State Highway 4 has now been carrying vehicles between Whanganui and Raetihi, through the treacherous Paraparas, for a century.

"It's the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Paraparas, so we are all hopping in vintage cars, some of which will have the top down, and going to Raetihi, so it's gonna be great,"says Hamish McDouall, Mayor of Whanganui.

While it was a chance for Mr McDouall to talk business with the northern regions, it was also a time to reflect on the rich history of the road.

"My brother always got carsick, so you always hoped that he would maybe make it through to the Ruakawa falls store before he vomited in the back of the car because it was just so windy," says Mr McDouall.


The route was severely damaged during the Whanganui floods of June 2015, and as a result was closed for around a month.

There are still slips that the New Zealand Transport Agency needs to repair and frustration is growing about the delays.

"Absolutely, the number of comments that we get from travellers is mounting and it's been well over 18 months now since the event happened, so I would like to think that it will be all repaired before the second anniversary of the flood event," says Mr McDouall.

NZTA did not respond to our request for comment in time for publication.

Sieska Verdonk - Local Focus