The New Zealand Transport Agency is advising people to take extra care on State Highway 2 near Ōpōtiki while crews work to clear a large slip.

The slip occurred in the early hours of this morning at the Waiotahi bluff closing State Highway 2.

A local road detour, using Paerata Ridge and Verrall Rds, is in place that will add around 15 minutes to a journey.

NZTA Bay of Plenty transport system manager Rob Campbell said crews were working from both sides of the slip to remove the debris from the road.


"The slip was covering the road and had almost reached the beach but we are making good progress and, weather and further slippage permitting, we expect to be able to open the road late this afternoon.

"People should check our website, social media or phone the 0800 number before travelling to ensure the road is open."

He said if people need to travel through the area to take extra care and expect delays.

The local road detour it is not suitable for heavy vehicles. Heavy vehicle drivers are asked to travel via Rotorua and/or Taupō to Napier.

All road users are also advised to drive with extra caution and prepare for delays on State Highway 35 between Ōpōtiki and Gisborne due to multiple slips and drop-outs. The road is reduced to one lane at several locations, particularly between Hawai and Omaio.