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We only have one home

Cyclone Gabrielle response

Hawke’s Bay has been devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle, and Hawke’s Bay Environment Centre has stepped up to awhi and support our community. 


We have more than 300 volunteers and many supporting businesses on the ground that have helped to coordinate the provision of meals, food, clothing, bedding, medications and more to displaced people and volunteers across the region.  So far we have delivered more than 3000 hot meals a day to our community, supported 20 + community hubs with their essential needs and helicoptered in support to rural communities.  This is just the beginning.  We have many more miles to go.  And we will need all the help we can get. Listen to an update from our CEO Emma Horgan-Heke on Radio New Zealand here on what we have achieved with the community and how we have a plan to walk alongside and support our community in rebuild of resilient communities within climate and environmental limits.

If you want to help - here’s how:  


Donate Goods 


Thank you to our amazing community all over New Zealand and internally organizations for donating goods for our communities here in Hawke's Bay. We appreciate this ! We have now stopped taking donations and are transitioning our remaining food over to Nourished for Nil, an amazing local charity that focuses on food rescue and distributing food to our community.


Donate Money 

We are asking for donations to our Give-a-Little page to fund ongoing cyclone emergency response and rebuild activities. 

For the future

In a region with 183,000 people, over 10,000 people have lost their homes, and seen widespread devastation to land, roads, and buildings. It won’t be the last time.  We must build resilience and sustainability into our lives. We urgently need business, government and community to come together and create a future for our tamariki and mokopuna, through community-centric, sustainable initiatives.  


Hawke’s Bay Environment Centre is a voice for te taiao, our environment.  We offer a place to learn, be inspired, and build a sustainable future together with community-based solutions. Because of our kaupapa, we didn’t miss a step in our response for the community.  For the future, we’ve developed a strategy which brings together our vision, passion, and community. This strategy will guide us towards our vision of a Hawke’s Bay with resilient, connected communities, regenerative food systems, thriving biodiversity, and a circular economy. The Environment Centre has an opportunity to be a community voice and connect community, business, philanthropy, and government to better meet the needs of our communities for environmental services, opportunities and initiatives including resilience and restoration.  


The cyclone has highlighted three aspects in particular for our community to reimagine and rebuild together: 

  1. Transition towns: This is a concept where a community works towards a low-carbon, socially just and equitable future with resilient communities, more active participation in society, and a caring culture focused on supporting each other. Practically this means setting up renewable energy projects that allow us to live off-grid, mechanisms for re-localising food systems, and creating community shared resources and green safe spaces for communities to meet and work together in disasters.

  2. Food resilience: To ensure localised food resilience and security in each community. To inspire a movement to create food systems change through education, advocacy, collaboration.  This includes helping the community to develop a network of community gardens, seed banks that are financially self-sustaining and a life saver when communities are cut off. 

  3. Water health, abundance and resilience: To inspire a multi-level water systems change movement through education, citizen science, restoration, advocacy, collaboration and  authentic partnerships with Iwi and Hapu, from the river and environment level to the house and communities level, ensuring water resilience and independence. 


For Now

We’ve been absolutely blown away by the incredible resilience and generosity of the people living in Hawke’s Bay. Our community has come together in the most unbelievably trying circumstances.  

 The community has responded and helped us to help others by providing: 

  • donated food, essential items, nappies, formula, generators, petrol, pet food 

  • volunteering- more than 200 people have joined our volunteer team 

  • businesses engaging with us to support the community in whatever way they can 

  • financially supporting us with our work 


We continue to work with communities and organisation’s around the rohe to reach those who need help most, providing  

  • thousands of hot meals a day in communities across the region 

  • distributing essentials including kai, toiletries, clothing, bedding, baby food, and more to community hubs across the region 

  • talking to communities to ascertain their needs and find someway of helping. Many of these communities had no support until we stepped in 

  • organising the logistics in hard-to-reach communities using helicopters, four wheel drives, and trucks to get to the communities 


Meet The Team

Hawkes Bay Environment Centre is a registered charity – Sustaining Hawke’s Bay Trust CC25936 . We have been in the community for 30 years. We are audited annually by an independent auditor. We belong to EHA (Environment Hub Aotearoa) CEN (Community Energy Network), ZWN (Zero Waste Network). Our focus is community resilience, environment restoration and climate action. 

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