The widespread devastation and heartache caused by Cyclone Gabrielle left the region of Hawke’s Bay, its communities and residents completely ravaged, with many struggling to rebuild. To help support the region’s unprecedented relief effort, Hawke’s Bay Foundation set up a special ‘Cyclone Relief Fund’ to funnel donations direct to overwhelmed welfare agencies on the ground, that need it most.

Within one week of donations streaming in, Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s specialist Distributions Committee approved and mobilised (under full consensus), the first round of funds to frontline charities on a ‘greatest needs’ basis. All funds have now been distributed and we were able to support over 100 charitable organisations and groups working in the cyclone response space.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation and the Hawke’s Bay community have been so grateful for the generosity from our donors. No admin fee has been taken from the Cyclone Relief Fund, meaning every cent of this fund will be distributed to help cyclone recovery efforts.

Below is a list of the groups that received funding from our Cyclone Relief Fund. Some distributions were the result of applications and decisions made by our Distribution Committe and some were donor directed donations to specific organisations or causes.


A Change for Better

Age Concern Wairoa

Anxiety NZ

Arts Inc Heretaunga

Awhi Charitable Trust

Bay View Community Charitable Trust

Bay View Motel – volunteer accomm

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Birthright HB

Buzzy Bee Trust

Christian Lovelink

Citizens Advice Bureau Napier

Connect Youth & Community Trust

Dinner Club

Dove HB

Dr Lucy Hone Sessions

Engage Community Trust

Enliven Disability Service – PSEC

Environment Centre

Environment, Conservation & Outdoor Ed

EPIC Ministries

Eskdale School

Evergreen Residual Cyclone Fund

Farmer Community Connect Days

Fuel Your Stoke events

Graeme Dingle Foundation

Greendale Tamatea Scout Group

Gurundwaa Sahib Temple Hastings

Hastings & Napier Women’s Refuge

HB Land Search and Rescue

HB laundry Network

HB Winegrowers

Heretaunga Women’s Centre

Hinemihi Marae


Holt Forest Trust

Hort Day events

Hukarere Girls College

Irongate School

Jammies 4 June

Kahungunu Community Marae Trust

Kereru School

Mataweka Marae Waipawa

Mates 4 Life

Moteo Marae

Multicultural Assoc HB

Napier Family Centre

Napier RDA

Neela Neela

Nga Toi HB Charitable Trust

Ngati Kere Hapu Authority

Nourished for Nil

Nuhaka School

Omahu Marae

Omahu School

One Voice Community Services

Outward Bound of NZ Trust

Pakowhai Funding Committee

Pakowhai School

Porangahau Country Club

Pukare Cards Initiative

Puketapu Parent League

Puketapu School

Punanga Te Wao Kōhanga Reo

Radio Hawke’s Bay


Rongomaiwahine Iwi Charitable Trust

Rotary Club of Greenmeadows

Rural Support Trust

Salvation Army Hastings

Silt Removal volunteer support

Sri Guru Ravidas Sikh Temple

Surf Lifesaving HB SARS

Taihoa Marae

Tangoio Marae

Tapuae Sports Club

Taradale Anglican Church

Taradale Pottery Group

Tatau Tatau o Te Wairoa

Te Huka Waiohinganga (Esk River Care Group)

Te Kohanga Reo

Te Mata Hou o Takitimu Trust

Te Mata Park Trust

Te Roopu a Iwi Trust

Te Taitumu Trust

Tikokino Primary School

Turning Point Church

Tutira School

Twyford School

Twyford Raupare Recreational Centre

Volunteering HB

Volunteer Appreciation Day

Waiohiki Creative Arts Village

Waiohiki Marae

Waipatu Marae

Wairoa A&P Society

Wairoa Young Achievers Trust

Whaakirangi Marae

Whangawehi Catchment Group

Wharariki Trust

Whetu Marmama Marae

Whiria Te Rangitahi

The ‘HB Cyclone Relief Fund’ is now closed to donations and all Cyclone Relief Funds have now been distributed.

If you would like to donate to ongoing cyclone recovery, we welcome gifts to our General Fund. Our General Fund is an endowment fund which aims to ensure long term, sustainable funding including building resiliency to withstand future disasters.

For any enquiries about the ‘HB Cyclone Relief Fund’, donations or distributions please CONTACT our office.


The first response stage of our distribution of funds was focused on supporting the urgent needs of charitable organisations working in the cyclone response space.

We then moved into the second recovery stage of our distributions where we began working collaboratively on strategic initiatives to support Hawke’s Bay on the road to recovery.

We are working with Evergreen Foundation to support silt clearance from residential and community spaces. Funds have been distributed for machinery and fuel to support the ‘Hawke’s Bay Clean-Up crew’ and ‘River Of Silt’ groups who provide co-ordinated assistance of silt removal across Hawke’s Bay.  They also remove gib board and spray timber framing on houses to prevent further decay and fungi occurring later in the homes. Our funding has also gone towards training digger drivers to complete the silt removal work as well as offer long-term job prospects. These initiatives outline our commitment to supporting the clean-up in Hawke’s Bay post cyclone.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation is working with five groups on the ground in the region who are supporting individuals and households with financial assistance in some of the worst impacted communities including: Wairoa, Esk Valley, Pakowhai, Puketapu and Central Hawke’s Bay. We continue to work closely with connected community groups who are assessing households and providing essential grants to those in need, to help get people back on their feet.

Mental wellbeing and psychological support following one of the region’s worst natural disasters is a key area of focus for Hawke’s Bay Foundation. Through our Cyclone Relief Fund we have pledged $100,000 to assist the work of several groups in the mental health space, including the Rural Support Trust and the farming community. Our support has seen Mates 4 Life take on more staff to promote workshops on suicide prevention to reach more of our most vulnerable. Hawke’s Bay Foundation is proud to fund speakers such as Sir John Kirwan and Dr Lucy Hone over the recovery months, to help connect communities, discuss mental health and resiliency and promote positivity.

We have been working closely with the Evergreen Foundation to be able to support the Hawke’s Bay region as effectively as possible post cyclone. Several funding initiatives that we have worked together on include the HB Laundry Network, Neela Neela (volunteer food network), Dinner Club Pakowhai, Farmer Community Connect Days, Dr Lucy Hone sessions for mental health support as well as the funding of silt removal volunteer clean-up groups as mentioned above. We appreciate the collaborative approach to funding that has come out of the cyclone and hope it has gone someway to be able to make the biggest impact within flood impacted communities.

Our Executive Officer’s experience with Cyclone Gabrielle

LISTEN to Amy Bowkett chat to Justin Rae at The Breeze about her experience with Cyclone Gabrielle and how to donate


READ about how Amy Bowkett got back to work amidst the devastation of losing her house in the floods




Who makes the decisions around where the Cyclone Relief Fund donations are distributed?

Hawke’s Bay Foundation has an expert Distributions Committee made up of diverse community members with deep community links. This committee considers all distributions from the Cyclone Relief Fund based on greatest need and decisions are made by consensus. Meeting under urgency, the committee has made several distributions already with clear processes and approval mechanisms in place.

How are you prioritising which charities receive the funding?

In the first phase we are prioritising key charities supporting the welfare response where there are likely to be gaps in government funding e.g. food supplies are available but the petrol and transport costs to move the supplies around require additional support. We are linking to the charitable sector to identify and respond quickly using due diligence to ensure that funds are utilised for the intended purpose and are for charitable purposes.

How soon will donations be distributed?

We have already distributed funds to charities with an urgent need in response to the cyclone. 100% of donations made to the Cyclone Relief Fund will be distributed to the Hawke’s Bay community within 12 months or sooner. Where it is practical, we will align our funding with grants made by other funders to avoid duplication or to make a greater impact.

Which charities are eligible for Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s Cyclone Relief Fund support?

We are considering equity within all of our distribution decisions understanding that limited resources must be focussed where there is the greatest need. This will include working with organisations that may not in the past have applied to or been recipients of Hawke’s Bay Foundation funding.

How are you recognising the needs for mental health support through the Fund?

We recognise that the recovery period will take a substantial amount of time and that psychological support particularly for rural and isolated communities will be an issue. We are working with other funders to ensure resources are available for this purpose in the coming months.

Can donations be targeted or specified by the donor?

We have been approached by donors with specific donations for specific charities and are ensuring that these funds are distributed according to the donor’s wishes.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation continues to operate its Annual Funding Round and distribution process to sustain the funding streams of local and vetted charities through its endowment fund.  This is to futureproof Hawke’s Bay and build resilience in our communities, not just in times of crisis, but for generations to come.