Far North District Councillors want more money spent on roads

From Midday Report, 12:43 pm on 8 September 2022

Far North District Councillors want the government to write a cheque for hundreds of millions of dollars so they can get on with fixing their roading network.

Council representatives have just met with the local government and emergency minister Kieran McAnulty.

Far North District councillor Felicity Foy spoke to Māni Dunlop. 

In reply, Waka Kotahi Regional Manager for Auckland and Northland Jacqui Hori-Hoult said:

"SH1 is a vital economic lifeline for Northland, and Waka Kotahi is committed to ensuring that the route is as resilient and dependable as possible.

"Waka Kotahi closely monitors all known land movement and slips in the Mangamuka Gorge, and elsewhere on the state highway network. However, the increasing frequency and intensity of severe weather events as a result of climate change means that slips and closures are becoming more common across New Zealand, on state highways as well as on local roads.

"The full extent of the damage sustained at multiple sites through the Mangamuka Gorge from this most recent weather event is still being assessed. The current focus remains on getting a complete picture of the full extent of the damage sustained through the Gorge, with geotechnical specialists on site carrying out assessments. Decisions on the nature of repairs and reconstruction - including the time and the cost required to complete them - will depend on the outcome of those assessments. 

"We understand that the community is anxious to hear about the next steps forward, and we are keen to provide more information as soon as we have it. We're completing the damage assessments as quickly as possible, but it's important that these assessments are thorough, and the work must be undertaken carefully in order to ensure the safety of our workers, with the ground conditions in the gorge still highly unstable in places.

"Waka Kotahi will provide an update on the extent of the damage and the likely timeline for re-opening SH1 when the damage assessments are complete."