Building Back Better: $34.7 Million for Tararua’s Cyclone-Damaged Roads

Published 21 Jul 2023

Work on Tararua’s weather damaged roading network can now move up a notch following confirmation of nearly $34.7 million in emergency works funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. During the cyclone response phase Council had received $10 million which brings the total funding from Waka Kotahi to $44.7 million. This is the largest amount of external funding that Tararua District Council has ever received. The funds will be used to repair road damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Cyclone Gabrielle caused significant havoc to Tararua’s roading network and continues to impact many people and businesses in the Tararua District, especially in our coastal and rural communities. Currently many roads are still under repair due to damage caused by the cyclone. The Tararua District has the fourth largest roading network in New Zealand.

Honourable Minister Kieran McAnulty says: “The region has had it really tough, and the council kept working hard for our community since the devastating weather. We’ve been working together to get this funding across the line, and I’m delighted it’s now been confirmed. This is excellent news and one that I hope will bring certainty to families and businesses across the region that their roads are going to be repaired without additional demands on rates.”

According to Mayor Tracey Collis: “This is great news for our district. Securing this funding is key to restoring our local roads. We are very appreciative towards Waka Kotahi for approving our application of $34.7 million to repair roads damaged by the cyclone. I would also like to express my gratitude towards all our teams as well as our iwi partners, the Horizons team, and locals, who are working together to improve the Tararua road network. This funding will also stimulate the Tararua economy and provide employment opportunities.”

Tararua District Council Chief Executive Bryan Nicholson says: “This is a significant achievement and gives us some much-needed certainty on how to move forward. Key sites across Tararua’s vast roading network have already been prioritised for and designs are being progressed to ensure contractors can hit the ground running to repair the district’s roads as soon as the summer construction period begins. We look forward to continuing to work with Waka Kotahi to support the repair and recovery programme in our district.”

Our road network is critical to our communities and businesses, so repairing the damage forms a large part of our recovery. A critical part of the planned repairs is to ensure resilience and building back better to ensure a stable road network”, says Matt Erard - Tararua Alliance Manager.

The emergency road repair work within the Tararua District is estimated to take five years, and includes repairing 20 compromised bridges, 551 dropouts and 1,807 other faults within the roading network.