The force of ex-cyclone Gita tearing through central New Zealand has threatened the stability of state highway one along the southern end of the Kapiti Coast.

Urgent work is underway on SH1 between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki following damage caused by Cyclone Gita.

Contractors can be seen working with trucks and diggers to fix parts of the crumbling sea wall and road.

The cyclone washed away the cycle-lane and footpath and NZTA Senior Journey Manager Neil Walker says the damage has threatened to undermine the road.

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He says the main fibre connection to the North Island has also been exposed and contractors are working carefully to protect it.

Around 350 tonnes of rock have so far been delivered to the worksite.

Speed restrictions have been put in place, but the road is remaining open for northbound traffic and diversions are in place for southbound traffic.

Walker says work is progressing well and will continue into the evening if it remains safe to do so.

Pukerua Bay residents say this has been the worst storm in at least 13 years.

Contractors work to reinstate SH 1 between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki. Photo / NZTA
Contractors work to reinstate SH 1 between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki. Photo / NZTA

High waves and wind have been bringing sea water and debris onto people's properties.

Pukerua Bay resident Jonny Clark's fence was brought down by the waves.

Clark has been moving driftwood, furniture, and barbeques further inland today so they won't damage his house during high tide.

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Contractors can be seen working with trucks and diggers to fix parts of the crumbling sea wall and road. Photo / NZTA
Contractors can be seen working with trucks and diggers to fix parts of the crumbling sea wall and road. Photo / NZTA

He's one of the residents currently without electricity, following a power pole being compromised by the weather.

The pole is surrounded by swirling ocean preventing contractors from carrying out their work to fix the outage.

Residents say they've been told the power will return in about six hours.

Meanwhile in the South Island the Crown Range Road between Queenstown and Wanaka is currently closed due to the extreme danger of rock fall on the Queenstown side caused by today's heavy rain.

Around 350 tonnes of rock have so far been delivered to the worksite. Photo / NZTA
Around 350 tonnes of rock have so far been delivered to the worksite. Photo / NZTA

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) contractors have closed the road at the junction of Crown Range Road and State Highway 6 near Arrowtown (the bottom of the switchbacks leading up to Crown Terrace), and also near the junction of Cardrona Valley Road and Riverbank Road just south of Wanaka township.

Residents of Crown Terrace still have access as far as Eastbourne Road. Residents of Cardrona and visitors still have access from Wanaka as far as Cardrona township.