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Widespread slips, flooding throughout Manawatū and Whanganui - avoid non-essential travel


The NZ Transport Agency is strongly urging motorists to avoid non-essential travel on rural roads in Manawatū and Whanganui, with heavy rain causing widespread slips, surface flooding and closures.

UPDATE - 4.25pm

  • Crews are continuing to work to reopen the SH1 Waipawa Stream Bridge. Due to challenging conditions, we are now hoping to reopen the bridge late this evening, rather than early evening.

  • A slip has closed SH3 at Mimi north fo Waitara, in North Taranaki.

  • The Pahiatua Track is now closed. The Saddle Road is open, but has numerous slips and is not suitable for heavy vehciles.

  • We stress the risk of surface flooding, which can surge very quickly in wet conditions and cause vehicles to get stuck or crash.  If you can't see the side of the road because of water, then we advise you to stop and turn around.

  • Refer below media release for further information.  Note some of this information has been superseded by this update.

Central Regional Performance Manager Mark Owen says many highways across the lower North Island were closed by widespread flooding and slips. He is urging motorists to put their safety first and avoid nonessential travel on rural roads in Manawatū and Whanganui. Travellers also run the risk of being stranded as conditions change. 

Latest highway situation as follows - subject to change at short notice:

  • State Highway 1 – CLOSED – Manakau. Crews working to reopen this evening, subject to conditions.

  • State Highway 1 - CLOSED – near MARTON just south of Calico line due to flooding

  • State Highway 3 – CLOSED – between Bulls and Wanganui – No Detour

  • State Highway 3 – CLOSED - Hawera to Patea

  • State Highway 4 – CLOSED – between Raetihi and Wanganui 

  • State Highway 53 - The Waihenga Bridge remains CLOSED with diversions in place

  • State Highway 3 – CLOSED – Manawatū Gorge

  • Saddle Road still OPEN but with numerous slips with significant delays.

  • Pahiatua Track – Now OPEN with 30k restrictions

  • State Highway 43 – CLOSED –  Startford to Taumaranui

  • State Highway 3 – Ashurst – Significant flooding near Glenburn Road – MARGINAL

  • State Highway 54 – CLOSED between Vinegar Hill to Cheltenham

  • State Highway 56 – CLOSED at Opiki

Mr Owen says contractors are working flat our throughout the highway network to clear roads and respond to hazards.

"We have crews out in force throughout the network dedicated to getting the roads cleared and safely reopened as soon as possible."


For up to the minute information about highway conditions, please visit link) or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS.

For personalised information about driving conditions on their frequently used routes, motorists can check out and sign up to On The Move at link)