Waka Kotahi urging people to avoid non-essential travel as severe weather continues to hit parts of New Zealand


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says people should continue to defer any non-essential travel in North Island regions which remain affected by severe weather, with Metservice red or orange warnings for heavy rain remaining in place for Coromandel and parts of the Bay of Plenty region.

“If you don’t need to be driving in these areas, please stay home. If you must travel in affected areas, please check the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner before you leave. This page is updated 24/7 by our traffic operations centres, and is the best source of the most recent and reliable information available on state highway closures and disruptions. Remember to refresh the page when checking the status of highways to ensure that the latest updates are displayed,” says Waka Kotahi National Emergency Response Team spokesperson Mark Owen.

Metservice Weather Warnings(external link)

Waka Kotahi Journey Planner(external link)

Mr Owen says Waka Kotahi is also issuing social media updates with the latest information around the clock.

Waka Kotahi is urging everyone using roads in affected areas to adjust their driving to the conditions, which means slowing down, increasing following distances, switching headlights on and watching for flooding and other debris on the road.

“Slips and floodwaters are likely to disrupt travel in affected regions, making some roads impassable and others likely to close at short notice. The simple message for people in these areas is to stay put and stay safe.”

Mr Owen says with the possibility of heavy rainfall spreading further south in the days ahead, possibly including the West Coast of the South Island, anyone planning to travel should check the Journey Planner web page before heading out. Waka Kotahi will also continue to issue social media updates around the clock for the duration of the storm event.

Waka Kotahi Journey Planner(external link)

“We’re focused on keeping everyone fully informed and as safe as possible. Our people are working day and night to make that happen, and roading contractors are also working around the clock in incredibly difficult conditions to monitor the state highway network for slips, flooding and other disruptions.  Contractors will always do their best to keep roads open and minimise disruptions, but the nature of this event means that roads may need to be closed at short notice to keep people safe.”