State Highway 1 - Before and After Kaikoura Earthquake

Comparison video showing the old and new road layout north of Kaikoura

At two minutes after midnight on the 14th of November 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Ruptues on multiple fault lines caused seabed uplift of between 1 and 2.5m along a stretch of the coastline, and New Zealand's State Highway 1 was permanently blocked by numerous large slips, both north and south of the seaside town of Kaikoura.

As you drive south into Okiwi Bay the scars on the hillside on the opposite side of the bay are the first indication of the massive geological upheaval that has taken place along this coastline.   Photo: © Golden Micro Solutions Ltd


State Highway 1 Rebuilt

The damage caused by the 7.8-magnitude November 2016 Kaikōura earthquake to both the Main North Line railway and State Highway 1 along the east coast of the South Island, was unprecedented in New Zealand.

With almost one million cubic metres of rock and debris falling onto the coastal State Highway 1 road, virtually all the roads and the rail networks in and out of the Kaikōura area were damaged and premanently closed by multiple slips.

Following the quake the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance was set-up to restore the road and rail networks. The northern part of the work was first opened in December 2017, some 13 months after the quake.

This video provides a direct comparison between coast the road as seen prior to the November 2016 earthquake, and the newly built (repaired) road that opened over 13 months after the quake, in December 2017.

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For more information on the earthquake see the Wikipedia page at :

For more information on the road rebuild, see the NZ Transport Agency website at :


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