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Talks on failed road

A meeting to discuss the fate of the rapidly failing Hinakura Rd will be held with the local community tonight.

A large portion of the road up the hill after the turnoff to Longbush Rd has been steadily slumping down the hillside for at least the past three years, with traffic currently limited to four-wheel-drive vehicles only.

A number of proposals to fix the badly damaged road have been made in the past, with limited implementation so far.

The road has steadily become more damaged as successive serious weather events have caused it to subside further. This has meant vehicles have become progressively less able to navigate it, with stock trucks and other heavy-duty carriers particularly badly affected.

In turn, residents of the Hinakura valley are intermittently stranded in the valley as the road becomes impassable after heavy rain.

Those needing to get to Martinborough to work or go to school are forced to either use the marginal and much longer route over Admiral Rd, or stay at home.

The meeting to discuss options with the community has been called by South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] and is at 6pm at the Hinakura Hall. It follows a workshop a few weeks ago.

The matter was raised at the Martinborough Community Board [MCB] meeting on Thursday evening, where SWDC councillor Aidan Ellims outlined the process, the next stage of which “is to go to Hinakura and talk to the community”.

Stefan Corbett, SWDC group manager partnerships and operations, told the MCB that experts would be conducting a site viewing prior tothe meeting.

“Prior to the meeting, the engineers are doing a walk-through with the landowners to gather information and understand the land better. After the community engagement, it will go up to council for consideration,” Corbett said.

“It’s a big, complicated issue, and so it might go to council and be considered, and there might not be a decision, or there could be a decision at that point.”

At this stage, in advance of community consultation, a timeline for decision-making on the issue has not been determined.

Technical experts are expected to be available at the meeting.

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