Nelson and Tasman road recovery

Section menu

Project Introduction

The damage caused to the Nelson and Tasman region by the August 2022 weather event was unprecedented for the region. We are working hard to repair and restore the roading network.

  • Project type

    Road maintenance
  • Project status


Subscribe to updates

What does subscribing mean? Please read our Privacy statement


State Highway 6 emergency repairs

We are closing the road between Hira and Ronga Road near Rai Valley on State Highway 6 (SH6) from Tuesday, 1 November to Sunday, 18 December, to make emergency repairs.

People can travel between Blenheim and Nelson by using State Highway 63 (SH63) through to Kawatiri junction, then SH6.

After the recent weather event in August, we opened SH6 quickly to help keep people moving, while more permanent fixes were being completed on SH63.

Now that we have completed the repairs on SH63, we need to get back onto SH6 to fix five substantially damaged sites where there have been underslips. Three of these will require us to significantly cut back the road before we can build it back up again.

When SH6 reopens on 18 December, we plan to have two traffic lanes re-established for the holiday season. We will need to return to complete further minor repairs in the next year, but we are not expecting to close the road for this work.

Other planned maintenance work will be brought forward and completed during the closure. This includes pavement renewal and additional drainage work to improve network resilience, such as improving culvert inlets and outlets, increasing the size of some culverts, and strengthening drainage channels.

Some of the worst sites along SH6 that will require significant engineering and repair work.

Message for residents and businesses within the upcoming SH6 Hira to Rai Valley Closure

We acknowledge that the upcoming road closure on State Highway 6 is causing some stress and uncertainty for affected people, especially those residents and businesses within the closure zone (including Kokoroa Road).

Our contractors are currently contacting everyone within the closure zone, to establish their access needs. Our goal is to complete conversations with people within the closure zone before the end of next week, so that we understand their specific needs during the closure period. If anyone has not yet been contacted, please advise our team via this email -

At the same time, we are working on a number of options to provide alternative ways for people to travel in and out of the closure zone, or have supplies delivered to them.  We need to ensure that these options are available and suitable before confirming them with affected businesses and residents.

We expect that the options provided may still have some limitations, and we will work through these with the affected people.

We realise the closure is a substantial amount of time, but the SH6 route is currently vulnerable, and another serious weather event could seriously damage it and see it closed for months. We are prioritising getting these emergency repairs done as quickly as possible.

We are making every effort to get the route restored before the busy Christmas period.

Thank you for your patience. Further information is available here or email

Frequently asked questions

  • Can the road be open at night or at intervals to let people through?

    We have looked at multiple ways to do this work whilst minimising disruption for people. The other ways would lead to 24-30 weeks of work and much greater overall expected delay.

    The road needs significant cutting out and rebuilding for the five worst sites. This means the road will become too narrow to allow people to pass through safely while we have crews and equipment in place.

    At times it will be impossible to open the road for intervals during the day or night due to the road’s narrowness and the work that needs to happen at the base of the slips. During the work, the crew will be 10m below the current road level and accessing the site from each side. While this is being done, there will be no road to drive on.

    At other times, it will also be logistically challenging and add significantly more time to the closure if we were to regularly move the crew and equipment so that people could safely pass.

    The route is currently highly vulnerable to damage should there be another severe weather event. If this were to happen the road could end up being closed for months. This is why we want to do a full closure and get the repairs done as soon as we can. Our approach reduces the overall impact on the public and gets the work done before the busy Christmas season.

  • Will further work be needed on SH6 after this closure?

    During the seven-week road closure, our focus will be to complete all work on the five significant sites that result in lengthy one-way sections that cause the most delay.

    Other planned maintenance work will be brought forward and completed. This includes pavement renewal and additional drainage work to improve network resilience.

    When we open the road back up on 18 December, we aim to have two traffic lanes re-established for the holiday season. We will need to return to complete minor repairs next year, but we are not expecting to close the road for this work.

  • Why wasn’t this work completed earlier?

    In August, we wanted to get people moving between Blenheim and Nelson as quickly as possible. We knew we could open SH6 with traffic management while we made more permanent fixes to SH63. This allows us to have a shorter detour than the 7–9-hour detour that was in place when SH6 and SH63 were both closed in August.

    We needed time to assess the scope of the works, undertake geotechnical assessments and complete the structural designs for fixing SH6. We are now ready to get this done before the busy Christmas period.

  • How much will the recovery work cost?

    The work we will be doing during the seven-week closure will bring the road back up to the standard it had before the August weather event. While we are fixing the damaged sites, we will also undertake drainage works to make the corridor more resilient. As a separate exercise, we are continuing to investigate ways to make SH6 and SH63 even more resilient.

  • Can I get compensation if the road closures impact me?

    We are not in the position to provide compensation for road closures or maintenance work.

    We know this work impacts people, particularly those living within the emergency repair sites and in the Rai Valley.

    We are maintaining an alternative route for those outside the closure (SH 63 & via Kawatiri Junction). You will need to plan your journey, as there will extra travel time, to drive between Blenheim & Nelson.

    We suggest contacting your local council to see if you can apply for the Mayoral Relief Fund.