The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) said while the worst of the snow associated with the winter storm was passing, there were still problem areas on the roads.
Contractors were working hard to clear up to a metre of snow on SH8 at the Lindis Pass, SH73 Arthurs Pass and on SH6 between Murchison and Inangahua (Upper Buller Gorge).
As of 1pm, the situation was as follows:
Canterbury and West Coast
SH73 – Arthurs Pass closed from Springfield to Otira
SH77 – open, one lane, chains recommended
SH7 – Lewis Pass, open overpass
SH7 – west side closed at Stillwater
SH6 – open between Greymouth, Haast and Makarora
SH6 – slips and flooding on the lower Buller Gorge between Inangahua and Westport, but the road is open
SH8 – open, Pleasant Point to Fairlie
SH80 – closed, Mt Cook RdSH79 – closed , Geraldine to Fairlie
SH79 – closed , Geraldine to Fairlie
SH8 – chains essential from Omarama to Tarras (Lindis Pass)
SH6 open at Haast Pass
NZTA Journey Manager Lee Wright said the main areas of concerns were through inland Canterbury and the alpine passes. There was also flooding and slips on the West Coast as heavy rain was expected to continue through most of Friday.
Wright said anyone travelling in these sort of winter conditions should take precautions, and solo travellers should let someone know the route they were taking and what time they expected to reach their destination.