TLDR: The Government has just declared a National State of Emergency in response to Cyclone Gabrielle, which is only the third-ever such declaration behind the Canterbury Earthquake on February 23, 2011 and the Covid Pandemic on March 25, 2020.
Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty announced the declaration shortly before 9am and held a news conference in Wellington at 9.30 am. PM Chris Hipkins is in Auckland with much of the Cabinet to coordinate the response and is due to hold a news conference around 11am.
The declaration allows the central Government to provide extra resources to help at local level and set national priorities in the response to the storm, which appears to be even more damaging and expensive than the Auckland Anniversary weekend storms at the end of January.
Elsewhere in the news overnight: