Cyclone Gabrielle is shaping up to be New Zealand’s most expensive weather event in terms of spread and scale, Federated Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland says. He says the fact that Cyclone Gabrielle has claimed at least 11 lives is devastating, but we’re very fortunate the toll isn’t a lot higher. The Feds policy team estimates total on-farm costs, including income disruption, infrastructure repair and crop or orchard restoration bills for all affected farmers and growers could top $1 billion …and that doesn’t include costs of public infrastructure, food shortages and inflation. Terry Copeland says there are farmers on the East Cape still unable to get out to the back of their properties to do an assessment because of destroyed access.