Continue to avoid all non-essential travel - NZTA

The NZ Transport Agency is asking people to continue to avoid all non-essential travel across the central North Island.

Currently the only north to south routes that are open between Auckland and Wellington are located on both edges of the island - along State Highway 3 on the west coast and State Highway 35 around the East Cape.

MetService is also warning snow will continue to fall on State Highway 1 Desert Road and the higher parts of State Highway 5 Napier-Taupo Road until late Friday.

NZTA, Karen Boyt, says with more snow expected to fall people should still delay their journeys if they can.

“We are expecting ice and more snow on the roads so people should delay all non-essential travel.

Staff and equipment from the upper North Island has been called in to get the roads open as quickly as possible.

And our crews will be out ploughing the snow on the routes that we know will be the most likely to open first,” Ms Boyt says.

People are advised to slow down and watch for unexpected hazards as melting snow and ice can cause slips and rockfall.

SH2 Waioeka Gorge: State Highway 2 between Opotiki and Gisborne was closed at the Waioeka Gorge last Friday after a large slip fell on the road. The last of the slip is expected to be removed Friday and barriers that catch debris will be put in place. 

Transport Agency expects one lane to open Friday afternoon, weather permitting. The site will be monitored over the weekend. 

A number of substantial slips are blocking or partially blocking several roads around Wellington this morning.

Motorists are warned to take care on all roads around the city as there could be slips or fallen trees that have come down on roads but have so far gone unreported.

Incidents include:
· Slip covering both lanes on the top of Wadestown Road.
· Slip covering both lanes at the corner of Fortification Road and Nakora Road, Seatoun Heights.
· Slip on Melrose Road covering footpath and part road, very large boulder on road on the bend.
· Slip on Rangiora Avenue, Khandallah, covering both lanes.
· Slip on Manchester Street, Melrose. The slip appears to have broken a gas line. PowerCo contractors are on site to fix the leak.

Smaller slips include:
· Evans Bay Parade, covering one lane.
· Grafton Road, Hataitai - debris across driveway.
· Otaki Street, Miramar, covering one lane
· Makara Road, between Makara Village and Makara Beach.