Wednesday, January 17, 2024

NZTA/Waka Kotahi Media Release:


NZTA/Waka Kotahi

Making State Highway 60 safer. New safety barriers planned for Ruby Bay Bypass

17 January 2024

State Highway 60 in Tasman will soon be a much safer route, with new safety improvements to be installed starting next month.


Emma Speight, Director of Regional Relationships, says from 8 February to 30 June, contractors will install new side and median barriers along the Ruby Bay Bypass between the Dominion Road and Harley Road intersections. They will also carry out road-widening and drainage work as well.


“These road safety barriers will literally be life-changing for drivers.  Research shows median barriers virtually eliminate head-on crashes and reduce deaths and serious injuries from run-off-road crashes by around 40-50 percent.”


“These barriers catch vehicles before they hit something harder, like a pole, tree or oncoming car,” Ms Speight says.


Ms Speight says a small mistake on the road can have tragic consequences - not just for the drivers and passengers affected, but also for their family and friends who have to live with the consequences of a serious crash.


Head-on crashes are the leading cause of death on state highways and account for approximately half of all deaths recorded. Safety barriers offer a second chance. They help reduce the chance of a simple mistake costing lives and destroying families.”


Barrier Locations:

  • The median barrier will be on State Highway 60 from the Dominion Road intersection to the Harley Road intersection.
  • There will be breaks within the median barrier at Gardner Valley Road, Tasman View Road, and Stagecoach Road (the entrance closer to Mapua) intersections. These intersections will continue to operate how they currently do.
  • A right-hand turn bay will be installed on Tasman View Road. There will also be a gap at the forestry access road approximately one-kilometre past Tasman View Road and Stagecoach Road (the entrance closer to Motueka). These intersections will be left-in / left-out, except for emergency vehicles, which can use them as turnaround points during an emergency.


Ms Speight says every effort is being made to make sure the new safety measures can be installed as efficiently as possible. Wide centre lines are already in place in sections of the state highway where the median barrier will be installed.


“We are working with our contractor on traffic management to ensure disruptions for drivers are minimised and are looking at keeping the highway open in both directions during the day.”

“There will be temporary speed limits in place while work is underway, and road users can expect delays. We ask drivers to be patient and follow all traffic management in place. It is there to keep drivers and our road crews safe,” Ms Speight says.


More details about the specific work sites, project schedules, and impact on traffic will be released soon, and will be regularly updated as work proceeds.

Road safety barriers

Road safety barriers are like your second chance on the road, preventing accidents from turning into tragedies. These barriers act as a safety net, catching your vehicle if it veers off the road and stopping you from colliding with things like poles, trees, or ditches.

On busy roads, barriers also keep you safe by creating a physical barrier between you and oncoming traffic. This helps avoid deadly head-on crashes, a major cause of severe injuries and fatalities. If you accidentally lose control and cross the centreline, these barriers provide crucial protection, reducing the risk of significant harm.

Check out this video:

Flexible median barrier stops a head-on crash (YouTube Video)

that illustrates how median barriers in Aotearoa saved lives by preventing a head-on collision. A car that was about to crash into a large truck in the opposite lane was stopped by the flexible barrier in the middle. Thanks to this safety measure, both drivers were able to return home to their families and friends without serious injuries. Watch the video to see how these barriers make a real difference in road safety.

Felix Marwick Media Manager NZTA/Waka Kotahi

Pigeon Post News, Richmond

MetService Severe Weather Outlook ---UPDATED---


MetService Severe Weather Outlook ——UPDATED----

MetService Severe Weather Watch 

Issued at 8:55pm Wed 17 Jan 2024

Significant heavy rain expected for the west of the South Island

A series of fronts bring a humid northerly flow across the country. Periods of heavy rain are expected for the west of the South Island during Thursday and Friday, especially in the ranges of Westland south of Otira where flooding and disruption to transport is possible. Severe gale northerlies possible in Fiordland on Friday.

Warnings and Watches for heavy rain and severe gales are now in force.

Please stay up to date with the latest forecast as areas are likely to be upgraded, and more regions added.

Heavy Rain Watch 

Area: Tasman, about and west of Motueka

Valid: 11 hours from 7:00am Thu 18 Jan to 6:00pm Thu 18 Jan

Forecast: A period of heavy rain, and amounts may approach warning criteria.

Area: Buller

Valid: 13 hours from 7:00am Thu 18 Jan to 8:00pm Thu 18 Jan

Forecast: A period of heavy rain, and amounts may approach warning criteria.

Area: Westland about and south of Haast, and Fiordland

Valid: 17 hours from 3:00am Fri 19 Jan to 8:00pm Fri 19 Jan

Forecast: A period of heavy rain. Amounts are likely to exceed warning criteria, and this Watch is likely to be upgraded to an Orange Warning during Thursday.

Area: The headwaters of Otago lakes and rivers

Valid: 10 hours from 10:00am Fri 19 Jan to 8:00pm Fri 19 Jan

Forecast: A period of heavy rain. Rainfall amounts may approach warning criteria within 15 km east of the main divide.

Strong Wind Watch 

Area: Fiordland

Valid: 13 hours from 6:00am Fri 19 Jan to 7:00pm Fri 19 Jan

Forecast: Northerly winds may approach severe gale in exposed places.

An update will be issued by 10:00am Thu 18 Jan

MetService Comms. 

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

UPDATE: State Highway 60 Mapua closed following serious crash - (SH60 HAS REOPENED)

UPDATE: State Highway 60 Mapua closed following serious crash.(SH60 HAS REOPENED)

Update 7.35 pm:

State Highway 60 has now reopened following a fatal crash earlier today.

New Zealand Transport Agency/Waka Kotahi wants to thank drivers for their patience and understanding while emergency services and contractors attended this incident.

Update 4:10 pm:

State Highway 60 remains closed near the intersection of Mapua Road following a serious crash earlier this afternoon.


Local road detours are now in place from Pea Viner Corner via the Moutere Highway and back out to State Highway 60 on Gardner Valley Road.

Police are investigating the incident and the road will remain closed while they carry out their work. This is likely to take several hours.


Drivers are urged to avoid the area and can expect travel delays until the highway is reopened.


Updates on the highway’s status can be found on our website:


State Highway 60 Mapua closed following serious crash.

Drivers travelling on State Highway 60 between Richmond and Motueka can expect delays following a serious crash on the highway this afternoon.


The crash near the intersection of Mapua Road, involving a car and a motorcycle, was reported just after 2.30 this afternoon.


The highway is currently closed while emergency services and contractors attend the crash scene.


The closure is expected to be in place for some time.

Drivers should avoid the area and use alternative routes. Traffic delays can be expected until the crash scene is cleared.


Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

Local Driving Behaviour


 Driving behaviour in Nelson a concern to Police

Four motorists in Nelson have lost their licence after being clocked driving at more than 140kph.

The vehicles were among seven Police caught at high speed on Whataku Drive within an hour on Sunday evening. Anyone caught driving 40kmh above the speed limit has their licence suspended instantly, and will be summonsed to appear in court.

The driving behaviour has Police concerned says Inspector Hamish Chapman, Tasman’s Road Policing Manager.

“In one recent operation, seven motorists were found to be driving with excess breath alcohol, while many more have been caught using cell phones in operations targeting distracted driving."

“We’re urging motorists to think about their lives, their careers, their travel opportunities, and also other people. The impact of being caught drink-driving, or travelling at dangerous speeds can have effects on you that you can’t anticipate."

“Ask yourself what you’d say to a person’s family if your poor driving behaviour resulted in someone getting killed, and what you would tell your own family."

“There’s no excuse that can justify it.”

Police Communications.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

Monday, January 15, 2024

MetService - Weather News Release



A Wetter Week Ahead for parts of New Zealand


Covering period of Monday 15 - Friday 19 January

The hot and sunny start to 2024 is put on pause early this week, with MetService forecasting heavy rain and possible downpours over parts of the North Island, while the South Island experiences a cool change from the high temperatures last week.

A Heavy Rain Warning was issued this morning (Monday) for central western areas of the North Island. Additionally, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued for the northeast of the North Island from the Coromandel Peninsula through Rotorua to the eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty, and a Heavy Rain Watch for those eastern ranges until tomorrow morning (Tuesday). 

MetService Meteorologist Clare O’Connor says: “While the first two weeks for 2024 were overall quite dry for the North Island, we are seeing a wet week ahead. The Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the upper North Island today in particular could see downpours of 25-40mm/h within the watch area, so residents should be prepared for heavy falls later today.”

Down south, there has been a sharp change from the weather of last week, in particular the temperature: Invercargill’s forecast maximum temperature today (Monday) is a mere 14°C.

Summer will return though; Tuesday heralds a sunny day for the South Island and most of the North Island as a ridge takes hold of the situation again, pushing the rain northwards. These conditions continue on Wednesday, but by Thursday the rain returns – this time for central Aotearoa/New Zealand. 

“What’s left of the band of rain from Monday makes its way over to the west of Aotearoa, bringing more rain to western South Island areas north of about Hokitika, but Wellington and the Kapiti Coast should plan for wet weather in the second half of the week also.” O’Connor notes. 

The final act of the wet week arrives on Friday: a low pressure system forming in the Tasman Sea drags warm, moist air over the South Island. MetService’s Severe Weather Outlook is indicating a high confidence of heavy falls of rain along the South Island’s West Coast, and Severe Weather Watches and Warnings may follow in the lead up to the arrival of this system.

MetService Communications.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Nelson Airport Upgrades


Nelson Airport Upgrades

Airport set to begin pedestrian and cycling facility upgrades

Footpaths and pedestrian crossings will be improved and extra covered bike racks added as part of major upgrades at each end of the Nelson Airport terminal beginning this month.

On 22 January, contractor Fulton Hogan will begin work on the Airport House Pathway and Private Carpark Upgrade projects.

The Airport House Pathway project will improve the walkway from the Value Carpark to the terminal past Airport House, removing redundant roads and footpaths and creating a new wide and direct footpath. Improved pedestrian crossings, better lighting and CCTV coverage will all enhance safety.

Work at the eastern end of the terminal building will add two new covered bike sheds, tripling the bike storage facilities available at the airport. The project will create a new rubbish and recycling compound, safe vehicle access and additional authorised parking spaces, freeing up more space in public carparks.

Work is expected to take approximately six weeks, depending on weather.

Nelson Airport chief executive Mark Thompson said the projects were part of an ongoing stream of work to lift the overall airport environment to a high standard that complements the award-winning terminal building.

“This will bring significant benefits for pedestrian safety and convenience, as well as improving the experience for our customers and the level of service for many of our tenants.”

Mark said there will be some disruption to traffic and pedestrian flows during the construction period.

“Carrying out both projects at once will reduce the length of the disruption, and some work will be carried out at night too. In the meantime, we’re asking everyone to please take extra care when visiting the airport, pay attention to the safety signage and take it slow.”

The work follows on closely from completion of the first stage of a new commercial development at the southern end of the airport in December. The first stage saw the opening of back of house car grooming and maintenance facilities for GO Rentals, and the creation of simpler and safer exit and entry to the  Value Carpark via a new road.

“We’re working hard to make sure Nelson Airport is a facility our community can be very proud of. Improvements will be ongoing as we work towards our vision of being a world-class airport where zero-emissions aircraft operate,” Mark said.

Nelson Airport Communications.

Pigeon Post News.

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