The Inland road remains CLOSED

Plans to have the Inland-Kaikoura Road reopened to the public by this weekend have been thwarted by the adverse weather this week. Torrential rain caused landslips and further instability along the road, forcing NZTA to withdraw the limited access permit system. Only roading repair vehicles and personnel are allowed in. Not even emergency vehicles are being allowed access currently.

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Canterbury Regional Civil Defence and Emergency Management Controller, Brett Aldridge, reminds the public that they cannot drive into Kaikoura from any direction, including the Kaikoura Emergency Access Road (route 70).

The inland Kaikoura emergency access road remains closed with unstable landslides threatening stretches of the road.

“We will keep the public informed about road access, but do want to reinforce the message that all road access into Kaikoura remains closed to the public and we need to be patient while we deal with the aftermath of this earthquake.”

Despite a New Zealand Defence Force convoy traversing the road yesterday, the road is closed because of significant safety issues.

“Engineers are working through what is required to open it, but as yet we do not know when that will be. Once open, a permit will be required to use the road.”

Canterbury Regional Civil Defence and Emergency Management Controller, Baden Ewart, has reiterated the message to the public that they cannot drive into Kaikoura from any direction.

“We are hearing reports from our people out in the field and through social media that people think they can drive to Kaikoura - or will be able to in a day or so,” said Mr Ewart. “This is simply not the case.”

“All roads in and out of Kaikoura are closed due to landslides, damaged bridges and infrastructure, road subsidence and the risk of continued falling debris.”

“We do not yet know how long State Highway One will remain closed to the public. There is a huge amount of debris to be dealt with and a substantial amount of infrastructure damage.”

“And we are dealing with unstable and often dangerous conditions due to the weather and ongoing seismic events.”

The inland Kaikoura emergency access road remains closed with unstable landslides threatening stretches of the road.

“We will keep the public informed about road access but do want to reinforce the message that all road access into Kaikoura remains closed and we need to be patient while we deal with the aftermath of this earthquake.”