Slips and flooding close roads across rain-soaked Northland


Severe flooding is affecting the state highway network in Northland, with SH1 south of Whangarei down to one lane after a washout near Loop Road and SH1 through the Mangamuka Gorge to Kaitaia closed by slips.

Other roads across the network are affected by slips and flooding and crews are out checking bridges are safe and free of flood debris, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult.

“Our advice is for people to delay their travel if possible as our crews work across the network to make it safe for all road users. We know there will be families wanting to get home from school holidays, but safety is our priority.” 

SH11 from Paihia to Kawakawa remains closed by a slip near Opua. One lane briefly opened past the slip this afternoon but was closed again because the road surface was slippery and unsafe.  it is expected to have this open later this evening. Further south on SH11, the road is closed by flooding at Taumarere.

SH1 is also closed by flooding at Moerewa. Together, the closure of SH11 and SH1 at Moerewa blocks access to the north.

“People should be aware that this is a fluid situation and as our crews drive the network, they are finding new areas of concern. Most recently, this includes floodwaters across the road on SH1 at Whakapara and on SH15 at Ruakaka.”

In the Far North, SH1 through the Mangamuka Gorge is likely to be closed for some time as crews investigate two slips under the road. A Geotech engineer is on site this afternoon. SH10 is the detour north to Kaitaia.

South of Whangarei, a washout took out a 30 metre stretch of the temporary southbound road on SH1 north of the roundabout construction site.

“Road crews are working to rebuild the road and hope to have traffic restored to two lanes tonight. The road is currently down to one lane with stop/go traffic management. Traffic both northbound and southbound is heavy.”

In Whangarei, a slip on SH1 (Western Hills Drive) has almost been cleared, with three of four lanes now open. 

Metservice says localised downpours and thunderstorms are still possible in Northland during today, Sunday and into next week. There will be heavy showers but not as severe as yesterday.

“Roads are expected to remain closed for the rest of the day. Our crews will continue to reassess and open roads when it is safe to do so. However, with the continuing rain and high tide expected at 6PM, there could be further road closures.”

“We ask you to be kind and follow the instructions of the road crews to keep everybody safe. If they have closed the road it is for a very good reason and people should not try to drive through the closure point.”

“Motorists should delay their journeys and check the Waka Kotahi travel information website(external link)  for latest updates. Plan your journey before setting off and allow extra time,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.

“If you must go out, take care, drive to the conditions and watch out for unexpected road hazards like surface flooding in low-lying areas, potholes, slips or fallen trees. Heavy rain can also reduce visibility,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.

State highway road closures:

  • SH1 is closed from Mangamuka - Okaihau to Victoria Valley Rd by slips and flooding.
  • SH1 flooding at Moerewa.
  • SH1 partially closed by flooding at Whakapara.
  • SH11 flooding at Taumarere between Opua and Kawakawa.
  • SH12 flooding at Taheke Bridge.
  • SH15 flooding at Poroti and Ruakaka River bridge.
  • South of Whangarei on SH1, flooding near the Loop Rd intersections. Stop/go traffic management is in place with the road reduced to one lane.
  • SH1 (Western Hills Drive between Selwyn Ave and Manse St) in Whangarei. A slip is still blocking one of four lanes.