Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Looming State Highway reopening a key recovery step

16 July 2014
Release #: 1; issued at 1200 hours

Looming State Highway reopening a key recovery step; Civil Defence

Northland’s recovery from the storm which battered it is poised to reach an important milestone shortly with confirmation today a key, slip-affected section of State Highway One is now expected to reopen on Saturday.

Graeme MacDonald, spokesman for the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group, says roading authorities have been working 24/7 to bypass the slip south of Kawakawa, on a crucial part of the region’s roading network.

Mr MacDonald says while food and other supplies have continued to be delivered around the region via a series of long diversions, the re-opening of the SH1 section would be important from both a practical and morale viewpoint.

“I suspect many Northlanders – as well as being happy to see reduced travel costs and times and a more direct route to and from the Far North – will also view this reopening in particular as a very visible indication that tangible progress is being made on the storm recovery front.”

Mr MacDonald says despite the diversions that are in place, the Far North in particular was very keen for the rest of the New Zealand that it was still “open for business”, especially with a few days of the school holidays left and fine weather this week.

He says roading officials say the section of SH1 expected to reopen Saturday morning would be a sealed, single lane controlled by traffic lights.

While by and large officials were happy with driver behaviour – especially by truckies – along alternate routes, there had been some incidents involving motorists travelling at excessive speed or following too closely.

“Police are appealing for drivers to be patient and courteous and have directed extra resources to alternate routes to monitor and enforce behaviour and lower, temporary speed limits have also been imposed in places.”

Mr MacDonald says on the welfare front, staff from all three district councils have been visiting flood-affected areas door-to-door to assess needs. In the Far North, while they still had a presence in Moerewa, that process was largely complete there.

In the Whangarei District, council staff had been visiting the Hikurangi Swamp area yesterday and would be back there today before moving into other more remote parts of the district.

In the Kaipara, visits were being made to Aranga, Kaihu, Waihue, Hoanga, Tangiteroria, Pukehuia and Karaka.

The Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254 – also continuing to liaise with and support flood-affected Northland farmers and horticulturists.

The Ministry of Social Development – which is working closely with other agencies in Northland – reports it has now dealt with more than 130 extra storm-related hardship cases across the region, largely in the Kawakawa, Kaikohe and Kaitaia areas. Only a few cases had been reported in Whangarei and just one in Dargaville.

Mr MacDonald says in the Far North, anyone whose home is flooded or who urgently needs accommodation, food, heating, clothing or medical supplies should phone Far North District Council’s freephone 0800 920 029 in the first instance.

The Whangarei District Council has a similar service for those needing help in its district; 0800 932 463 and in Kaipara, people should call the council’s main freephone number 0800 727 059.

He says with school due to resume next week, firefighters had washed down all the hard surfaces at Moerewa Primary yesterday as a precaution in case they had been affected by sewage in floodwaters. They were also still assisting with pumping in places in the settlement.

On the power front, Top Energy reported today it still had about 100 customers without power, roughly a third of them in the Wekaweka area, in the Hokianga. Repair work was ongoing there – including flying in wire – and it was now hoped electricity could be restored in the next day or two.

Northpower reported today all major repair work was complete and it was now looking at rebuilding work that is required. It is reporting a “steady stream” of localised faults but says this is to be expected given its system had taken quite a battering during the storm.

Both Northpower and Top Energy repeated their requests for all faults to be reported to them. Top Energy’s fault line number is 0800 867 363 and Northpower’s 0800 10 40 40.

“Again, anybody who stumbles across downed power lines must treat them as live at all time, stay well away from them and to report them to ensure they can be dealt with as quickly as possible.”

Mr MacDonald says information about local district council road and State Highway closures/issues in Northland is available from the Automobile Association website via www.AAroadwatch.co.nz or the NZTA website www.nzta.govt.nz

Recovery and other storm-related information will also continue to be posted as required, including on the Northland CDEM Group’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/civildefencenorthland and the Northland Regional Council’s website www.nrc.govt.nz/civildefence

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news