It's triggered a national debate about climate change and whether vulnerable homes should be rebuilt or written off.
"I don't want to go back there," said Amy Bowkett.
The mother of two lived in the Hawkes Bay area, one of the regions worst hit by Cyclone Gabrielle. When the Category 3 storm hit with wind speeds of up to 159km/h (99mph), her home was completely destroyed.
Along with 50 of her neighbours she spent a terrifying 48 hours trapped without power, water or phone signal.