Tourist venue Blue Duck Lodge, near Taumarunui, is to be evacuated by helicopter because efforts to clear slips on the road to it are running into difficulty.

New slips have come down and trapped earthmoving machinery, Ruapehu District Council emergency management officer Nick Watson said.

About 100 guests at the lodge will be flown out this afternoon. The 20 remaining there are owners and staff, and fresh food and water will be delivered to them.

The evacuation will need five commercial helicopters. They are due to begin it at 1.30pm, and should take about two hours.


Those evacuated will be taken to National Park School.

Everyone at the station is in good spirits, but the damage there is major, owner Dan Steele said.

The council asked people to take extra care on district roads.