Hundreds dead: An update on the catastrophic situation in the eastern North Island of NZ

Hundreds dead: An update on the catastrophic situation in the eastern North Island of NZ

The following gut-wrenching report came to me in a voice message.

I believe strongly that the information should be made available to everyone while the identity of the person kept private.

I have therefore made a transcript and edited out bits that are at all personal

The reality on the ground in Hawkes Bay

Hey, how are you? Sorry, I haven’t really been in content. I’ve been trying to lay low.

From what I know there’s hundreds, hundreds dead the morgue – the morgue at the hospitals full.

There’s a morgue at the port that is reported to have about 100 bodies and I have spoken to someone I know that works at the port and he confirmed that.

But he also said it’s under army control and it’s classified.

So then I got a hold of a friend who’s in the army.

He’s actually been up in Gisborne. He’s due back here in Hawke’s Bay tonight, so I’m going to go and see him because he’s really cagey about what he says.

He said, ” I’ve been up in Gisborne and what I’ve seen there is worse than Afghanistan”.

So he’s been in the army 20 years, and he’s been to war and he said, this is worse.

My daughter’s boyfriend’s brother was working clearing a bridge yesterday. They were getting the slash up in he found a body. He recognized the hand, but the rest of the body is unrecognizable.

So I think that issue – and this is through talking with people I trust in Hawke’s Bay, not hearsay.

The issue was these bodies have been smashed by the slash. They have had downpours of water gushing past them. They’ve been beaten up and they’ve also been decomposing for six days in water and heat.

You can’t get a dental appointment in Hawke’s Bay because all the dentists are trying to use dental records to identify the bodies.

There is a group of 50 RSE workers (Recognised Seasonal Employer Limited Visa – ed) that were working in the Esk valley that have all been taken out.

The forestry boys on recovery mission – so the forestry boys, the navy, obviously the police, Search and Rescue – everyone are picking up bodies off the beaches and off the forestry blocks because I can get to more remote areas.

Apparently, the 50 RSE workers, no one can identify them.

They all come over from the same island and they tend to be housed with the same people. And of course they won’t have dental records in New Zealand, and they don’t have their passports on them or their ID because they’re working in orchards and stuff, and they would have been asleep in bed.

So it’s hundreds – know it’s hundreds.

We’re hearing stories of people entombed in their rooms because they couldn’t get out.

It’s honestly it’s a war zone. It’s horrific.

Everyone I know sleeping with shotguns,

There are robberies going

There are people stealing generators. These people doing stand over tactics, these people scoping out houses – people like me, single moms living in the country and shit scared because they know we’ve normally got generators and we’ve got fuel and we have firearms. So the people in town are relatively safe because they don’t have anything left, like any cash that they had already gone. Any field that they had saved is gone. It’s like that here that are more targets now…..

I’ve had friends that were in a Mahu (?) where the river went through. They’ve all been yellow stickered.

Everything in their house has gone.

There’s bones from the cemetery. I went out to the cemetery today to check on …,-  she’s fine. Their plots fine. 

But I looked around the cemetery and cried because three quarters of that cemetery has been unearthed. Some of the recent burials, of course, just pop straight back up out of the ground, and some of the older graves as well.

So the whole cemetery just looks like a warzone. ….

…The crime is worse.

The numbers are hundreds, if not thouands. I’m just I’m just talking about what I know in Hawke’s Bay. That’s not the people way out where we can’t even get contact with.

And that’s not Wairua or or Gisborne or anywhere else.

Everyone’s getting really pissy here because we all know at least 11 people that have died so we know the numbers are much higher.

One of my other friends is a coronial (?). He delivers the bodies from here and he takes him down to the coroner. He has been doing three trips to Palmerston North a day since that morning.

And that’s just one of them – so that all of the all of the funeral homes have a person that does it in Hawke’s Bay. So that’s just one. so he’s constantly doing trips taking the bodies down, bringing them back.

None of us understand why they’re downplaying it so much.

Considering all the COVID relief there was and the fact that they had all the police (or fake police).

And I had locked down and there was heaps of food packages, and there was heaps of aid and there was heaps of help.

And now this is it’s all the locals cleaning up.

I haven’t fucking seen a police officer.

All the locals have stopped their own work and are helping everyone else which is amazing.

It’s amazing to see,

I haven’t like I’ve seen a few of the army on the road.

But it’s it’s that all the locals and people from out of town as well.

But yeah, we’re all getting frustrated. Everyone’s getting angry now.

I think the initial shock has worn off. and everyone’s tired and the adrenaline has stopped now……

This call-in to NewsTalkZB dates from 20 February

This was a text read out at the end

“I’m in rural Hawke’s Bay.

I have not seen or heard from one Civil Defense person. Our road is back in and the scum are cruising around like sharks.

My thoughts are that this government wants people out of the rural areas and into towns and the whole freaking rural country can go into pine trees. I can tell you as one pissed off rural person that is not going to happen.

There has been so much politicisation of this tragedy and we won’t be forgetting it as another caller said during COVID.

They were all over the country like a rash,vigilante groups are rallying”


Another message from Hawkes Bay

See the article below.

Finally, there is this report from a few days ago


20 February, 2023


The pilot spoke to a contact of DTNZ on condition of anonymity.

He told our contact the rivers and flooded areas were ‘littered with bodies floating in the water’ and that these were New Zealand’s ‘darkest days.’

‘I’ve seen hundreds of dead bodies’, he said.

New Zealand’s foreign owned and government-funded legacy mainstream media put the current death toll at 11, although ‘thousands are still unaccounted for.’

After initially refusing international offers for help, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins is now accepting them. A National State of Emergency has been declared – for only the third time in New Zealand’s history. Hipkins said Gabrielle was the biggest natural disaster in New Zealand ‘this century’.

Meanwhile looting of Hawke’s Bay properties continues. DTNZ has been contacted by a number of residents who say they’ve been burgled while their houses and surrounded buildings are unoccupied. Yesterday police said they had conducted ‘2,208 reassurance patrols to keep people and property safe’ in the province since 14 February.


DTNZ has been contacted by a reader who provided irrefutable evidence Facebook posts critical of the government and PM Hipkins were being shadow-banned by the American social media network. Posts praising Hipkins appeared normal.

Many social media users were concerned the government and legacy mainstream media were suppressing information about the death toll and instances of organised crime looting and threatening to kill Hawke’s Bay residents.

Police warn residents against action after looting and people using firearms for protection risk facing criminal charges.

What will they do with the gang members threatening the public?

Cyclone Gabrielle crime: Hawke’s Bay village Puketapu forms blockades; gunshots reported in Maraenui

Melanie Petrowski from Napier has been trying to do some factchecking


We are getting countless reports that the death toll is beyond 11 in the Hawke’s Bay region.

We certainly don’t want to add to what MSM calls mis and disinformation, but we do have questions.

Melanie Petrowski made some calls today to the morgues, and the responses she got are in direct conflict with what Tim Baker said on the ground, who said his police contacts said the same morgues were over run.

The information Melanie received was that the morgues are practically empty.

She has spoken to us in the past & was a guest speaker at our Napier event, so we know she is a legitimate person also simply wanting the truth.

Eight days after the cyclone hit, police say only 400 remain on the uncontactable list, and they have no information to suggest they need to be looking for bodies.

If you have any more information please contact

On-the-ground community groups just do what needs to be done without bureaucracy or nonsense like this.

No volunteering without a COVID test

We have just been advised that as of tomorrow (Thursday, 23rd February), all volunteers working at the distribution hub (A&P Showgrounds), will now need to COMPLETE A RAT TEST, (all shifts) as you enter the showgrounds.
Please now report to the KENILWORTH ROAD entrance of the showground to begin your shift.
You will be tested in your car.
If you are NEGATIVE, proceed to the EXHIBITION HALL.
If you are POSITIVE, you will need to return home.
If you are FEELING UNWELL, please stay home.
This new process will delay your shift briefing, sorry about that.
We appreciate your patience and understanding around this.

I remember just how little government assistance there was for rural communities in northern New South Wales and at the time I wondered how this is possible

Heavy rain forecast for the weekend
This is what RNZ says this morning.
Rain has been falling in Hawke’s Bay and Tai Rāwhiti and more is forecast just as locals pick up the pieces from Cyclone Gabrielle.
A front has been moving up the country, with the Marlborough, Nelson, Wellington and Wairarapa regions getting up to 50mm of rain overnight.
Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne had about 15mm over the same period and could be in for another dousing later in the week.
MetService meteorologist Allan Baillie said the most recent modelling showed that in the 24 hours to Saturday morning 150mm to 200mm of rain could fall in the Hawke’s Bay ranges,(6 – 8 inches – ed) which would be very concerning for the region.
Gisborne could get up to 120mm over that period, and Wairarapa is also under a heavy rain warning.
Robert Deutsch talked about this 24 hours ago with a warning about what it all means

Here is his latest on Facebook

What about the Red Cross?

There seems no doubt in my mind that on-the-ground assistance is more effective than government agencies. What what about aid agencies?

It would be terrible if this allegation was true.

However, it IS the way bureaucracies work

So basically, the Red Cross are going to hord the 5 Million dollars donated in the last few weeks and force people to try thier luck with WINZ first.


The responsibility of the forestry industry

Questions need to be asked

“The Green Party have blood on their hands for preventing the burning of forestry slash that washed down and caused massive damage”

From the Daily Telegraph


As a result their vision for planting 1 billion trees seems to have become immeasurable harm from clear-felling, monoculture, pine slash, and storm generated log flumes smashing bridges as they wash down swollen streams. The incentives have prioritised green-washing over food and our people, locking up prime farm land and destroying communities as investors greedily farm thin air – in the name of “carbon credit farming”.

Usual Overseas Investment restrictions are avoided under this scheme, creating a loophole for the mass overseas purchase of our land and transferrable carbon credits that offer nothing of benefit to New Zealand, and serious erosion of the New Zealand we used to know. The full impact on the NZ way of life is not yet fully understood by many New Zealanders.

“Shane Jones” billion trees policy was supported by changes to the rules around planting trees for carbon credits and relaxation of the rules of foreign ownership. Even now after several inept reviews, foreign interests can still purchase large chunks of NZ farmland and plant it in exotic pines to claim carbon credits. The criteria don’t appear to investigate anything other than one-off financial gain for the vendor. The longer term economic and social cost of losing farming families from the land is ignored. The result is the sale of many productive sheep and beef farms that support farming families and other rural contractors and produce food for a hungry world.

The race is now on with over 100,000 acres being snaffled up in the last year and planted, in addition to existing production forests being quietly moved into carbon credit banks. New announcements made on an almost daily basis of yet more productive rural properties being snapped up. It continues despite desperate calls from farming groups as the government seems deaf to their concerns.

So, how does that land use change impact on the New Zealand way of life? The landscape being dominated by an exotic species that most animals and plants can not live under creates a monoculture wasteland. Pine forests cause downstream pollution problems, both in terms of water quality and waste. Each significant storm repeats this devastation. And weed pines are causing further environmental disaster needing man power and poisons to control them. Over Exotic pine forests are susceptible to wild fires as we saw in Nelson a few years back and they suck all the nutrients and moisture out of the soil leaving it damaged. They are simply not a sustainable option. The horrific destruction on Kangaroo Island should be a lesson in ‘the wrong tree in the wrong place’ and lack of accountability when the company failed financially and left an entire island to burn, killing millions of native animals and altering the landscape forever.

The slash and waste from harvested pine forests has been destroying downstream properties and coastal beaches with no cost or penalty to the plantation owner. This waste is creating incredible problems for councils, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to dispose of the waste let alone the cost to those whose properties are damaged. There has even been a tragic death this year due to forestry waste on a Gisborne beach. There seems to be no accountability for the damaging effects pine forests are having. Other countries such as the U.K. have well established common law “nuisance” principles available. It is past time to sort this problem out.

But the real problem will be the huge social upheaval due to the stripping out of our rural communities. Whole areas will be depopulated by farmers moving out.

Shepherds, shearers and other farm contractors are no longer required, rural contractors such as bulldozer drivers and haymakers close down, as do the local schools and the vet. Many other businesses such as the handyman, garage and the rural bureaucrats who provide farming monitoring and advice, and rural supply companies will all perish. In the past many city families had friends or relatives on farms and they kept their rural links by visits and helping out. This connection to our rural roots will be lost as farming families sell up or local farmers can’t afford to buy, competing against the massive carbon credit ‘farmers’. These forests are locked up for 50 or so years with no real work involved will utterly destroy rural New Zealand.

Land being locked up in exotic pine forests is happening at an astounding rate. In the last 5 years sales for carbon farming have been about 1/2 million acres and escalating as the price received for credits goes through the roof. The value of land is substantially increased to be more than food production values, so kiwi farmers can’t afford to buy farms, leaving much of NZ in the hands of overseas corporate companies. Right now, we have 1.7 million hectares in foreign ownership with one company alone owning 77,000 hectares. I note one farmer said that he received 2 million dollars more for his farm as a carbon credit enterprise as opposed to if he sold it for farming. Sadly, this short term thinking is going to come around and bite us.

Commercial forestry is affecting kiwis recreational access. The locals who previously accessed that land for hunting and fishing or recreation, are unable to access these carbon credit forest as they have very restricted access, with padlocked gates and trespass signs. It was a kiwi way for most local land owners to allow people access to their farms for fishing, hunting, bush walking or camping.

Access to many rivers and fisheries of importance are already lost, such as one of the great fishing rivers within the Kaiangaroa forest planted by Kiwis during the great depression and now owned by mostly foreign interests such as the Canadian pension fund and the Harvard university pension funds. Access has been denied to New Zealanders despite huge public meetings. We’ve been locked out of access to fisheries like the Rangitaiki River, as well as the vast hunting areas of over 500,000 acres of traditional deer, pig and game bird hunting for local food gathering. New forests are being planted, capturing other valuable resources and rivers where access is or will be denied as they are planted. Most outdoors people are starting to experience access issues as this dramatic change in land use takes hold. I am reminded of the lovely spring creeks of the Waikato River once easily accessed while NZ owned, now inaccessible due to land use change.

As the price of carbon credits escalates and some are predicting $120.00 per ton (now $77.00), the price investors are prepared to pay for land, puts flat productive farm land in the firing line instead of hill country farms. The official statistics always seem to lag behind the never ending stream of announcements of sales of farms for carbon credits. The investors would prefer to purchase clean farms for several reasons including the land is ready to plant without any need to clear scrub, easier to access and plant on the flat or use machines to plant. An example of those sales is in this article below (b) or another (c) with lots more recent sales have been signaled. One company boasts 250,000 acres now planted and is projecting to plant another 50,000 acres in the next few years.

The issue of valuing carbon locked up in the soil of grasslands has never been seriously considered but has many merits such as the ability to grow food while storing carbon. This circumnavigates the problem of carbon release due to forest fires, as carbon is retained in the soil.

The question is what can ordinary New Zealanders do in the absence of government action? Why has this government got policies which promote the sale of our land for harmful pine plantations? Why would any responsible government lock up land so it provides no economic benefit to NZ yet we bear ongoing harm from pollution and runoff? How did a “Green” party in coalition with NZ First and Labour allow that to happen?

As families from the rural areas are left with no option but to move to the cities, the schools close and the local communities die, the government has a Minister whose job is still to encourage the planting of a billion trees. This is madness! No doubt the carbon credit market will eventually collapse, as have many of the historical gold rush schemes in NZ, and then what? How can this madness be modified to be of benefit to New Zealand and our people?

Expect to see “no access” signs go up everywhere you have previously fished and hunted and enjoyed the great outdoors.

The NZ Outdoors & Freedom Party is developing policy around this issue including the following:

  • Ban all exotic forest farm conversions for carbon credits.
  • Encourage mixed native tree carbon forest plantings
  • Do not allow conversion of production forests to carbon farming
  • Make forest owners responsible for the environmental damage they cause


Finally, I don’t think this story is going to go away in people’s mind.

This is from the Gisborne Herald

‘Like a silent killer’

Power company refutes floodgate suspicions

‘It’s alright, nobody died’: Those were the words of Michelle McIlroy pictured being comforted by husband Hirini on the doorstep of their house, which was the first in the firing line when the Wairoa River burst its banks the morning after Cyclone Gabrielle struck. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

February 21, 2023 12:32PM

As the massive clean-up continues in Wairoa, residents are starting to question whether the flood that inundated hundreds of homes and businesses was caused by Genesis Energy, not Cyclone Gabrielle.

When the Gisborne Herald visited Wairoa’s flood-stricken North Clyde area yesterday, several residents said they were concerned the power company might have made a poorly-timed decision to open a floodgate at its Lake Waikaremoana dam, creating the sudden surge of water that spilled over the banks of the Wairoa River.

Genesis Energy says it was not responsible for the flooding and that hydrology data showed the excess river flow came from tributary streams beneath its lowest power station.

Michelle McIlroy was among those who expressed concern about the possible floodgate scenario, saying residents would be asking questions of Genesis.

She wondered if the dam had been at capacity and if there had been a need to let water out, why it wasn’t done ahead of the cyclone?

“It could’ve been at capacity and they would’ve needed to let the water out, but they should’ve warned us because they could have killed people — if it was that.”

People were constantly being told to prepare for the cyclone. If Genesis knew there was going to be 200 to 400 millilitres of rain, it should have been releasing water ahead of it.

But Genesis chief operations officer Rebecca Larking said, “our resource consents require us to manage the level of Lake Waikaremoana, which in turn helps manage the flow of the Waikaretaheke River, which flows into the Wairoa River. The discharge through the Waikaremoana Power Scheme was less than 1 percent of the total flow at the Wairoa township during Cyclone Gabrielle. A lot of the water that enters the Wairoa River flows in through tributaries below Genesis’ control points on the Waikaremoana Power Scheme.

“During the cyclone, Genesis released between 35 to 40 cubic metres of water per second from Lake Waikaremoana as required by our consents.

“By the time the Wairoa River entered Wairoa township, it had peaked in excess of 6500m3 per second, (according to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council river flow data), showing how much water entered the river further downstream, outside of Genesis’ points of control.”

Mrs McIlroy’s house in North Clyde and her 84-year-old mother’s house beside it were the first in the firing line when the river breached its bank at a bend by the showgrounds about 6am last Tuesday and made a beeline for the sea.

Four hundred houses were inundated — half of them uninsured, their occupants typically in a lower socio-economic group, Mrs McIlroy said.

Most were mana whenua (born and raised in the area, like their family before them) so wouldn’t want to leave.

Diggers and work crews are now trying to unearth properties from the brown wasteland of silt that has blanketed the entire area “like a war zone”, Mrs McIlroy says.

She and her mother might be able to return to houses, which were surprisingly only yellow-stickered — not fully condemned.

They’re among a group sheltering at their marae,Te Poho O Hinewai, which was unaffected by the flood, and had teamed up with Wairoa District Council to become a hub for the recovery effort.

Mrs McIlroy says the “silent, creeping” way in which the flood suddenly advanced is what made her question its origin.

At 5.45am her husband and son went to work and all was well. It seemed Cyclone Gabrielle had passed through without any real incident.

At 6am her sister luckily got up and noticed water in their yard. It was rapidly getting deeper but wasn’t a noisy, debris-laden torrent like the flood in Hawke’s Bay.

“When we were getting inundated it was just water and it rose really quickly.

“If you were asleep, it would have killed you ‘cos you wouldn’t have known it was there until it was in your house,” Mrs McIlroy said.

She tried twice to phone 111, then realised the power was out, cell tower signal had gone and they would have to save themselves — and anyone else they could.

As they drove away the river followed them. They beeped their horn and yelled for people to get out. Mrs McIlroy ran into properties, banged on windows and screamed that emergency services wouldn’t be coming.

“People were asleep. I was waking people up, running into their houses and screaming wake up ’cos I knew they had old people in there.”

The danger was hard for people to believe because there was no rain and it was fine outside, she said.

This flood was nothing like Bola, which she remembered from her 20s. There was no rain. It was low tide — full tide wasn’t until 12.30pm that day, Mrs McIlroy said.

She and her sister had been “river people” all their lives. They had checked on the river late last Monday night and it was low.

“We knew the rain was coming but we thought we’ve got enough time to go check back in the morning, but by then it was too late.

“I’ve always worried about the (Genesis) dam and if we have flood events. My mum was in Bola (too) and she said this was 10 times worse than Bola.

“Our house then never got anything in it.

“This time it was just a silent killer.”

Asked how she was coping, Mrs McIlroy said: “You have your moments, when you see a photo that can’t be replaced, when you’re standing in other people’s clothes, but it’s alright, nobody died.

“You rebuild and the thing is these people we’re working with, they’re all in the same boat, so you can’t feel sorry for yourself. You just gotta carry on and we’ll think about it later.”

Genesis also noted that the team at its Waikaremoana Power Scheme were isolated at times as communications were cut off but they were able to keep the power stations generating as much electricity as possible to help supply the East Coast and Hawke’s Bay, working closely with Transpower to get power from the scheme to those who needed it.

“In partnership with MB Century, we were able to get water, food, and other supplies into Tuai village for staff, contractors and the community,” Mrs Larking said.

3 thoughts on “Hundreds dead: An update on the catastrophic situation in the eastern North Island of NZ

  1. I am grateful for these updates even though I am nauseated by them. I am rapidly coming around to the conclusion that your government has been coopted into absolutism (my own euphemism). I hope the survivors can keep alive without aid from the government or from international sources, because I don’t think it’s ever coming.

  2. This is shocking Robin. The agenda gets clearer by the day … hopefully more can see it. Thank you for your hard work putting it all together. Have shared !

  3. Deaths
    ID will be impossible
    Only ghouls want exact numbers
    If ID is possible familiar have to be notified first
    Latest from police….435 unaccounted for
    Labour and National are guilty …no regulations covering work practises..Asian companies majority owners…name all shareholders..full disclosure
    Noone has a plan

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