Northland council and business leaders have told the New Zealand Transport Agency the region is overdue a major investment in its roading networks.
Agency representatives were in Whangarei on Monday to discuss plans for roadworks over the next few years.
The mayors, chairpersons and business owners were united in their message: Northland's roads are not up to it - not just in emergencies, but in general.
Regional council chairperson Bill Shepherd said the fierce storm earlier in July highlighted the region's vulnerability when access to the north was down to one lane on an already damaged secondary route.
Mr Shepherd said the Far North ran critically low on basic supplies and dairy cooperative Fonterra was unable to collect milk from 200 farmers.
The mayoral forum is asking the Government for an urgent review of Northland's roading network and for major investment to strengthen it.
Kaipara locals want bridges replaced
The Transport Agency said on Monday it is aware that people in Kaipara are unhappy about two one-way bridges the describe as "death traps".
The 80-year-old bridges between Paparoa and Matakohe on State Highway 12 have been the scene of at least 10 fatalities and many crashes.
NZTA chief executive Ernst Zollner said on Monday the bridges are scheduled for replacement eventually, but the costs and benefits have to stack up.
Northland MP Mike Sabin said the bridges could qualify for replacement under a new funding stream for high-risk regional roads.
Mr Sabin said his research showed at least 10 people have been killed on the bridges, but not all those deaths were recorded by roading authorities.
In the latest crash, during last week's traffic turmoil following the slip that closed State Highway 1, a car hit a truck on one of the bridges and a driver was flown to hospital.
Paparoa people say there have been countless collisions because people don't expect one-lane bridges on a state highway and don't realise in time that they must give way.
Sue Reyland has campaigned for the bridges to be replaced and said they catch motorists unaware.
"I talk to people in their 80s that have had accidents on these bridges and still travel over them and are still scared. You've got no room for mistakes - it's just a death trap."
Mr Sabin said Northland is the fastest growing region in New Zealand and the storm earlier in July had highlighted the fragility of its roading network and the need for more investment in its infrastructure.