26 Mar 2018

Northland washout: Forestry road used to access cut-off region

From Morning Report, 6:42 am on 26 March 2018

Drivers will be able to travel on a forest track under police escort on Monday morning to bypass the washout that has closed State Highway 1 north of Kaitaia. Motorists had been told not to use the unsealed forest route over the weekend but now the forestry company that owns the land is going to allow convoys through in the morning and evening. Only those who absolutely need to travel will be allowed to make the 40-minute trip on the one lane road. And questions are being asked about whether the washout of State Highway One, which has left the tip of the North Island isolated for several days, could have been avoided. Far North District councillor Felicity Foy says locals told her they contacted the Transport Agency with their concerns about a blocked culvert near Pukenui where a 20-metre chunk of the highway was washed out after torrential rain last week. Far North Mayor John Carter's more immediate concern has been ensuring at least some locals and tourists can continue to get in and out of the area. He talks to Philippa Tolley.