An inspection crew checking reports of a dead bird on the runway discovered that a patch of tarmac had broken up. An Air New Zealand pilot also reported the damaged tarmac to the control tower. A series of palm-sized chunks of tarmac had come loose in a less than one metre square section of the runway. The cracking was believed to be caused by last week's flooding.
Contractors resealed a 2m by 3.7m section of the runway.
A local Eagle Air pilot commented...
I was at Woodbourne yesterday when the hole was discovered. The tarmac was cracked and broken a couple of feet out from the centre line of the runway. It felt like cake icing as we were able to crack off the inch thick runway surface and expose the gravel base underneath.The delay was more of a nuisance than anything as crews and passengers were either delayed or roaded across to Nelson.
Marlborough Express story on this