Dusty road works have left the owners of a popular Levin fruit and vegetable store out of pocket.

Marcia Graham owns Kimberley Gardens, a produce shop on State Highway One south of Levin, in partnership with her mother Dawn Graham.

They purchased the business a year ago from Levin man Bernie Bevan. Business was booming until March this year but came to a screaming halt when roadworks began metres away from the front door.

A sea of bright orange cones created confusion for any potential customers wanting to access the driveway, and the continuous work whipped up a frenzy of dust that wafted into the store and settled on the produce.


"Every day we had to wipe, wipe, wipe, and it just kept going on and on and on," she said.

Graham said two men hand-delivered a note one Friday in early March that told her they planned to start work the following Monday. She was told the work would take six weeks to complete and be finished by April 12.

They lost valuable produce to decay, as they had little time to prepare and no real idea of the impact the roadworks would have on trade.

"There was a lot of waste because you are dealing with perishable products. If we were pre-warned we could have planned. There was a lack of communication - big-time. We could have shut up shop had we known it was going to be like this," she said.

"We haven't been able to make any money. It's dragged us down. It was pointless staying open."

Marcia Graham.
Marcia Graham.

"It was a good little family business. It's going to take a while to build it back up again because people have probably drifted."

Since the roadworks began they were bringing in little more than 10 per cent of their normal daily takings.

To make matters worse, now the work was completed the road had risen, creating a steep camber that meant some cars were scraping the road as they exited the store carpark.


Graham said dealing with NZTA was a nightmare.

"We are trying to deal with them and need some correspondence but we are just going around in circles," she said.

"I want them to do the decent thing by us but I feel like they just don't want to know. We are going round and round and round, and are so stressed," she said.

"Just meet with us."

In an emailed response to all questions, an NZTA spokesperson said "NZ Transport Agency is aware of the concerns and we are liaising with Mrs Graham directly. We are not able to comment further while discussions are under way".