The Far North District Council believes a construction method now being used to stabilise a significant slip on West Coast Rd, in the North Hokianga, could halve the cost of similar repairs.

Instead of building a conventional retaining wall, wire mesh was being used to retain a hillside near the junction with Motuti Rd.

FNDC general manager infrastructure and asset management Andy Finch said the mesh was held in place by a series of steel anchors driven deep into the bank using specialised machinery.

Finch said the council was always open to exploring innovative and cost-effective methods of maintaining the district's extensive road network, and this technique had real promise.


"Our geology makes us particularly vulnerable to slips, and these can be expensive and time-consuming to repair," he said.

"This technique can significantly reduce the time required to complete repairs, and also uses fewer materials.

"That means costs can potentially be reduced by as much as half, while achieving similar levels of stability as traditional retaining methods," he said.

This was the first time the machinery required for the mesh and anchor technique had been available in the Far North, and the council hoped to be offered the option again by contractors tendering for slip repairs in the future.

A similar contract to repair a slip on Broadwood Rd, near the Mangamuka junction, had been awarded, with work due to begin later this month.