School Journal features Manawatu Gorge slip


Hillside slip covering road

October 20 2014. Students can read about the impact of a massive landslide that blocked a highway for 15 months, and how it was cleared.

A School Journal article recalls events that began in August 2011, when a storm sent large amounts of rock and earth crashing down over the Manawatu Gorge highway. The road links the Manawatu and Wairarapa regions.

The initial estimate from road workers was that one week was needed to clear the slip. Instead, it took over a year to clear the road, rebuild bridges and stabilise the hillside using heavy machinery. All that time, traffic detoured over winding hill roads.

NZ Transport Agency state highway manager David McGonigal said no slip in New Zealand’s modern history had such an impact and affected so many people.

The School Journal article appears in Level 3, September 2014. It is levelled at the year 5 reading standard. Students can read about the engineering process used to reopen the road, and the impact of the slip on people’s lives.

The article is matched by teacher support materials. These include descriptions of text characteristics, text and language challenges and possible curriculum contexts, as well as guidelines for reading and writing activities utilising the article.

Download the School Journal article

School Journal Level 3 September: The Big Dig (PDF 3MB)

Teacher support materials for The Big Dig (PDF 754 KB)

School Journal website