East Coast locals frustrated after truck appears to collapse crucial road underneath it

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Tairāwhiti/East Coast locals are frustrated after the road a truck was travelling on appears to have collapsed underneath it. 

The truck was on Parikanapa Road, near Tiniroto, when it crashed.

That road is an alternative route, set up after the area’s main road was shut due to the risk of rockfall.

However, locals argue that Parikanapa Road is incredibly unsafe. 

The truck dangled dangerously off a hillside, after the narrow road it was on crumbled and slipped away. 

“It’s just absolutely crazy,” said Tiniroto man Alec Campbell.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the road was a goat track, but it’s the reality for Tiniroto locals who have little choice but to use what’s actually an emergency second choice.

“The community has been saying time and time again the risk factor on that road is high,” Campbell told Newshub.

“I have two young children and I grit my teeth driving that 25 kilometres of the narrow gravel road,” said Tiniroto woman Kirsty Playle.

Tiniroto’s main route to Gisborne through the Hangaroa Bluffs has been shut since July after Gisborne District Council deemed it too risky to travel on – due to rockfall risks caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“For the community it’s creating a lot of isolation and financial hardship,” Playle told Newshub.

“The council is, quite simply, not being practical, it’s as simple as that,” said Campbell.

However, Mayor Rehette Stoltz disagrees.

“There are more than 500 geological faults there, and that then becomes a health and safety risk,” she told Newshub.

The council is looking at its long-term options to reconnect Tiniroto to Gisborne.

But for now, locals will have to take a detour through Wairoa or risk the alternative route.

“The Gisborne District Council is in the process of working and building up that road, so it’s better as a bypass,” said Stoltz.

“I would far prefer to drive the three minutes of the Hangaroa Bluffs with my two children personally,” Playle said.

“That section of road through the Hangaroa Bluffs needs to be opened immediately, there are practical solutions that can be done I’m sure of it,” added Campbell.

But the council is sticking by its decision.

“I do acknowledge it’s not ideal and I do have a lot of sympathy for what they are going through,” Stoltz admitted.

Source: News Hub