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Certainty for Christmas: Waka Kotahi confirms funding to restore SH1 Mangamuka Gorge


Far North communities will have more certainty heading into the festive season, after weather events in August forced a critical link on State Highway 1 (SH1) to close.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is pleased to confirm it has secured $100m of funding to restore SH1 Mangamuka Gorge to its original condition, giving residents and businesses some assurance before the busy holiday period.

Norman Collier, Project Director Transport Services at Waka Kotahi says that detailed design work will still need to be completed to understand exactly how much the slip repairs will cost, and a timeframe for reopening the road.

“This work is already underway and is being accelerated. We are also working through procurement, further investigations, and resourcing materials so we can start work as quickly as possible once the detailed design process has been completed.

“Waka Kotahi has already engaged with key contractors who are in the process of mobilising the resources needed to complete repairs.”

This work will include three phases; protecting the road from further damage, which involves emergency works within the gorge as well as improvements to SH10 to ensure it’s working safely and efficiently.

Secondly, restoring the road to fix the slips and return it to its original condition and then finally investigating how the road can be improved and futureproofed to ensure the Far North roading network can withstand weather events in the future.

“With unstable ground conditions in the Maungataniwha Ranges along with ongoing impacts of climate change, the Mangamuka Gorge will be challenged with resilience issues for many years to come.

“We are thinking strategically about our next steps and will investigate how we can ensure the Far North roading network can stand the test of time, and the level of funding required to achieve this” says Mr Collier.

Waka Kotahi will continue to keep Far North communities updated as the work progresses and will collaborate with community representatives, members of the freight industry and hapū about decisions on next steps.

Possible options for longer-term solutions can be expected by mid-2023.

Waka Kotahi encourages everyone who lives in the area or travels through to sign up for emailed updates so they can keep in touch with short term and longer term progress: 

Far North state highway resilience programme

Note to editor: The $100m includes the $14m funding already approved for emergency work to protect the road from further damage and improve efficiency on SH10.

Funding is provided by the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) which helps to create a safer, more accessible, better connected and more resilient land transport system that keeps New Zealand moving.