Cyclone Gabrielle updates

Hives hit by Cyclone Gabrielle, Gisborne.
Photo: Yasuo Nozue.

Cyclone Gabrielle bee health and biosecurity grants

Friday 31 March

Apiculture New Zealand has secured government funding for beekeepers to address biosecurity and bee health risks for hives located in areas that were affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

The total funding allocation is $250,000 and the Ministry for Primary Industries has appointed Apiculture New Zealand to distribute the funding to affected beekeepers.  We thank the Ministry for Primary Industries for their support in making this grant available.

Who is eligible for the grant?

To be eligible for this funding, your principal income must be from a beekeeping business, and you must have had a minimum of 30 hives affected in areas where a State of Emergency was declared.

The areas that are eligible are those covered by the National State of Emergency declared on 14 February 2023 – the Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Hawke’s Bay regions and the Tararua district.

How to apply for the grant

  1. Complete a short application form, describing the damage and the work being undertaken.
  2. Email your completed form to You can also scan or take photos of the completed application form.
  3. Keep copies of records, such as invoices, receipts, and quotes.

What the grant can be used for

The grant can only be used for costs such as fuel, equipment hire and additional wages needed to assist in the recovery and retrieval of damaged gear and hives.  These costs can include burning hives, cleaning apiary sites and clearing tracks to apiary sites.

The grant cannot be used for replacing hives lost in the cyclone or for the cost of treatments for diseases such as varroa.

How to find out more

Other government grants and funding

You can find out about other government grants and funding that is available for those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle here.

From ApiNZ CEO Karin Kos

Friday 24 February

Following on from the Chair’s message last week, we continue to see and hear about the devastation from Cyclone Gabrielle which has wreaked havoc on families, communities, businesses and infrastructure.  We are also starting to get a picture of what’s happened to beekeepers and packers in the most affected regions around Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.

Our figures to date suggest thousands of hives will have been affected by the flooding. Our aim is to build a detailed picture of the impact on apiculture so that we can go to Government with our request for support based on good evidence. Again, our request to all those affected is please stay in touch with us via with details of the impact on your hives and business.

The key issues continue to be access to hives, clearing/cleaning damaged hive sites, bee welfare and financial support for loss (or projected loss) of income. We are in daily contact with government agencies to make sure those concerns are reaching them and relevant rescue and emergency groups. It has also been helpful to get officials from key agencies, like MPI, to meet with local beekeeping operations in affected areas. That way they get a first-hand account of the damage and the support needed.

There has been some excellent local, voluntary support that has seen a coordinated effort get underway, including in the Tairāwhiti area and in Hawke’s Bay to provide practical support and advice. I would like to acknowledge Barry Foster, Chair of the ApiNZ Hub and his hub team including John MacKay and Steve Jackson for the tireless work they have been doing. If you have yet to be in contact with Barry and would like to touch base his email is

In Hawke’s Bay, CE of Melita Honey, Lars Janson has been in contact with many local beekeepers bringing agencies, support and resources together to provide practical support. Lars is happy for local beekeepers to make contact with him at

Many of our members are asking how to support beekeepers in the affected areas and we have received some generous offers, including people to help clean up. If you have specific support you’d like to provide please email

Cyclone Gabrielle update for beekeepers

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Apiculture NZ recognises the unprecedented pressure many beekeepers will be under following the extreme impact of the cyclone last week.

We realise that beekeepers may still be in the process of securing their own safety and wellbeing. For others, disrupted or no immediate prospect of access to hive sites is of considerable concern.

ApiNZ has spoken to affected beekeepers, and three particular concerns have been highlighted including access to, and clearing/cleaning damaged hive sites, bee welfare and financial support for loss (or projected loss) of income.

We have ensured that those concerns are reaching government agencies and relevant rescue and emergency groups. In addition, Inland Revenue and the New Zealand Bankers Association have also been approached to consider ways to help lessen the immediate financial impacts for beekeepers, and we have an update from Inland Revenue below.

While that support continues to evolve, key links for advice and government support are as follows:

Regional help is being coordinated via Rural Support. This includes information on dealing with financial pressure and health & wellbeing, as well as access to help with clean-up work through the Enhanced Task Force Green.

Urgent financial help via civil defence payments can be applied for via Work & Income or via their freephone on 0800 400 100.

See advice for businesses (this includes information on looking after employees, finance and banking, and help from Inland Revenue) which will be regularly updated.

We urge you to also check this Inland Revenue announcement updated today. It covers details around support including the removal of any late filing and payment penalties as well as some interest. You can also call Inland Revenue at 0800 473 566. You may also want to check out the income equalisation scheme which allows late deposits for the 2022 year and early withdrawals.

Last night the Government also announced funding for immediate support to businesses and the primary sector totalling $50 million, with the details to come. This funding and any other initiatives will be updated through our website.

We also ask that those beekeepers experiencing challenges, or who may have questions to please make contact with us, when they can, at or call us on 04 471 6254. The more information we have from beekeepers the better we will be able to represent your needs to government agencies.


21 February 2023

New Zealand’s largest rural insurer FMG has lodged almost 1500 claims following Cyclone Gabrielle.

“As you would expect the claims coming in are mostly for water damage to property, vehicles, and contents,” says FMG’s Rural Propositions Manager Karen Williams.

“We appreciate communication and electricity lines are challenging in some places, so we want clients to know we have options when it comes to lodging a claim, either now, or when connectivity improves in their area,” she says.

“Given the size and scale of this event, along with road access challenges, it will take time to get assessors out. Some of our Assessing Team have begun seeing clients, and we’ll be prioritising our most vulnerable clients first,” says Karen.


What can I do now?

  • You can make emergency repairs to keep people and stock safe, for example making buildings weather tight
  • You can dispose of frozen foods that have gone off
  • You can dispose of flooded property, such as carpets, furniture, and bedding etc.

What can I do to speed up my claim? 

  • Take as many photos as you can of damaged items before disposing of them and of all the damaged items you need to claim on
  • Keep receipts. If you have contracted work to support repairs, such as digger hours for repairing culverts, or wire and posts to fix fences, please keep a record of contracted hours

Read the full media release here.

From the ApiNZ Board Chair, Nathan Guy

17 February 2023

The devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle continues to take a huge toll on people in the affected areas. First, I want to acknowledge all those who have been affected, our members and also the people who have been working tirelessly to support emergency efforts. The scale of destruction has shocked and surprised all of us and our thoughts go out to you and your families.

The scale and impact of the cyclone, combined with the weather events earlier in the year, means that the effects will last for months, and recovery could take years. While the immediate focus has been on people’s safety and getting the basic infrastructure like power and communications back online, ApiNZ is very aware of the need to make sure our sector is considered in any longer-term recovery efforts.

We have endeavoured to connect with beekeepers in the affected areas, as well as our members to offer our support and point to important resources. We know that many beekeepers will be concerned about the state of their hives and about their inability to access hives in the near future. We have asked that those experiencing particular challenges to please make contact with us, when they can, at or call us on 04 471 6254.

This helps Karin and her team who are in daily contact with relevant agencies like MPI to feed back any specific beekeeper issues and also work the wider primary sector leaders’ group in pulling together information and advice to those agencies. Inland Revenue and the New Zealand Bankers Association have been approached to consider ways to help lessen the immediate financial impacts for beekeepers and packers.

I am also talking to my farming mates in the affected regions and it’s very clear that the rural sector has been hit hard by the events. Beekeepers like farmers are under the pump as it is, and this adds huge stress that can be overwhelming. We have access to some good resources that have been posted to our members and the wider beekeeping community as outlined below.

After two years of Covid-19 I had hoped we might see a return to normal, but this year’s events have meant another dramatic and awful start to the year. By working together we can make sure our people and sector are heard and supported through these times.

Stay safe and stay in touch.
ApiNZ stands ready to support you – in anyway possible.

The key links again, are:

The Rural Support Trust which provides local emergency contacts but also updates and advice.

For those affected, the existing support is summarised in an MPI factsheet.

More detailed information can be found via these links on clean up support, the IRD income equalization scheme and Wellbeing support. Other useful links and information for businesses.

Cyclone Gabrielle Update for Beekeepers

14 February 2023

This morning the government declared a National State of Emergency to assist in the response to Cyclone Gabrielle. The declaration applies to six regions: Northland, Auckland, Tairāwhiti, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Hawkes Bay.

The declaration allows the government to unlock resources to support affected regions.

The nature of how support for individuals and businesses to recover from this current event will work will become clearer once the emergency is over. It is likely to build on initiatives already running in response to the Upper North Island weather events in late January.

ApiNZ is working closely with MPI to make sure beekeeping businesses are considered in all decisions it makes on supporting the primary sector in affected regions.

We know that many beekeepers will be concerned about the state of their hives and will be anticipating an inability to access hives in the near future.

For those experiencing particular challenges please make contact with us here The more information we have from beekeepers the better we will be able to represent your needs to government agencies.

For those affected, the existing support is summarised in an MPI factsheet

More detailed information can be found via these links on clean up support, the IRD income equalization scheme, and Wellbeing support.

Stay safe.