Progress being made on the Top of the South highways, but still a long way to go


The hard work continues as efforts to restore the state highway network in the top of the South Island continues.

UPDATE: 7.05am, Tuesday 23 August 2022

SH60 between Onekaka and Takaka will be CLOSED during the week, the road will open intermittently, to light vehicles only, during the following hours: 

  • 8am-9am
  • 12pm-1pm
  • 3pm-4pm
  • 6pm-7am.

The road remains closed for heavy vehicles.

Mark Owen, Acting National Manager Maintenance and Operations, says road crews have been working hard to push through the damaged sections of State Highway 6 from both the Marlborough and Nelson ends of the highway.

“The good news is the crews managed to meet today, so we have a pioneer track through from Hira to the Rai Valley.”

However, Mr Owen says this doesn’t mean the road is about to be reopened to traffic.

“What’s in place now is only accessible by contractors and emergency services under escort. It’s an important step, but it’s only the first step. We still have a lot of work to assess the damage and triage what needs to be done to open a safe route.”

Meanwhile, State Highway 63 from Renwick to Saint Arnaud remains closed, as is State Highway 6 Rocks Road in Nelson. Further announcements on their status will be made tomorrow, and Nelson commuters can expect Rocks Road to be closed tomorrow morning.

Mr Owen says work continues in Golden Bay to restore access on State Highway 60 between Tākaka and Collingwood.

“We had to close the road to all traffic for a short time late this afternoon to improve the stability of the slip site at Bird Hill. We know the disruption is frustrating for residents, but the work was urgent and necessary. We are mindful of the need to stabilise the route for local dairy farmers.”

A further closure is planned at the location tomorrow between 7 am and 6 pm. There will be openings from 8 am to 9 am, 12 pm to 1 pm, and 3 pm to 4 pm to allow traffic through the site. These times have been decided on after discussions with stakeholders. The road remains closed to heavy vehicles and can only be used by light vehicles.

Road users should plan ahead before travelling. With extensive road works and closures in place across the region, delays can be expected - especially at peak travel times.

State highway closures

SH6 Nelson to Blenheim – Hira to Rai Valley

Closed due to flood damage and washouts.

SH6 Rocks Road – Nelson Central from Haven Road to the Tahunanui intersection

Closed because of slip risk.

The detour route is via Haven Rd, Halifax St, Rutherford St and Waimea Rd. This route is available for Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCV). There are no alternative routes through the city due to height and weight restrictions. All vehicles must comply with speed restrictions.

SH63 Renwick to Saint Arnaud

Closed because of flood damage and washouts.

SH60 Tākaka to Onekaka

Closure planned for Tuesday, 23 August.

The alternative route into Nelson from Blenheim, the West Coast and Canterbury is via the Lewis Pass, State Highway 7, and Murchison, State Highways 65 and 6. People travelling from the West Coast to Blenheim must go via the east coast on State Highway 1.