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Brynderwyns closed- again; wet weather causes chaos across Northland

Karina Cooper,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 May 2023, 1:30PM
A landslip is blocking Oruru Rd in Taipa. Photo / Supplied
A landslip is blocking Oruru Rd in Taipa. Photo / Supplied

Brynderwyns closed- again; wet weather causes chaos across Northland

Karina Cooper,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 May 2023, 1:30PM

The Brynderwyns have suffered another fleeting reopening as heavy downpours have forced the closure of the vital State Highway 1 link - again.

SH1 Brynderwyn Hills to Waipū and SH1 Dome Valley are now closed due to surface flooding and slips. 

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency said crews are closely monitoring the roads and will reassess “once safe to do so”.

Detours for light vehicles are currently in place via Mangawhai and Waipū, and for heavy vehicles via SH12 and SH14.

However, Waka Kotahi has advised people to check the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner before they head out as the situation is changing rapidly.

The closure is a blow for motorists who only on Monday last week were able to rejoice that the state highway had been reinstated.

Contractors have been working hard over the past few months to clear slips from the Brynderwyns, which have again closed.

Contractors have been working hard over the past few months to clear slips from the Brynderwyns, which have again closed.

MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Kaipara and Whangārei valid until around 1.30pm today.

Earlier the weather forecaster predicted thunderstorms may bring localised torrential rain in excess of 40 mm/h, damaging wind gusts of greater than 110 km/h, and a slight chance of a damaging tornado.

Downpours were expected to last until 7pm with 70 to 90mm of rain expected to fall over the course of the day.

Civil Defence Northland has received reports of heavy falls and surface flooding in the Far North and along the west coast.

“The rain is moving through our region quickly but with high - intensity in places - with 35mm in one hour recorded just south of Kaitāia.”

Floodwaters have closed SH10 as well as the alternative route for the Mangamukas through Herekino and Broadwood.

“Flooding on roads remains the current key concern. If you are out on the roads, please be extra vigilant and watch out for hazards,” Civil Defence said.

“If you aren’t on the roads, please delay your travel and avoid any non-essential trips.

“And remember if you see rising water, do not wait for official warnings. Head for higher ground and always stay away from floodwater. If life or property is in immediate danger phone 111.”

Fire and Emergency New Zealand had responded to 88 calls for help related to the weather in Northland and Auckland, between 9am and 12pm.

Brad Mosby, on-call Commander for Tāmaki Makaurau said most were from Auckland.

“These call-outs mostly include flooding that had entered buildings. However, some slips and fallen trees have been recorded with one tree catching fire due to lightning.

“The calls vary in severity with 22 being classed as urgent and the rest being classed as non-urgent.”

Shortly after 9am, the Mangonui Volunteer Fire Brigade were called to a flooded home in Cable Bay. Firefighters worked with shovels to clear drains and culverts, eventually putting barricades in place to stop more water entering the property.

SH10 between Ngati Kahu Rd and Taipa View Rd is down to one lane due to surface flooding.

Oruru Rd is impassable as a large slip has covered both lanes.

Ash Yakas and Samm Wilson have lived at their property at Taipa off Oruru Rd for around five years and said it was the worst flooding they’d seen since moving to the area.

”Our driveway as we got home went under in like 30 minutes,” Wilson said.

”That was in the time I drove to Cooper’s Beach and back to get gas bottles.”

Wilson described how they usually couldn’t see Taipa River from their property but this morning she could see it rising through the valley. By 10.30am, however, she said it had started to subside again.

Vehicles are being turned around on Parapara Rd, near SH10, as the river is bursting its banks preventing motorists from passing through.

Traffic management is in place on SH10 near Duncan Rd due to surface flooding and slips.

Far North District Council said Koronae Rd in Waipapa was closed until around 8.30am due to a fallen tree.

Civil Defence Northland encouraged motorists to drive to the conditions and watch for hazards.

“Allow extra time for travel and avoid any unnecessary trips.”

The Advocate understands a number of schools around the region either closed or are closing their doors due to the severe weather. Although the bus services for some schools that are still open have been cancelled.

The Whangārei District Council has reported no weather-related disruptions as of 9.30am.

However, a home is believed to have flooded on Whangārei Heads Rd.

In Kaipara, a motorist had to flee their vehicle on Morgan Rd in Titoki after it became stuck in floodwaters.

Large boulders have also reportedly fallen onto SH12 in Ruawai near a blind corner close to Tokatoka Rd.

Tauraroa Area School principal Grant Burns said his staff made a call at about 11am to close the school due to the closure of roads.

“We couldn’t send the younger ones home unless we knew adults were at home, so we contacted the parents and found other ways to get the students home safely.”

By lunch, he said 90 per cent of the students had left school and he acknowledged Ritchies that sent buses to the school before the scheduled pick-up time so students were not stranded.

He said the Waiotira area appeared to be the worst affected by the rain.

Despite heavy rain and extreme wind gusts that brought down trees in the Kerikeri area around 11am, only one power outage is currently being reported in the Far North district. That is in the Waimate North area where lines company Top Energy reported 33 households were without power as of 11am. There were no outages in the Whangārei-Kaipara districts served by Northpower.


Sixteen roads are closed in the Far North District.

Closed roads:

  • Bell Road, Kaitāia - surface flooding
  • Clough Road, Kaitāia - surface flooding
  • Diggers Valley Road, Kaitāia - surface flooding
  • Fairburn Road, Fairburn - over slip
  • Inland Road, Whatuwhiwhi - surface flooding
  • Iwitaua Road, Mangamuka - surface flooding
  • Kaitāia-Awaroa Road, Kaitāia (past Roma Road Heading to Herekino) - surface flooding
  • Mangatoetoe Road, Kaitāia - surface flooding
  • Miro Place, Kaitāia - passable with 4WD - surface flooding
  • Oruru Road, Peria - over slip
  • Peria Road, Peria - surface flooding
  • Peria Valley Road, Peria - surface flooding
  • Sand Hills Road, Ahipara - surface flooding
  • Taumata Road, Taipa - surface flooding
  • Whangape Road, Herekino - surface flooding
  • Wireless Road, Kaitāia - surface flooding


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