Top of the South, state highways update


Contractors and road crews continue to work hard to restore roads and repair damage across state highway networks in the top of the South Island.

There is significant damage to the network, and Waka Kotahi appreciates the frustration the closures of State Highway 6 and State Highway 63 are causing residents and road users.

However, the closures are necessary for safety reasons, and Waka Kotahi is urging all road users to respect them. Access needs to be prioritised for emergency services, road crews, and affected residents.

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.

Map showing roads that are closed at the top of the South Island

Top of the South, state highway road closures


State Highway 6 – Hira to Renwick

Closed due to flooding and washouts. There is emergency access only between Renwick and Havelock. This is for emergency services, Civil defence, and repair crews only. The public is urged not to use this part of the highway.

State Highway 63 – Renwick to Saint Arnaud

Closed due to flood damage and washouts at bridge approaches. Road crews are working hard to restore this route. However, further assessments are needed as floodwaters recede and with more rain forecast for later today, the chance of further flooding is possible.


State Highway 6 – Atawhai to Hira

Due to a slip, there is single-lane access only through multiple road works. A 30km/h temporary speed restrictionis is in place. Access is for residents only, and all other road users should avoid the area.

State Highway 6 – between the Haven Road and Tahunanui Drive/ Bisley Ave intersection

This is closed because of the risk of a significant slip. Further geotechnical assessments are being carried out, and we will update this road’s status as soon as we can. 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.

Nelson CBD congestion

With SH6 Rocks Road closed to traffic, Waimea Road is the only point of access to the town’s centre. This has seen significant traffic congestion today. Drivers need to be aware of this and the likelihood that travel times will be longer as flood-damaged roads remain closed.


State Highway 60 – Motueka to Riwaka

Due to surface flooding in this area, caution is advised along this route.


SH60 – Onekaka to Takaka

Open to light vehicles only. There is Stop/Go traffic management with temporary traffic lights in place from Pupu Springs to Rangihaeata. Road users are advised to take extra care while travelling along this route. Work is underway to drain water above the slip site at Bird’s Hill, and geotechnical assessments of the underslip are continuing. The road remains closed to heavy vehicles.

Request to heavy vehicle operators

Waka Kotahi would also ask freight companies seeking alternate routes to Nelson and Blenheim to observe the weight restrictions that apply to bridges and other infrastructure on local roads and alternate routes. This applies to Route 70 (Inland Kaikoura Road) and Leader Road (Waiau to State Highway 1). For further information see:

Hurunui District Council heavy vehicle and bridge information(external link)

Waka Kotahi 50MAX book of maps