Slip closes South Hokianga road

Published on 14 July 2022

Waiotemarama Gorge Road detour 14 July.PNG

Waiotemarama Gorge Road in South Hokianga has been closed to all traffic by a major slip and is unlikely to reopen fully until early August.

Waiotemarama Gorge Road cuts inland through Waimā Forest from Pākanae on the Twin Coast Discovery Highway (State Highway 12) just before Ōpononi. It re-joins the highway just west of Waimamaku. The route bypasses Ōpononi, Ōmāpere and the southern headland of Hokianga Harbour.

The slip, which began during Tuesday’s heavy rains, has continued to deteriorate, and has now undermined a significant section of road. It is located between Kelly Road near Pākanae and Smoothy Road. Ongoing rain in the area has increased the risk of further subsidence and contractors are now improving stormwater drainage around the site.

A detour along State Highway 12 will be in place from the intersection of Kelly Road and Waiotemarama Gorge Road in the north and from Smoothy Road in the south. The road could remain closed until Monday 1 August, although that will be reassessed once more detailed investigations can be made.