Access brings relief for Kaikoura region

Construction crews are putting the final touches on two key access tracks around the slips blocking State Highway One north of Kaikoura. 

The new roads mean excavators and other essential equipment can finally reach every single part of the earthquake damaged road including the main slip at Ohau Point.

"We've got 150 people, everything from helicopter pilots, to people scaling the cliffs, abseillers, people on the ground," says NZTA earthquake recovery manager Steve Mutton.

The biggest slip - over 500 metres long - is at Ohau Point, better known for its famous seal colony.

"We've more or less got damage from Cheviot in the south and Blenheim in the north. We've got 750 damage sites," says Kiwirail's Walter Rushbrook.

There are also a handful of homes stuck in between the slips. 

Resident Barry Campbell has been getting his food in through a tunnel ... on a wheelbarrow.

"People that have stayed in here, might not have had much to do with each other before, but they have a lot to do with each other now, so it's brought us a bit closer together."

Work on the access road is almost complete crews working from both ends meeting in the middle at Ohau Point. 

"A lot of the material we're trying to use as part of the reinstatement work, we can put it where the road needs to be widened or brought out by the cliffs a little bit," says Mr Mutton.

With winter just over two months away, crews have a hard road ahead.