Prime Minister Chris Hipkins calls out unacceptable abuse towards roadworkers as Government reveals progress on cyclone recovery

About 91 percent of damaged state highways have been restored after Cyclone Gabrielle, and six sites have been approved for bailey bridges.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says road workers have reported being subjected to abuse by passing motorists, which is unacceptable.

Speaking after the weekly Cabinet meeting, Hipkins said there were had been 14 highway closures as a result of the cyclone weather, amounting to 1436km of New Zealand's more than 11,000km of State Highways. He said 1229km of that had since been restored.

With six bailey bridges already installed to rebuild links, Hipkins said another six sites had been approved and four more were under consideration.

"Waka Kotahi is working with the New Zealand an Australian distributors of the modern equivalent of bailey bridges, that are manufactured in the UK, to source any additional stock that might be needed," he said.

Hipkins said he wanted to acknowledge the "extraordinary efforts of road crews and people on the ground who had been working hard to restore access.

However, he said Waka Kotahi had reports from crews in affected areas that they had been receiving abuse from motorists.

"While roadworks are frustrating the extent of the damage is unprecedented," Hipkins said.

"Many of these workers are doing incredibly long hours on the roads and then heading home to deal with damage that they cyclone has caused to their own homes and properties.

"It's understandable that people are frustrated by the situation, but it's not okay to take out that frustration on the people who are doing the work to restore roading access."

In a statement, Transport Minister Michael Wood said further State Highways expected to reopen in the next few weeks included SH2 Tangoio to Tūtira, SH1 Brynderwyn, and SH38 from Tuai to Aniwaniwa Falls.

Wood said some routes like SH35 and SH25A would take more time to reopen.

The six sites where construction had been committed for bailey bridges, were: Hollywood, Moeangiangi, Whanawhana, Ellis-Wallace, Mangatutu low level, Makiekie (Coal) Creek.

A further four sites were under consideration at Te Reinga, Redclyffe, Manawatu River and Waikare River.

Bailey bridges are prefabricated, typically temporary, bridges which can be installed quickly and later removed and reused elsewhere.

"We have enough stock and components available or on order for all of the approved bridge sites," Wood said.