National's Simeon Brown calls for compensation for motorists' vehicles damaged by peeling tar

National's Simeon Brown is calling on Waka Kotahi to offer compensation to motorists whose vehicles were damaged by peeling tar on SH1 through Dome Valley.

Some motorists driving along the stretch of state highway near Auckland on Saturday were forced to pull over after peeling tar became stuck to their tyres. 

Pictures shared online show one motorist with a stick in hand, hacking away at the tar stuck to his rear tyre. 

One video shows at least 10 cars pulled over on the side of the state highway, with drivers attending to their damaged cars.

"They were looking around for sticks or anything they could find to try and scrape it off, because obviously, they just literally couldn't drive," a witness told Newshub.

Brown, National's transport spokesperson, tweeted Aotearoa's roads have "become a joke".

"Potholes peppering our highways, new chipseal on State Highway 1 which peels off moments after being put on the road," he said. 

"I hope NZTA is offering compensation to motorists who had their vehicles damaged by new tar peeling off the road."

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency said the recent chip seal resealing work falls short of its expectations and will need to be fixed.

"Fulton Hogan will complete these urgent seal repairs after a new reseal on this heavily trafficked section of SH1 failed due to the new chip seal surface stripping after heavy overnight rain, exacerbated by warm weather on Saturday, causing the bitumen to bleed and chipseal stick to vehicle tyres," regional manager Tāmaki Makaurau me Te Tai Tokerau - maintenance and operations Jacqui Hori-Hoult said in a statement.

In a tweet, Waka Kotahi said it will close the road between 8pm and 5am, Sunday to Tuesday, for required "ongoing roadworks". 

 Fulton Hogan chief operating officer infrastructure Simon Dyne apologised for the situation.

"We are working to ensure that we can get in and complete permanent repairs as soon as we are able and will be taking all compensation claims seriously," he said in a statement.

"Fulton Hogan will continue with repair work on other sections of the road where some of the loose bitumen chip has been tracked onto adjacent road sections. All other planned general maintenance and repairs activities will also be taking place as scheduled."

An NZTA spokesperson said all complaints about damage from the peeling tar will be "considered" through its usual process for compensation.

Waka Kotahi strongly encouraged anyone who has received subsequent damage to their vehicle to lodge a compensation claim with Fulton Hogan for action. This can be done by emailing or phoning 09 4700 718.

Transport Minister Michael Wood told Newshub the Government has invested "significantly" in road maintenance and recovery from extreme events.

"Through our record-breaking investment in infrastructure, we are investing close to $7 billion in local road and state highway maintenance as part of the NLTP 21-24 [National Land Transport Programme], which will see around 7000 lane kilometres of state highway and 18,000 lane kilometres of local roads renewed," Wood said.

"[The] current situation is a result of the flat lining of road maintenance spending under the previous National Government. Since coming into government, we have boosted it by nearly 50 percent to help bring our roads back up to scratch."

He added that heavy rain and weather events also make repairs challenging, both on state highways and local roads.

"Rain can cause temporary fills to blow out, while also creating new potholes and making existing potholes larger," Wood said.