Cyclone Gabrielle aftermath: Good Wood, back on the tools while surrounded by water

Cyclone Gabrielle aftermath: Good Wood, back on the tools while surrounded by water

Liam Raphael, left and Good Wood owner Callum Macdonald of Hastings, standing in unfinished RSE accommodation surrounded by water. Photo / Warren Buckland


Original article written by Maddisyn Jeffares from Hawke's Bay Today. You can view HERE.

As the damage of Cyclone Gabrielle becomes clear, local businesses are pitching in where they can, including Hastings Business Good Wood, which specialises in assembling wood products and small cabins.

Once the storm had calmed on Tuesday, Good Wood owner Callum Macdonald made his way to his company’s newest workshop site nestled in the back of Bostock orchards in Hastings.

Before the storm, Macdonald and his team of two had been working on building a three-bedroom cabin as well as smaller one-bedroom cabins.

Macdonald said they were lucky to only experience minimal damage with some roofing lifting off the shed.


Liam Raphael left and Good Wood owner Callum Macdonald trying to get the cabin finished for incoming RSE workers. Photo/Warren Buckland


Macdonald was unsure if the company’s large beam saw or automatic panel saw were damaged, as he did not want to turn it on with water still in the shed.

“We got very lucky, the water was only inches away from getting inside the three-bedroom cabin we had been working on,” said Macdonald.

The three-room cabin was destined for incoming RSE workers and needed to be completed next week.

“We need to get this cabin built as the RSE workers are still coming in and there is no doubt that we may have to make more of our other cabins to help with displacement after the flooding,” said Macdonald.

The Good Wood team used planks to make makeshift walkways and a generator got power up and running so they could continue working.


Good Wood cabins in Hastings start to see flood water recede as they work on RSE accommodation. Photo/Warren Buckland


Macdonald and Good Wood builder Liam Raphael are working on completing the cabins and helping people where they can.

Macdonald’s generator has been loaned to Maraenui Medical Centre after the power on the worksite was restored.

While Macdonald and Raphael are working on cabins, there are a few workers at the main Good Wood site where the company builds desks, tables, beds and other household furniture.

The Good Wood Founder wants to help where he can and said shelters or organisations who need help with possible shelters can contact the company at their email at or message them on their Facebook page at

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