NCTIR - ROAD CLOSURES SH1, south of Kaikoura


Rockfall canopy south of Kaikōura traffic update – daytime delays extending to mid-August

The first stage of permanent rockfall protection is now underway, south of Kaikōura, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and NCTIR (North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance). The work is at a rockfall-prone corner between Peketa and the Parititahi Tunnels.

This project and the traffic implications, with additional waiting times to the south of the town, was outlined at the end of June:

“While undertaking rock removal in recent days, NCTIR geologists identified the need for some additional rock anchoring to stabilise parts of the fractured rockface. This work must take place before the canopy is installed which means an additional two weeks of day closures, finishing mid-August. Originally, the plan was to complete these lengthier closures by the end of July,” says Tresca Forrester, Waka Kotahi Journey Manager.

The additional two weeks will follow the same schedule as the current day closures, Monday- Friday, between 9am-5pm, with up to 35 minute delays. People need to set aside 5.5 hours for the trip Picton to Christchurch via SH1 while this work is underway, she says.

“Once this first stage is complete, the team will then be working day and night shifts and the day work will return to one lane under stop/go traffic,” says Ms Forrester.

Upcoming night closures with opening slots spread over the night. Night closures will be in place five nights a week from 16 August to the end of November with several set opening times available throughout the night to let vehicles through. 

More details will be provided closer to the time.

There have been over 70 recorded rockfall incidents in this area since the 2016 earthquake. In February 2020 heavy rainfall raised the risk level in this location, requiring the road to be reduced to one lane.

Three different systems of rockfall protection are to be installed along this 325m section.

  1. A new canopy design, like a shade sail, will be installed in the southern section.

  2. Fencing with a mesh drape attached will be installed across the middle section.

  3. One- metre high barriers in the northern section.

This project will be completed in December 2020.
Highway Helpers will be walking the line to let you know your waiting time.


How do the closures work?

Closures every half hour between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
The first 30 minute closure is at 9am each day. The next closure and reopening time depends on how long it takes to clear the traffic queues north and south.

Northbound traffic is prioritised for ferry passengers.


NCTIR are doing everything they can to keep everyone up-to-date as the work on the road and rail continues. They’re committed to local communities and want to know about local issues and concerns.

If you have questions, complaints or other feedback, here’s how you can reach them. 

  • Send an email to:
  • Leave a voice message via freephone: 0800 NCTIR EQ (0800 628 4737) and someone will return your call as soon as possible

You can also:


 22 July 2020