Massive slip sees State Highway 11 closed for 'at least two weeks' in Bay of Islands

A massive slip will see State Highway 11, which links Paihia and Kawakawa, in the Bay of Islands closed for at least two weeks according to the NZ Transport Agency.

A slip, approximately 80 metres long, occurred yesterday, blocking the road just north of Kawakawa in the Lemons Hill area.

The Transport Agency says a detour via State Highway 10 will add an additional 10-20 mins to the journey between Paihia and Kawakawa.

The early assessment from engineers is that it could take at least two weeks of work to make the hillside safe enough to reopen the road to traffic, says the Transport Agency's System Manager Steve Mutton.

"A lot depends on the weather. It's fine right now, but there have been days of heavy rain and more is forecast next week. More rain could potentially see the slip start to move again.

"We have started initial work on the slip and we must ensure the safety of our crews. Our engineers will be using a drone to help survey the extent of the slip," Mr Mutton says.

All other State Highways in Northland are open and crews are out checking roads for potholes and other road damage caused by surface flooding in recent days.

A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle
A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle. Source: 1 NEWS

Full interview: NZ can't be 'soft and cuddly' – 'Crusher' Collins reveals how she'd win 2020

Papakura MP Judith Collins spoke to 1 NEWS' Corin Dann on her leadership bid, confident she could take on PM Jacinda Ardern at the 2020 election. 

"People get exactly what they see, so they can trust what I tell them" - Collins answered when asked by Dann; "Some would suggest you can be abrasive, polarising".

She said PM Ardern put New Zealand's reputation and relationship with Australia "at risk" over issues like Manus Island.

Collins said US' new tax policy is "a real risk for NZ".

"We need to be very agile and very smart."  New Zealand can't be "soft and cuddly", she said. 

Collins described herself as economically centre, and talks to Dann in the interview about her admiration for former British PM Margret Thatcher. 

Judith Collins on why she wants National's top spot. Source: 1 NEWS


Is Judith Collins the right person to lead National into the next election?

MP Judith Collins is the first candidate to put her name forward for the National Party leadership.

She tweeted today: "I'm announcing my candidacy for Leader of the NZ National Party."

With National kicked out of power, questions are inevitably being asked about Bill English's next move. Source: Breakfast

Our political editor said there were no surprises with some portfolios and some big surprises with others. Source: 1 NEWS

"We're going to need strong & decisive leadership if we’re going to win in 2020. I'm that person."

The Papakura MP is considered one of the possible front-runners to replace leader Bill English, who on yesterday announced he would be leaving parliament in two weeks.

National MP Simon Bridges, meanwhile, has also hinted he may soon be announcing a run.

"At the moment I am talking to colleagues," Mr Bridges told media as he arrived at parliament on Wednesday morning.

"We'll just see what happens. It may be that I have more to say later today."

The member for Tauranga was not at Mr English's resignation - unable to make it to Wellington due to weather grounding flights.

Meanwhile veteran MP Nick Smith was staying tight-lipped about the race on Wednesday while Otaki MP Nathan Guy and Auckland Central's Nikki Kaye have ruled themselves out. 

Mr English also wouldn't comment on his possible successors.

Judith Collins has this morning tweeted she’ll be running as a candidate for leader of the National Party. Source: 1 NEWS

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS