Logging is trashing a rural Whanganui road while motorists play "Russian roulette" with passing trucks, Kauarapaoa Rd residents say.

Kathy Browning lives on the road and told Whanganui District councillors of the nightmare she and others have faced since three logging operations began in the area last summer.

While dust caused issues over the dry months, Browning said the wet winter weather had led to the road being cut up so badly by heavy logging trucks it was damaging the suspension, springs, shock absorbers and gear box mounts of residents' cars.

She had upgraded her old vehicle which was "rattled to bits" while her husband had a $3600 repair bill.


"While we accept repairs are inevitable on any vehicle it is somewhat irregular that five residents, that I know of, have incurred similar damage to their vehicles at a similar time," Browning told council's public forum.

"The road has simply got to the stage over the winter months that it is no longer just maintenance that is required," she told council's public forum.

"It is now at a point reconstruction is needed at numerous places. We've had to simply put up with band aids being applied to the road but what happens when the band aids are not going to cut it?"

Browning said the disruption caused by logging was a nationwide issue and wanted council to lobby for more power to regulate forestry operations given there was another five to seven years of logging to be done in the area.

"While we understand logging can bring in a great deal to our economy it should not be at everyone else's expense," she said.

"Someone needs to take a stance."

Kauarapaoa Rd is being cut up under the strain of logging trucks, according to residents. Photo/ Bevan Conley
Kauarapaoa Rd is being cut up under the strain of logging trucks, according to residents. Photo/ Bevan Conley

Browning said contractor Downer and Whanganui District Council had asked the crews to stop over the winter months but one had remained logging throughout.

"Over that period we've put up with severe corrugation, a horrendous amount of potholes."


During summer Browning said dust covered homes and pasture, and affected water supplies and stock health.

Family camping on her property had to be canned too.

"We are now are not able to do this as our paddock are covered in dust which sets on the pasture like milled flower."

Browning said the heavy trucks were also a danger to other motorists.

"It is generally like playing Russian roulette," she said.

"They simply keep coming at you expecting you to move off the road.

"Given there are very little pull-over areas it is generally the person in the car who has to climb a bank on the road edge or pull over in an area that is generally six inches deep in mud."

The council voted to send the matter to its infrastructure committee.