Defence Forces on Alternate Picton/Christchurch Highway
Defence Forces on Alternate Picton to Christchurch highway this week, starting today
The NZ Transport Agency and NZ Police are working together to support the New Zealand Defence Force 'Exercise Southern Katipo 17' which is underway until mid-November.
The exercise (external link)is being held in the upper South Island.
As part of this exercise, a contingent of more than 100 Defence Force vehicles, army trucks and larger vehicles, will be moved from Burnham Military Camp south of Christchurch to Omaka Air Base in Blenheim over three nights – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (October 17, 18 and 19) this week.
Each night, convoys of up to ten vehicles will leave Burnham at 6pm in ten minute intervals and the last convoy will arrive in St Arnaud by 2am. The next day they will make the final hour-long trip to Omaka leaving mid-morning. There are planned rest stops in townships along the way such as Culverden, Springs Junction and Murchison.
"If you’re on the alternate Picton to Christchurch route during the night from Wednesday this week, we ask for patience if you come across these army convoys. Please take extra care," Transport Agency Journey Manager Tresca Forrester says.
"We are working with the Defence Force closely and we have made sure that this takes place at the times which will result in the fewest delays for other road users. We’re happy to support the event and along with the Police, we want to ensure the operation goes smoothly and everyone’s safety is our number one priority."