Getting the Parapara stretch of SH4 back to one lane is a high priority for the New Zealand Transport Agency, the agency's regional performance manager Mark Owen says.

He fronted a meeting of about 80 affected residents at Raetihi on Thursday.

After that the agency was committed to restoring the highway to two lanes, and intended to make a big push on that this summer. Finishing it was likely to take months, and there was no viable alternative route, Owen said.

In the meantime minor alternative roads, the Whanganui River Rd and Field's Track/Whangaehu Valley Rd, will get more maintenance and patrols.


There should be no trucks on Fields Track, National Road Carriers Association executive officer Tom Cloke said, other than those needed to service the farms there.

In the meantime emergency medical transfers will be handled by ambulances on state highways, and helicopter flights. Four of those have been made in the past two weeks.