A Hawke's Bay mayor who counted 72 "gnarly" potholes on his trip from Napier to Wairoa says patch-up jobs on the region's roads are not effective.
But Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency says permanent repairs will be done within a year on State Highway 2 and other roads hit by significant rain over the weekend, alongside a planned $214 million investment in Hawke's Bay road maintenance.
Wairoa mayor Craig Little, who has since hesitantly driven State Highway 2 again, says everyone, even his own council, needs to do more to stop the potholes.
"I had something fragile on the back and I was quite concerned because there was a lot of dodging on the way down."
Little said roads in Hawke's Bay were often patched rather than fixed due to a lack of funding.
"I hear of a lot of damage to cars, tyres and rims, and that's just not acceptable in this day and age."
He said it was not only Waka Kotahi that was at fault for the poor state of Hawke's Bay roads, blaming his own council for the poor state of Tiniroto Rd from Wairoa to Gisborne.
"The engineers didn't want to spend a lot of money on it just to go and fix all these potholes, but because of the weather event, they've doubled in the last week or so … everyone has got to do things better."
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Road Transport Association senior industry adviser Sandy Walker said the lack of funding given to local councils for road maintenance and infrastructure has had more of an impact on the condition of roads than recent weather and he felt sorry for roadworkers.
"Unfortunately, they're sent with a fork to bail water out of a hole."
Waka Kotahi regional maintenance and operations manager Jaclyn Hankin said State Highway 2 was the most vulnerable to potholes after the last week's heavy rain because it was closer to the coast, but the agency was pleased with how State Highway 5 had held up after increased investment into its maintenance.
"We have pulled in extra resources, including specialist equipment, from Palmerston North and Wairoa, and expect to have the state highways back in reasonable condition by the end of this week," she said.
She said that many of the roads on which potholes had appeared during the bad weather were already earmarked for permanent repairs next year, and the funds used for the emergency repairs would not come out of the $214m planned for the region.