Weekend travel advice for North Island drivers – plan ahead and check the latest highway conditions


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is urging those planning to travel in the North Island this weekend to check for the latest information on weather warning and road conditions before starting their journeys.

Waka Kotahi is monitoring the approach of Cyclone Gabrielle very closely, and we’re receiving regular updates directly from MetService. We’ll be providing travel advice and warnings for motorists ahead of the cyclone’s predicted arrival on Sunday,” says Mark Owen, Waka Kotahi National Emergency Response Team spokesperson.

“Metservice has several Weather Watches in place for the upper North Island, and we urge people to keep up to date with the latest forecasts as the current Watches may be upgraded to Warnings, and further areas are also likely to be added.”

Metservice warnings and watches(external link)

Mr Owen says while the severity of the weather and the areas which will be affected is highly dependent on the track of Cyclone Gabrielle, large parts of the state highway network in the North Island could potentially be affected by the storm.

“All updates on closures or disruptions to the state highway network will be provided via the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner. This is updated 24/7 by our traffic operations centres, and it is the best source of the most recent and reliable information available on state highway closures and disruptions. Just remember to refresh the page when checking the status of highways to ensure that the latest updates are displayed.

Journey Planner(external link)

“We’re focused on keeping everyone fully informed, and our contractors will always do their best to keep roads open and minimise disruptions, but the nature of severe weather events means that roads may need to be closed at short notice to keep people safe,” Mr Owen says.

Waka Kotahi is also urging everyone using roads in any areas affected by severe weather 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.