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Te Whāiti Road, Ruatāhuna Road update #5

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

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Large rock stockpiled on site where the road has been repaired, ready to be placed between the road and the stream as protection against future damage.

The repair work on Te Whāiti Road and Ruatāhuna Road continues to make good progress and work has also been completed to ensure the alternative access via Timberlands’ road network is more ‘user-friendly’.

Since the last week’s report, a couple of negative pieces of news have come to light. The first involved damage to the gate at the Murupara end of Te Whāiti Road by someone who then caused damage to contractors’ machinery, apparently in an endeavour to steal diesel or equipment. That caused some delay while the contract crews put the damage right – not a helpful situation at all.

There have also been reports of people using a degree of threatening behaviour to try and get access through the gates onto Te Whāiti Road. Again, that’s not helping the situation. It’s understandable that people are keen to get their road back – that’s what we all want. But the contractors working on the road don’t deserve that sort of behaviour. They do deserve the opportunity to get on with the job as quickly as they can, with the assurance that they won’t have vehicles appearing where they are not expected, putting lives unnecessarily at risk.

Key targets

  • Mid-June – We can now be reasonably confident that Te Whāiti Road will be restored sufficiently to allow access for local residents by 16 June – two weeks from now. The weather forecast for next week looks good, so fingers crossed we do get a good run at the repairs and there won’t be any delay. Look out for the update next week, when we should be able to provide a definite schedule.
  • End of July – No change to the current estimate of being able to provide safe two-lane, unsealed access, and open the road for full unrestricted public use by the end of July.
  • Summer 2017/18 - Further works will continue through the spring and summer to fully restore the road to the condition it was in before the storm. At this stage, it’s too early to be able to say when that work will be completed.


Signage is now in place to make it easier for people to find their way to and from Murupara on Timberlands’ roads. The direct route was also graded and metalled yesterday to make the road surface as safe and comfortable as possible. Anyone using these roads will still need to do so with caution. Logging trucks will be on the road too, so be careful, keep speeds down, and be ready to stop if asked to do so by Timberlands staff. The key health and safety message when driving on forestry roads is: “Drive to the conditions and travel at a speed that allows you to stop within half the visible distance in front of you."

Contact People:

Te Waiti Rangiwai
Pou Whakahaere – Group General Manager
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whare
07 366 5690; te_waiti@ngatiwhare.iwi.nz

Winiata Tamaki
Community representative - Minginui, Te Whāiti & Ngaputahi
07 366 3184; winiata.tamaki@gmail.com

Mahue Tawa
Infrastructure Co-ordinator
Tūhoe Manawaru Tribal
07 366 3228; mahue@tuhoemanawarutribal.co.nz

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