cheap shots or it WILL BACKFIRE at the polls. Not sure that Luxon has political smarts enough to know the difference. The PM is getting all the coverage at the moment as he is the man carrying the can. Some leeway for the Nats to make up. Don’t blow it. Bruce Bruce
Net zero has had a large impact on the failure of the infrastructure . Peter
A public inquiry is something we need in order to future proof us from any more of the catastrophic events. Doubt very much a Labour government would welcome that. Lawrie
Although needed, the trouble is it will cost an arm and a leg, it will be investigated in house, And nothing will be done Jan
All forestry practices need root to branch overhauls. Legislation should be punitive for any failure to comply. Brian
It must be public. Ross
Your article appreciated!! Sandra
Too greater an event to allow the politicians to hood wink the enquiry. john
WE must learn and plan for the future or we’ll have none Allan
NZ has always been a stupid reactive country. And it never learns. Just consider Co-Governance and the disaster it will be. Zimbabwe in the South Pacific. Raleigh
internal govt enquiries are subject to hidden agendas and simply cannot be trusted. mark
In the Coromandel, the loss and damage to our (already rotten) roads made a terrifying experience so very much worse. Though we are small settlements compared to those also isolated elsewhere, the effect is just as devastating. DFavid
Sure!! But they will not like to have a public enquiry because they want to control the narrative. They are more interested to extract political capital out of this disaster to exploit it in this years elections. Michael
Let’s have public forums where “real” people can have a say! Let’s get away from “hidden door” policies from “woke” governments and ill-informed politicians. John
Very most need Cyril
I sent a complaint to TVNZ regarding the use of Maori place names without the provision of the English equivalent during critical cyclone weather updates on the 6pm TV1 news. Outlining just as you have also said, that this will cause confusion and uncertainty. I received back a templated reply along the lines of the presenter can use whatever language they like as Maori is a NZ official language. Be that as it may, when only 2.5% of the population are conversant with Maori, it is totally irresponsible in times of a national emergency to use only a language understood by a small section of society. Ange
Thee opposition should expose the Greens for the charlatans that they have proved to be. MaxSky
Massive infill housing in areas ill-equipped to handle all the extra strain on sewage storm water Together with councils neglect Of their maintenance attributed to this disaster Unless addressed will happen again and again Elsine
Send the brightess brains [no members of govt or departments ] to Aussie and the USA and ask them for advice, especially from the Southern States and put into play what their responses are in emergency weather avents. YES there should be a full public inquiry. JOHN
Open and transparent, otherwise it will be whitewashed. Trevor 
Nothing less. Full enquiry Beverley
We cannot fortel the future. We cannot afford to maintain our infrostructure as it is so spending money on the future is impossible. We just have to “sucjk it up” David
Absolutely vital that there be a full Royal Commission into all aspects of the cyclone from the information of its path, the reactions of local authorities, the impact of slash and the preparations for disaster relief. malcolm
A government in house inquiry will not delve beyond the ranting of one James Shaw’s anger. This event warrants a full, open and independent investigation to bring in the necessary change required to offset the impact of future weather bombs. Raymond
An inhouse inquiry would serve no purpose except that of hidden agenda. Bring on the Full Public Inquiry now! Ken
There are so many roads and bridges in NZ that are threatened by forestry slash government and local authorities have known this for many years and done nothing this would never be allowed anywhere else in the world Peter
No more politically controlled muppet shows with narrow terms of reference. A full and transparent public enquiry is essential. Lee
Forestry companies need to be billed for the damage caused by their activities leaving slash to wipe out bridges and infrastructure chris
NZ governments have been weak and tardy on infrastructure development. We need to underground much of our power distribution, ban building on flood plains, and ensure that adequate storm drainage is built and maintained. Hugh
Abolishing the copper line phone network is the biggest mistake ever !! Nick
This government is never going to admit their mistakes. Janet
The emphasis must be on irresponsible logging practices. The “slash”, the unwanted branches and limbs of felled trees, could be dragged to lower slopes and fence lines to allow public clearance as free firewood. At the moment, OSH places the onus on forestry companies for the safety of idiots that would otherwise clamber over dangerous grounds with their chainsaws. That slash is responsible for most of the damage to bridges and topsoil runoff from felled pine trees. Vic
I stopped going to local civil defence because they were so disorganised and we would have to fend for ourselves Gareth
The failure was visible. David
Absolutely essential Hylton
An independent inquiry. Not a Labour Party one. Elaine
How about a public inquiry into the corrupt Govt as well? Carla
Just make sure its PUBLIC, and available to ALL to testify. And have Committee members who are not WOKE idiots, as they usually are. Peter
Yes, because many things can be done to minimize damage from extreme weather events in future. NEIL
Clean the gravel from the dam rivers regularly Greg 
the Greenies were and are a waste of space.. Bring common sense back marie
Government has lied enough. Time for truth. Keren
This has been developing for years and unless they do something and do it properly we will only have more David
Whilst our infrastructure certainly needs a real good overhaul, I can see that it was the slash policy that caused the damage. If companies want to grow pines they should be responsible for maintaining the soils (no erosion) and getting rid of the branches off the land whilst securing tying up trees as they fall, to be removed by truck or rail. Michele
Dump 3 Waters & dump Mahuta. Iain
Once again our current Government seems at odds with coping with a national Disaster. It’s like the ‘Window Dressing’ of many Organizations does NOT work. Words without actions is a completely useless Commodity. Geoff
A full public inquiry would be much more effective. Murray
Try and focus on the real world. No more hocus pocus. Tim
The Green policy of planting pine forest has cost billions if not lives. Chuck
There are so many questions to be answered as to the vulnerability of NZ communities to protect themselves from such a catastrophic event. Lois
There should most definitely be a public enquiry, that is the only way to do it. Colin
It would add millions more to the cost, and probably delay any action being taken by another year. I think everyone can see the major aspects that need urgent work. Improve reliability of comms, water and power. Plenty of other aspects but time is not as critical for them. Like stop building on flood prone areas. Hugh
Coming from rural UK, where power outages are normally infrequent and of short duration I have been astonished at NZs electrical infrastructure fragility. Whenever there is bad weather it’s more of a case of when will the power go off than if. My background is in electrical engineering. Peter
A public enquiry won’t cure Labour’s general incompetence, though it might help to shift some priorities and funding from ideology driven fantasy projects to critical infrastructure. Ron
YES. A full public enquiry WITHOUT government interference. Nature’s rains consistently wash mountain’s broken shingle down waterways towards the sea thus raising river beds / floors requiring as needed judicial raising river’s flood stop banks. Delays can be massively destructive as just witnessed and sadly often fatal! Keep blinkered politicians right out of this vital decision making ! Common sense and lessons from history must be taken into account. Not like todays politicians who want to rewrite history hoping to hide their blinkered mistakes! Stuart
Cycle ways and 3 waters do not contribute to a safe country David
We have suffered the tragic results of the failure of successive governments in allowing housing development in areas prone to flooding, and in allowing so called ‘green’ practices such the buildup of slash in forestry areas, rather than burning it. Rod
Its a waste of public money and any findings only criticised. Nothing would be done in any event. Cliff
Most politicians are not correct in making decisions. i.e. no one has mentions 3-5 waters contribution is a similar Gabrielle event should they be in charge during a repeat. Also. N.z did not cause this event. IT developed far out west wards then travelled east into pacific thereby over New Zealand where it unlodade itself. Maori words and not English which is what the bulk of 83% New zealanders understand did not help.the message although sounding fancy was lost- as most dont care for that scheme. I lost count of the gang patches which were onserved cleaning up as well. No they were on Night shift one night while out stealing. Criminal behaviour an plain users. First to bleat when things are unafair to then, usually matters 100 years old as a result of loosing a war. The treaty is explicite in what it says/means. We ware all effected by by the hard decisions which are coming. I did expect gangs to understand why would they with one set mind track of criminal skills. Consequences should hurt equally. Not the clap trap we remaining are fed. Lift your game maoridom if you are serious. bring your criminals to heel: . mike
there has been a massive failure in recent years to upgrade infrastructure .i have no doubt also that there will be a witch hunt on the forestry sector but a lot of slash/debri also came from native bush when hillsides collapsed john
The government has stood idly by while the telecommunications companies have removed our copper communications lines without providing access to similar services. The Cell Towers have not been built with adequate bandwidth or resiliency. I was advised today by an ex GE employee that in the US towers have to be able to provide at least 3 days of operation without power. We are lucky if the survive more that 1 hour. This is what happens when you privatize a public service to greedy corporates. Brett
Time to get some honesty not a Govt coverup Peter
Why would you not? Steve
Of course Evans
This Labour Government over the last 6 years have FAILED all New Zealand people Carl
He who controls the weather controls the world- President Lyndon Johnson 1962. It used to be an act of God, now it’s an act of psychopaths, via geophysical weapons, geoengineering, weather modification, chem trails, HAARP, in short weather terrorism. That’s our climate change and that’s their agenda? neil
What James Shaw has said may have more to it than meets the eye. It was suggested that the 2 prior cyclones had a degree of man made-ness to them which was because of the specific tracking of those storms. So maybe that experience was used to produce this much more severe event – just thinking…. Ian
Then we might start building decent roads that are fit for purpose and will last. we are way behind, but government uses the user paid for road users to build recreation cycle ways, and empty buses. Margaret
The major problem was not caused by the rain from Gabrielle but by the damming effect from slash. In years gone by this slash would have been burned but Green policy now forbids this action. The consequence is blocked waterways and clogged and destroyed bridges and drainage systems. This damage is a direct result from the Green agenda. They are quite simply social and economic vandals. Chris
I have written to both National and ACT with a simple and easy way to solve 90% of the slash problem and have also suggested to ACT that the big banks that make billions of profit out of NZer’s should now step up and give a lot of relief to those badly affected. Ted
And published for all to see Peter
please Wiremu
It has happened now. Rather than throw more money at an inquiry we should put that money into fixing the problems the Cyclone exposed. Jillian
An example is Auckland being a super city, too big for any one council to operate efficiently. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians has been the mantra of Labour held councils in Akl. As Wayne Brown says, numerous reports do not fix drainage or drinking water supplies. It doesn’t take an Einstein to learn from any mistake but why are they recurring? Too many chiefs earning megabucks for writing reports and not enough indians putting feet on the ground doing the hard yakka. Sharron
I would like to see detailed examination, by site and location, and explanation for the reported surges of flood water carrying forestry slash. Peter
Labour should welcome this as they love a good inquiry and they are the most transparent government we have ever had……. And to paraphrase the Tui Advert – Yeah Right ! John
I do not see the value of such an inquiry. Auckland would likely have flooded even if the entire area was undeveloped Petere
Green policy is fully to blame after years of fighting clearing waterway of built up green matter that caused flooding over farm land then Council advised me a Green party band to local Councils to not clean/care for drains.Natures way. Then not to remove rogue trees . This not burning forest waste is madness as volume greater than harvesting trees.Get RID OF GREEN brainwashing. Jill
It’s time to take a good look at our infrastructure. Paula
High time, mar
Stands to reason that more could have been done to lessen the recent impact. More money needs to go into maintenance of our roads to get vital supplies and help to those in need. Carol
of course Steve
It must be a non political inquiry. Leonard
Extreme weather events have always occurred and always will. What we need is an understanding of the adverse consequences and how to best avoid them. When cyclones and extreme rains occur our existing infrastructure and homes need to be capable of surviving them. Adequate and well maintained drainage systems need to allow the water to flow without causing flooding of residential areas. Obstruction of waterways by trees and eroded soils are predictable and avoidable. Reliance on electricity makes people vulnerable to interuptions of supply. As our population increases there are more demands on the existing infrastructure and environmental alterations that expose people to more risks in adverse weather conditions. Population increases ought to be preceeded by infrastructure improvements instead of the other way around. People in local communities need to be more aware and involved in deciding what happens and centralization of government authority prevents this. The promotion of more urbanization and higher density living exposes more people to risks of all sorts. Foreign owners of our lands and resources care little for the detrimental consequences of their commercial exploitation. We ought to prevent foreign corporations from taking over our resources and our country because they care little for the welfare of New Zealand citizens. The political celebrities and bureacrats in our government will want to be seen to respond quickly to retain their authority and power but they will make mistakes as they usually do because they fail to properly consult with and listen to the rest of the people who employ them and pay theor wages. Extreme weather events are fortunately infrequent and so whatever is done will appear to have been successful even if it proves to be a failure in the future because people forget. The lesson we ought to learn is that “the government” cannot protect and provide for us and eventually we all need to be looking after ourselves and one another without too much interferrence by politicians and bureaucrats. Charles
We have been experiencing floods for many years but have not improved engineering standards to cope with extreme events. Any san marginally intelligent person can look at the cuttings we have through hills for our road net work and determine that if there is heavy rain there will be slips. Politicians have cancelled programmed upgrades to our road infrastructure to direct the money to their pet projects, i.e. Co governance and man made climate change mitigation. Climate change is a natural occurrence over which we have little control and should therefore be spending our money planning for those changes and building resilience into our services. Brian
Spend money on productive matters not consultants like the bridge cycle lane. Mat
I voted NO for the simple reason the world has weather events and has done so long before we existed. Shit happens. No level of infrastructure could have handled the rain that came. It’ll be another 100 years before we have another one. Just remember not to buy a home in a flood prone area Tony
A key issue is the failures of the road network. We have seen storms of this magnitude before in NZ. Was there a failure of normal maintenance? Why were there log dams at bridges and culverts? Charles
Objective,, constructive & Impartial please Doug
But the underlying cause of the mayhem was having essential services including houses in the flood plain. Look at history, there have been massive floods up in Hawke’s Bay frequently over the last 180 years. Russell
Absolutely Graeme
Geological Survey and councils who sign these areas that have collapsed should be accountable plus more rate money should go back into the local government to reinvest for all New Zealanders. Terry
Good point don’t know nz place names said or written in Maori Wendy
A full inquiry not a government whitewash Trevor
this govt will do anything to enable itself to get back into power – we need a PUBLIC enquiry not a govt scam based coverup anna
Past govts, especially this one have been wasting money on their whacko agendas of the month,denying maintenance on infastructure etc via Labour led councils. Rick 
This govt needs to be publicly outed for its outrageous incompetence, tyranny and lies. Richard
Don’t trust the govt to have any any integrity and desist from making this another climate change agenda push. Note Sunday programme 19.2. did just that. Christine
I have no faith in a Govt. review. Graham
you can’t beat nature at its best Jimmy
Stop the in-house hiding by this secretive and manipulating authoritarian government. John
Both central and local government are to blame for spending ratepayers and taxpayers cash on ideological and vanity projects instead of on essential assets and services !p Peter
Absolutely, a full inquiry is needed. The public needs answers. Donald
When will something be done about the slash – it is causing so much damage in every storm now, What a disaster it has turned into. Kerry
I totally agree that the whole global warming agenda now needs to be dumped. I have written to the Prime Minister to say just that!  Mary
Why did it take so long to organise a ‘coordinated search’ for those who are missing? That surely is a real failure of the emergency response. Bruce
You are right in your assessment that people were ‘on their own’. In this day and age that doesn’t seem right.  Kelvin