Most Northland roads are open but Mangamuka Gorge stays closed


Northland’s state highway network, with the exception of SH1 through the Mangamuka Gorge, is open with roads expected to be busy on the last day of school holidays.

Metservice says the worst of the wet weather has passed though there could still be heavy localised rain until the evening. 

 “Motorists are advised to check the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency travel information website(external link) for latest updates because the situation could rapidly change with rivers already high and the ground saturated after days of exceptionally heavy rain. Plan your journey before setting off, take your time and allow extra time,” says Waka Kotahi Northland System Manager, Jacqui Hori-Hoult.

“Drive to the conditions, keep your speed down and watch out for unexpected road hazards like potholes where flood waters have receded. More rain could lead to renewed surface flooding in low-lying areas and slips. Heavy rain can also reduce visibility.”

Though the roads are open, Waka Kotahi urges caution especially where there is still water over the road at SH1 and SH11 just north of Kawakawa. 

In the Far North, there are at least eight significant slips, both across and under the road, through the Mangamuka Gorge. SH1 is closed from Makene Road to Victoria Valley Road. 

The biggest slip is just north of the summit and fully blocking the road, with about 5,000 cubic metres of earth and fallen trees to be cleared. There are two slips either side of the summit slip and one is still moving following the recent heavy rain.

The road is likely to remain closed for several days while the slips and state of the road are assessed. The detour route is SH10 which will add 20-30 minutes to most journeys.

On SH10, motorists can expect to see repair work on the tomo site north of Kaeo at the start of the week and there is a longer term temporary speed limit at works near Taipa. 

South of Whangarei on SH1, through the Loop Road roundabout construction site, road crews are using rolling blocks at five minute intervals to minimise disruption to traffic while they carry out urgent pothole repairs. The southbound lane is most affected. The road crews will monitor traffic to ensure queues are kept to a minimum.

With schools returning tomorrow, motorists are reminded to allow extra time for their journeys on this route.

“Waka Kotahi thanks all response teams and road crews who have worked hard this weekend to reopen the network as soon as possible while keeping all road users safe,” says Jacqui Hori-Hoult.