Long term road repairs - severe weather damage

This page has updates on long term repairs to Kaipara roads that were damaged by severe weather.

To check the latest repair plans for remaining slips, see our online mapping tool
For general information about roads, visit our Kaipara Roads page.
For information about the SH1 Brynderwyn Hills closure, visit our Brynderwyns update page or the NZTA Waka Kotahi project page.

The Northland local road network has suffered approximately $89 million worth of damage from at least ten different significant weather events since July 2022, with an estimated $34 million of this in the Kaipara District. Across Kaipara, storm flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle caused considerable damage to roads and footpaths, with over 120 slips reported and 104 individual roads impacted – the highest on record for a single event.

We have restored most roads but are still working on approximately $16.5M of repairs on 57 sites in the Kaipara District. The repairs needed for these sites are significant and complex and will take some time to work through.

We expect our long-term repairs such as major slips and road damage to take around three years to complete.

We prioritise repairs based on:

  1. The risk to safety
  2. Where roads form the only access to a community
  3. Where we have the resources available to complete the work.

In some locations we have only been able to provide a temporary fix, such as one-lane of access, until we can permanently rebuild the road. 

Please support road workers by driving slowly past work sites and being patient with the detours and temporary closures that need to be in place. 

Where there are road issues with potential safety risks like new slips, cracks in roads, flooding, or trees falling over roads / cycleways, please report them to us as soon as possible.  

Progress updates and road repairs

Have a look at our latest monthly reports for roading maintenance and repair across the Kaipara District.

Keeping up normal maintenance of road surfaces

Recent storm events have also compounded issues like potholes, grading of gravel roads, maintenance of drains and road sweeping. Heavy rain not only causes further damage, it also redirects resources away from maintenance and into more urgent recovery work. 

As resources allow, we are still working on potholes and other basic maintenance. If you are aware of sites which are especially dangerous, even for drivers who slow down, please report them so they can be scheduled for repair.

Report road issues

Three phases of recovery

Our response program follows the process described by Waka Kotahi funding requirements.
We are now in Phase 3 - major recovery works. 

Phase 1: Initial response

Urgently completed within 4-6 weeks of the event to reinstate basic levels of access, secure sites against further damage, and minimise hazards. These initial activities include:

  • Clearance of over-slips to reinstate at least 1 trafficable lane
  • Clearance of debris and fallen trees
  • Implementation of effective traffic management solutions
  • Stability measures on dropouts and slips that are not compromising the network or isolating communities.

Phase 2: Minor recovery works

Following the initial response we can begin minor works, generally costing less than $100k per site with lower risk and restoring most roads to their previous condition. Each site requires an application to Waka Kotahi and funding approval. Activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Simple rock retention walls
  • Minor road narrowing
  • Pavement dig-outs and geotextile wraps
  • Hazardous tree removals. Includes costs for geotechnical risk assessments and options reporting (Emergency Works Assessments), as well as commencement of in-depth geotechnical investigation and designs to inform Phase 3 funding applications.

Phase 3: Major recovery works (current phase)

During the third phase we can undertake major repair works, those generally costing more than $100k per site, with higher risk and requiring geotechnical investigations and detailed design work. Each site requires an application to Waka Kotahi and funding approval. Activities include:

  • Complex rock spall retention walls
  • Shear key retention walls
  • Timber or Concrete pile retaining walls

Funding the recovery

When an extreme weather event causes damage to a local road network, Waka Kotahi (NZTA, the New Zealand Government's Transport Agency) provides a funding process to assist Councils with the cost of repairs. The normal funding assistance rate (FAR) for Kaipara District Council across all subsidised road maintenance and renewals activities is 62%.

When the funding request for emergency works within any year exceeds 10% of the approved Maintenance, Operations, and Renewals (MOR) budget, the FAR is increased by 20%. In the case of Cyclone Gabrielle, an additional one-off special funding assistance rate of 40% (capped at 100%) has been advised above the normal FAR. 

Councils are required to fund the remaining balance which is generally provided for through their Emergency Response Reserve Fund provisions, however with the extent of the current damage, the cost of the local share exceeds the available reserves. Additional unbudgeted funds will need to be approved by elected members of each Northland Council. 

Dealing with slips

We've put together some general information about slips, what to do and who is responsible for what.

If you have been affected by a slip and there is an immediate safety risk, call 111.