Giant landslide shuts SH6 on West Coast

2,500 cubic metres of rock blocks SH6 (BZTA)
2,500 cubic metres of rock blocks SH6 (BZTA)

Punakaiki business operators are struggling after the main road to the popular tourist attraction was cut off by a giant landslide.

State Highway 6 on the West Coast is blocked 5km north of Punakaiki after 2,500 cubic metres of rock fell, closing both lanes.

Just a handful of tourists have made the extra 90 minute round trip on SH6 from Westport to Punakaiki.

Giant landslide shuts SH6 on West Coast

Cafe operator Partrick Volk said the hostel at Punakaiki was deserted last night. 

"The cafe is empty and we hope we can get the road back ASAP."

Two diggers have worked on the landslip removing debris, dumping it at the sea wall in front of the Punakaiki Camping ground.

NZTA Maintenance Contract Manager on the West Coast Margarita Gonzalez-Borrero said she expects a lane to open on the road tomorrow.

"We will reassess the situation this afternoon - we don't expect to reopen the road today."

NZTA said while they have not yet been able to assess the road, they are expecting minimal damage.

Newshub.

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