Traffic along Rocks Rd increased four per cent in the week after the Kaikoura earthquake, says deputy mayor Paul Matheson.

Mayor welcomes more traffic in Nelson


Nelson’s mayor is welcoming the increase in traffic over summer caused by transport disruption following the Kaikoura earthquake.

“We look forward to welcoming all visitors to our region, to act as a gateway and support access through to the Top of the South, West Coast and the rest of the Island in any way we can,” says Mayor Rachel Reese.

Transport Agency Regional Performance Manager Mark Owen says “The recommended alternative route between Picton and Christchurch via St Arnaud, Murchison and the Lewis Pass is being carefully monitored and managed to help cope with the greatly increased traffic. However some road users, especially tourists and heavy vehicles drivers, may choose to travel via Nelson where the roads have been built to cope with them.”

Rachel says she is grateful to the NZ Transport Agency for keeping local authorities so well informed.

“I want to thank the Transport Agency for their efforts in keeping us updated as this complex situation continues to evolve. While much is still to be decided we can be sure that Nelson will see an increase in traffic volume as many people will use this as an alternative route.”

Rachel asks that Nelsonians be mindful of the increased traffic and be especially careful on our roads as the peak holiday season approaches.


Ways to make commuting smoother this summer:

  • Take extra care on the roads
  • Allow more time for journeys
  • Choose to walk, cycle, carpool or take the bus to help reduce the number of vehicles on the roads
  • Be patient and understanding when you get behind the wheel
  • Provide a friendly Nelson welcome to visitors who have had their travel plans disrupted