Four years and four months after Whanganui's worst flood on record scoured out a key section of road and walkway on Anzac Parade, the repair job is finally complete.

It has been hampered by a series of delays since, including one as recently as July, when the nearly complete work ground to a halt because of consent issues.

The repairs, on part of State Highway 4, were initially scheduled for early 2017, more than 18 months after the flood.

But it wasn't until November of that year that work finally got under way on the reinstatement of the damaged section of the retaining wall.


At that time the NZ Transport Agency expected it to be completed by December 2018.

That was pushed out to June this year, but in April, that date had been pushed back again until September.

Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall said it had been a source of frustration at times.
"I'm obviously delighted," he said.

"I've driven past it several times. I really want to acknowledge everyone in Whanganui East and Bastia Hill, the regular walkers who have coped without it for so very long.

"There was not a meeting I had with NZTA that I didn't mention SH4, whether it was up the Parapara, the Upokongaro slip or the slip in front of the Red Lion.

The 2015 flood caused extensive damage to the riverbank and walkway.
The 2015 flood caused extensive damage to the riverbank and walkway.

"It's been a hell of a long time and I really admire the efforts of those who stuck with the inconvenience. I'm really pleased that an important key part of the mobility around Whanganui has been completed. It will be a whole lot more safe."

Nearby businesses such as Red Lion Inn, Al's Autos and Riverside Mowers and Machinery have been affected throughout the process.

A narrowed road meant that traffic was often built up, and some drivers failed to adhere to speed restrictions. Nearby machinery was also very loud.


A karakia to mark the end of the Anzac Parade repair works was held on Tuesday.

Work began in 2017.
Work began in 2017.

NZTA regional transport systems manager Mark Owen said the relation of the project to the Whanganui River and state highway network, as well as the close proximity of residential and business properties, made the work challenging.

"But I'm incredibly impressed by the quality of the work," Owen said.

"This is a significant project in the maintenance world and the team has done a great job to get this project completed."

Some minor works to the State Highway 4 carriageway are continuing and are expected to be completed by next week.

Meanwhile, McDouall said the Upokongaro slip, also caused by the 2015 flood, still needed repairs.

Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall.
Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall.

"Obviously that's all been trumped by this incredible thing that's happened at Matahiwi," he said.

McDouall said there was a meeting between the Whanganui and Ruapehu district councils and NZTA next week to discuss last week's 400m wide slip on the Parapara Rd.