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Te rori o Tiniroto

Tiniroto Road

A resilient solution for Tiniroto Road

The Hangaroa Bluffs, on Tiniroto Road, suffered significant damage during Cyclone Gabrielle. 1400m of road was undermined with river protection works destroyed. The 2-lane road was scoured away to less than one lane in parts. It required repairs to the retaining wall structures and rock protection works. Following emergency works the road was reopened to single lane. However, following a further weather event, a geotechnical report identified imminent and extreme risk of rockfall and risk to life of falling material.  This prompted Council to close the bluffs. It has been closed since August 2023.

The Tiniroto, Ruakaka, Te Reinga and Ruakituri communities have needed to use either the Parikanapa Road, or travel State Highway 2 via Wairoa to get to Gisborne, adding significant travel time and expense to their commute.

Location of the Hangaroa Bluffs on Tiniroto Road

A long-term resilient solution

Tiniroto Road is considered an alternative route to State Highway 2 and a resilient roading solution is needed. The Government included funding for a resilient solution in the Cyclone Support Package that Council accepted in November 2023.

Options being investigated include rebuilding the existing route or a new bypass of Bluffs 1 and 2 that crosses the Hangaroa River.
Detailed assessments of these options will inform the decision. Once technical feasibility investigations are completed partner and community engagement will be sought prior to recommending the proposed solution to funders. The overall aim is to find the best outcome for the community and wider region.

This is a major project expected to be completed within a 3 to 5 year period.

An interim solution

Given the length of time needed to both investigate and complete works, Council commissioned a further report to understand what was required to safely open the bluffs as a temporary measure to ease the community impact of the road closure.

This report identified a feasible option to safely open Tiniroto road that includes rock scaling and demolition by a specialist team at Bluff 3, this will remove the overhanging rock as well as  loose rocks and boulders to help reduce the risk of rock falls. Another construction team will concurrently work along Bluffs 1 and 2 to repair damage.

Work to re-open Tiniroto Road at the Hangaroa Bluffs will commence on Monday 13 May and is expected to take approximately four weeks. The duration is subject to weather conditions.

Tiniroto Road is currently closed, while work is undertaken there will be no access through the bluffs except to construction contractors and support staff. All traffic should detour via Parikanapa Road. Once the road is safe to reopen, additional work may occur under Stop/Go traffic management.

Both rockfall and rainfall will be monitored at the Bluffs to identify possible risk and may trigger a road closure at short notice until such time the road can be assessed for safety. The community will need to use alternative transport routes during these closures.