Cowley said Tauranga’s State Highway is a ring road system and cutting off one means traffic will be forced to use Hewletts Road, which he added is clogged at the best of times.
“We have a lot of people who live in Papamoa and work on the other side of town in the industrial area and there is no chance they can work from home, or it’s very unlikely. So for the next few days, businesses will need to evoke their business continuity plans, and if they don’t have one they better get one sorted pretty quickly,” he told AM on Monday.
Cowley said the closure is going to be felt not just in Tauranga but across the wider region including Rotorua and Hamilton as well.
“We are the export gateway to the world, going through the Port of Tauranga, so there is a lot of heavy traffic movements as well but of course, the CBD could be a bit quieter today… It will have longstanding impacts and for New Zealand’s economy as well.”