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Marlborough's Road to Recovery

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

For the first time since Marlborough’s July 17 storm, stock truck and trailers have been able to navigate the flood-damaged Awatere Valley Road south of Blenheim.

Allowed under very strict conditions, this week’s controlled truck access has come at a very welcome time for farmers in the Upper Awatere Valley.

"We need to be clear - the road is not open to the public. This controlled access has only been made possible to protect the welfare of animals on farms in the Upper Awatere Valley," said Marlborough Roads Recovery Manager, Steve Murrin.

"Our road crews have secured sufficient safe access to allow a limited number of trucks with trailers through and these are also being piloted to ensure safety. The road is still in a very fragile state," he said.

"Weather events like we had earlier in the week created some additional challenges and repair work on the road is continuing. The access we have managed to secure is restricted to residents only and is only available at certain times of the day," said Mr Murrin.

More support for the Awatere Valley is also coming soon in the form of a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic for anyone over 12 years of age. Thanks to the support of locals providing a venue and communicating with the community, Marlborough Primary Health (the PHO) are hoping to run the clinic in late September.

Community Partnerships Advisor Jodie Griffiths said the Council had helped "connect the parties" to make the most of an offer from a valley resident to host the clinic to allow locals to get their vaccination. "It’s great to see people taking such initiative to help one another at this time," she said. If anyone would like to get a vaccination and hasn’t been contacted please email

Financial help from the Mayoral Relief Fund, set up in early August by Marlborough Mayor John Leggett, continues to be provided across the district with a further $7,200 this week confirmed for distribution. The fund is for residents in the Marlborough District Council area who have suffered personal financial or emotional hardship as a result of the July storm event. Mrs Griffiths said the latest round of funds went to 10 different households. That takes the total tally distributed to assist Marlborough residents to $66,490, with 52 households benefitting from this support.

The first funds tagged for Primary Industry Businesses were also approved this week for farmers in the Marlborough Sounds and Wairau Valley.

"Five applications for the Ministry for Primary Industry fund were considered. These included a farm from the Wairau Valley and famers and producers in the Marlborough Sounds. It is hoped that groups of Primary Industry Businesses will coordinate to put a joint application for support which will benefit multiple farms and producers," said Mrs Griffiths.

The Ministry for Primary Industries contributed $35,000 - part of $200,000 in recovery funding unlocked in July to support flood-affected farmers and growers across Marlborough, Tasman and West Coast regions.

The special committee set up to administer the mayoral fund was also looking at allocating some special transport funding for this sector, she said.

"We do still have funds available and applications are welcome," said Mrs Griffiths. People wishing to apply can do so via the Council website at

Further Information

Anyone who needs support as a result of the July storm should contact the Council at

For the latest road status before you start your journey, please visit the Marlborough Emergency Management Official Public Information Map:

To stay up to date on the latest roading alerts, go to:

Those needing a Convoy Pass for Queen Charlotte Drive should go to:

For roading information and queries please contact Marlborough Roads on 03 520 8024 or 0800 213 213 between 8.00 am - 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can email the recovery team at

Photo Caption: Stock truck and trailers have been able to navigate the flood-damaged Awatere Valley Road for the first time this week under strict controls

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