Ruapehu District Council is spending too much on towns and tourism and not enough on rural roads, Ruatiti Valley farmer Winston Oliver says.

Farmers are getting "pretty outraged" and Oliver puts the situation down to Ruapehu no longer having any councillors who are farmers.

Culverts and water tables haven't been maintained for six months, he said, and gravel roads are lacking metal.

He's speaking for farmers, and said a deputation from the north of the district went to council CEO Clive Manley about the matter.


Slips that used to be cleared "instantly" blocked access to Ruatiti Domain for six months, and water flows across Ruatiti Rd when it rains, he said.

"If the road slips away like it may do, we won't be able to send out stock or truckloads of honey."

But council land transport manager Warren Furner said maintaining roads has always been of key economic importance to the council. It uses up the largest percentage of council rates - 42 per cent - and 85 per cent of that is spent on rural roads.

The council has successfully argued to set its Funding Assistance Rate (FAR) at the highest possible level nationally. From July onward 72 per cent of its road spending will be funded by central government.

The increase means more can be done, Furner said, subject to the availability of contractors and equipment.

"We are now planning to increase our yearly road budget by $2 million and the bridge improvement and renewal budget by almost $1m per annum."

The district's roads have been under pressure from "increasing weather events" such as heavy rain in the Retaruke Valley in March and a tornado in the National Park in April.

Rural people in the district support the council's spending on tourism and town revitalisation, Furner said, and it doesn't take away money from roads.