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Winter Storm Update 5 – Central Plateau

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The NZ Transport Agency says access through the middle of North Island has now been restored.

Most of the highways are open except for State Highway 1 Desert Road where snow clearing work is continuing.

But Transport Agency spokesperson, Karen Boyt, says freezing temperatures are expected in the Central Plateau overnight.

“If you are travelling over the weekend you should drive to the conditions and expect to see crews working on the roads.

“Now that there is a way through the central North Island a lot of people will be trying to use the roads so everybody should also be patient,” Ms Boyt says.

Simple rules for safe winter travelling:

  • Allow extra time
  • Ensure your vehicle is safe for winter driving
  • Drive to the road and weather conditions
  • Slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards
  • Allow greater following distance between you and the vehicle ahead
  • Make sure your cell phone is well charged, check car charger also
  • Have blankets, snacks, bottles of water ready in case of emergency or a breakdown.

Further updates and the latest information on other roads is provided at: www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link)

State Highway 5 Napier-Taupo Road is now open. A slip remains in the gorge and work is continuing to clear it. The road in the gorge will be down to one lane and have a reduced speed limit in place.

SH49 from Waiouru to SH4 intersection is open. This restores access to Ohakune. Please drive to winter conditions.
SH1 Waiouru to Hunterville is open. Please drive to winter conditions.

State Highway 1 from Hunterville to Waiouru is open
Snow and ice clearing work is continuing on State Highway 1 Desert Road. When it does open the road will be down to one lane at Waihohonu Bridge. An earlier crash has damaged the bridge and urgent repair work is needed.

From earlier update:

State Highway 46 and State Highway 47 Rangipo to National Park are now open but road users are advised to take extra care because of the snow on the road.

SH2 Waioeka Gorge now has one lane open. The road was closed after a slip last Friday.

How to stay up to date:

  • The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions is www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link)
  • Important information is also shared via the Transport Agency’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here https://www.nzta.govt.nz/contact-us/connect-with-us/
  • Drivers can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can provide them with traffic and travel information either before they’re travelling or when they’re on the road, safely parked off the highway
  • MetService road snowfall warnings here(external link)
  • MetService severe weather warnings here(external link)
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