Thames-Coromandel road at brink of 'total collapse' - mayor
Another state highway is in such a bad way that locals fear it's only a matter of time before it leaves an entire district cut off.
Newshub has been leaked an email from the mayor of the Thames-Coromandel district to the transport minister, who says it's the greatest issue facing the region.
A slip has closed State Highway 25A since Sunday and won't be fully cleared until the end of the week.
"The community are just scared, they're worried, and stressed about what's going to happen with our roads," says Mayor Sandra Goudie.
There's only one highway, a ringroute around the Coromandel, managed by NZTA. Major slips or dropouts basically cut one side off from the other, and potentially the entire peninsula from the rest of the country.
The issue is so bad the mayor has written to Transport Minister Simon Bridges demanding action.
In it she says she's "increasingly alarmed by the compromised condition" of the roads, and wonders "what liability will the government be responsible for in the event of a partial of total collapse".
The latest slip happened a week after the mayor sent the letter. In it she says the state highway is the single biggest issue they face and one they have no control over.
"If we lose accessibility that major part of our district is sunk - like business, like community, social, school - you name it. Visitors can't get in. Business can't get in and vice versa."
She says if the region was cut off completely it would be worse than what has happened in Kaikoura since last year's earthquake.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges hasn't responded to her yet and is downplaying the danger.
"Is it another Kaikoura waiting to happen? No, I don't think so. It's not at that magnitude."
With the number of severe weather events rising, the NZTA says more will be done.
"We've been working on State Highway 25 for the last three years, and [over] the next three years we're investing over $8 million to improve the network," says regional relationships director Parekawhia McLean.
Ms Goudie says it's a race against time.
"It can't come soon enough. It's quite scary that it's just a waiting game to see what's going to happen first."