Plan ahead for a relaxing, safe Easter on the roads around Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti


As the long Easter weekend approaches, Waka Kotahi is urging road users to drive to the conditions, as the network is strengthened.

Waka Kotahi Journey Manager for Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti, Andre Taylor, says our teams are continuing to work hard around the network to open all the roads affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“It’s important to note the roads which are currently open, may have speed restrictions or other temporary traffic management in place. 

“These are the first school holidays since the cyclone and we know people may be wanting to take time out and travel away.

“As always, while travelling around, please drive to the conditions, and be aware of possible delays, temporary traffic management, and lower speeds in some places. Not only will there be the possibility of usual Easter weekend traffic congestion in places, there will be delays from roadworks - so please be patient, give yourself extra travel time and take regular breaks on long journeys.

“We’re also, unfortunately, expecting some rain in both regions throughout the weekend - our network is still fragile after the cyclone so be prepared for the unexpected and driving to the conditions has never been more important.”

“The past fortnight has seen real progress on our networks, with the likes of SH5 Napier-Taupō opening 24/7 and work getting underway on the long term fix at the Te Pohue-Glengarry slip; increased access on SH38 between Wairoa and Lake Waikaremoana and the opening of the Mangahauini Gorge bypass on SH35 north of Gisborne.

“We want to extend our gratitude to our contractors who have been working tirelessly to open these routes, and the general public for their understanding as we work to rebuild our network,” says Mr Taylor.

There are simple things we can all do to help keep everyone on the roads safe:

  • Check your vehicle is safe to drive. Check your tyres, wipers, lights and indicators, and ensure you have a valid Warrant of Fitness before you leave.
  • Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the roads.
  • Make sure everyone does up their seat belt after a break outside the car.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely, and share the driving if possible.
  • People towing caravans and boats need to ensure their roadworthiness before attaching them to the tow bar. Stack heavy items toward the front to balance the load and remember the speed limit is 90k/h for towing vehicles. Pull over frequently and let queues pass when safe to do so.