UPDATED 1.30pm: The slip that blocked SH29 over the Kaimai range overnight has been cleared and the highway re-opened.
The up hill lanes were re-opened about 11.30am, and the downhill traffic lane re-opened shorlty after 1pm.
The slip on the Waikato side blocked both lanes of the major highway link between the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato about 8.45pm Thursday.
NZTA advises to expect delays. The video supplied by DroneServices.co.nz shows the diggers at work.
Meanwhile the region wide state of emergency for the Bay of Plenty was terminated at noon, but Whakatane mayor Tony Bonne has re-declared a local state of emergency for the Whakatane District to enable the continued response to Edgecumbe and surrounding areas.
“While the region certainly felt the impact of Cyclone Cook, based on this morning's assessments of the region we have been fortunate,” says Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Group Controller, Clinton Naude.
“This was an unprecedented event, especially following so closely behind ex-Cyclone Debbie. We want to recognise and thank all those local coastal communities who followed advice and self-evacuated.
“It is now safe for them to return home. From what we've heard there has been a fantastic community spirit with people really looking out for each other,” says Clinton.
“Power is still out in some areas throughout the region, Horizon has contractors working to restore this as quickly as possible.
“There are a number of slips in the region and trees down which have caused road closures. Council contractors are currently working to clear these as quickly as possible.
“Please continue to take care and we ask that you avoid any unnecessary travel. As it's Good Friday, it's a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends at home.
“Treat any downed power lines as live – please stay clear of any power lines that are on the ground or are low-hanging and alert your local council if you see any sewage overflows, or trees down that you do not think are being responded to.”
For any further queries please contact your local council, details below:
• Whakatāne District Council 07 306 0500
• Western Bay of Plenty District Council 0800 WBOPDC
• Tauranga City Council 07 577 7000
• Opotiki District Council 07 315 3030