Frustrated Ruapehu locals to meet with NZTA over slip blocking highway

There are fears about the growth of a massive slip on State Highway 4 which has cut off the small North Island town of Raetihi. 

The slip appeared earlier this month about 500m north of the Matahiwi track.

Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron says it has been raining for days on end and it is making the slip worse.

"Rain gets down between the cracks in the slip, almost provides a glassy bottom for that slip to keep sliding across." 

The New Zealand Transport Agency will be meeting with frustrated locals on Thursday, who are concerned about the economic impact.

"There is always the odd person who gets angry - there's no doubt about that," said Cameron, adding that businesses have been experiencing significant losses.

"There's roughly 2000 vehicle movements a day going up and down that road between Raetihi and Whanganui - heavy traffic, 365-odd trucks, and now all of a sudden that traffic's being diverted."

It could take up to a year to repair the damage.

"The road has now completely disappeared," Cameron told Newshub earlier this month.

A three-week road closure years ago cost the region $5 million, he said, and this will be far worse.

"We're just going to have to hunker down and support each other through this until it is fixed."

Detours are available on State Highways 1, 3 and 49.