Horizons Regional Council is working with river users to restrict on-water activities through Te Āpiti – Manawatū Gorge as a safety precaution.
The Gorge has been closed to traffic since two large land slips blocked the road in April. New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) geotechnical reports have identified that rock conditions remain unstable and further slips are possible.
Horizons emergency manager Ian Lowe says due to the high risk of rock fall into the Manawatū River the Council has restricted on-water activities on the stretch of the river through the Gorge until further notice.
“Under our navigation safety function we are advising all river users to keep clear of the stretch between the road bridge downstream of Ferry Reserve and the confluence of the Manawatū and Pohangina rivers. Signage advising this will be erected at Ferry Reserve, the Ashhurst end carpark to the walking tracks and Ashhurst Domain.
“At this stage we are not sure how long this stretch of the river will need to be avoided. However, public safety is our top priority, and with the potential for large boulders to fall into the river, this restricted access is absolutely necessary.”
Horizons chairman Bruce Gordon says the Te Āpiti – Manawatū Gorge walking tracks remain open and encourages the public to continue using them.