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Second slip splits Hinakura Rd again

A second slip in three days cuts off Hinakura Rd near Martinborough. PHOTO/MARY ARGUE

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Families in Hinakura are missing direct access to Martinborough after a giant slip – the second in three days – took out Hinakura Rd.

A corner of Hinakura Rd, which was tar-sealed, now looked like a slow-moving brown glacier, the slip having split the road in two and dropping one side half a metre.

In a post to their Facebook page on Sunday morning, South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] said that Hinakura Rd had “regrettably” slipped overnight.

The road was closed to all traffic.

SWDC said although it was not ideal, alternative access to Hinakura via Admiral Rd was possible.

Grant Muir, a resident of 20 years, said it was a notorious slip-zone, and another slip was predictable.

The region had not received the heavy rain that dropped in north Wairarapa, but there had been a “constant soaking rain” over the past two weeks.

He said rain falling soon after a dry spell “opened the ground,” which was mainly papa-rock [mudstone].

Muir had navigated the first slip on Saturday afternoon when there was only a six-inch-wide crack.

Attempting to return home Sunday, he said the road had “dropped away massively”.

“I can’t cross that. I’ll have to go the long way.”

It was usually a 25-minute drive from Martinborough to his home on Moeraki Rd.

Forced to use Admiral Rd – “a goat track in places” – that trip was more than an hour, he said.

“Admiral is only about 20 per cent tarsealed. It is long, narrow, and windy.”

Muir said Hinakura Rd, constructed shortly after World War II, was unsuitable for the “modern world” and could not support the regular logging and farm trucks using it.

“I don’t blame anyone. They’ve got a job to do.

“And the council are up against it with ratepayers rebelling, so they have gone to the [Greater Wellington] Regional Council to fix it.”

He said about 50-60 residents would be “completely isolated” if alternative routes were blocked.

Hinakura was cut off from Martinborough earlier in the year after Hinakura Rd sustained major damage in flooding.

Muir said the council should be looking at a million-dollar fix for an alternative route rather than the $63,000 patch proposed at a Hinakura Hall meeting.

“They need to invest in a geologist and seismologist.

“They are pushing the limits. 40-tonne trucks come through here. The road’s not up for it.”

SWDC requested people avoid the area. The council said it was looking for an available engineer and a fix “in time for Christmas”.

Mayor Alex Beijen visited the slip site on Sunday morning and said he was grateful no one was hurt.

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