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Road completely destroyed

The destruction at Hinakura Rd continues with no timeframe for reopening. PHOTOS/EVA DE JONG

Hinakura Rd has been ‘completely destroyed’ by a devastating slip that continues to slide further into the valley days after heavy rains made the troubled road impassable. EVA DE JONG reports.

Council contractor and health and safety adviser Ryan Groves watched the Hinakura Rd slip move one metre in the two hours he was there on Thursday.

Groves said the slip had moved 10 metres since Tuesday and was continuing to shift.

“I don’t know if it’s going to stop or keep going or if there will be a big event.”

Groves said the wires of a fallen fence were pinging and popping as the dirt moved through them.

“I can hear the sound of the earth moving.”

South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] manager of operations Stefan Corbett said the road had been “completely destroyed”.

“No one should be attempting to cross the area on foot under any circumstances.”

Corbett said the damage was being surveyed on foot and by drone and that road cones and temporary barriers would be put in place.

“The land is still moving, and there are major fissures and deep cracks in the surface. This poses a very high risk to anyone trying to cross the area.”

Hinakura resident Pip Wilkinson said there had been very little communication from SWDC to residents.

“I haven’t personally seen anybody out there from the council, and I haven’t heard from anyone from council directly in the last two days.”

However, the council said they had warned residents of the danger through a targeted email and had issued notices on their website and social media.

Wilkinson was frustrated by the work SWDC had performed on the slip-prone area in the past.

“They should have done earthworks back in December. They just put a bandaid on it and hoped that it was going to repair itself.”

Corbett said the council could not provide an estimated timeframe for reopening the road.

“We ask for patience while we obtain the specialist technical advice we need.”

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