Heavy rain has caused yet another slip on Gladstone Road at the weekend, bringing down large rocks and debris that covered the road completely.

A steep and dangerous hillside where the slips occurred posed a danger for contractors tasked with clearing the road, with clean-up work stalled until it was deemed safe to start.

Contractors were on site the morning of the slip assessing the situation, but the problem was that loose material remained up the slope, posing a continual danger to anyone that was working directly underneath.

A statement from Horowhenua District Council said more rocks and debris continue to fall with loose material remaining up the slope, and work couldn't begin until it was deemed safe.


"Due to the amount of debris which needs to be removed, the road will remain closed for at least two more days," it said.

An alternative route providing access over Trig Road was open for residents although it was suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles only.

Residents spoken to by Horowhenua Chronicle said they did their best to car pool and help each other.

"We are asking residents to please take extra care when using this road as contractors will be carrying out maintenance work today, and tomorrow, to improve the track," HDC said.

If anyone needed assistance they could contact HDC on 06 366 0999.

HDC was working hard to build an alternative road and had recently purchased a 29.5ha block of land to use to realign a 1.2km stretch of Gladstone Road.

The new road was estimated to cost between $2.5million and $4 million, with NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) expected to fund as much as 85 per cent.

It can't come soon enough, said one outspoken river resident, Corey Riley, who said someone could be killed.


"Once again our road is closed and once again a massive disruption to our lives," he said.

"My mother-in-law had made a special trip from New Plymouth to visit her new two-week-old granddaughter only to find when she was within 2km of our home she had to turn back."

"It is a miracle no-one has been killed."

The continuous slips caused disruption for residents and users of the popular Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre, which was visited by hundreds of school children each week.

Meanwhile, residents of Heatherlea East Road were advised that the road has been closed to through traffic due to an under-slip caused by a blocked culvert and was unlikely to be open in the immediate future.

Acting Infrastructure Manager Kevin Peel said the road was closed either side of the slip and warning signs were installed at entrances to the road from both State Highway 1 and State Highway 57.

"We expect the road will remain closed until early next week, at the earliest," he said.

While the road was closed to through traffic, residents to the west of 74 Heatherlea East Road would still be able to access their homes via SH57, while those on the east would be able to access their homes from SH1.

Mr Peel said contractors were on site and the situation would be assessed once the water level had reduced.