Less work this Labour weekend with Waka Kotahi Holiday Journey Planner tool


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is encouraging people to make use of its Holiday Journey Planner tool to plan ahead to avoid traffic delays and have more time to enjoy the fruits of their Labour (weekend) with safer, more enjoyable travel this long weekend.

Video: Why are there so many roadworks during summer, and what does that mean for your holidays? Rob, from our maintenance and operations team, explains in the video above (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye4rFMlOaA4(external link)).

The Holiday Journey Planner shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes over the Labour weekend period, based on travel patterns from previous years.

Labour Weekend Holiday Journey Planner(external link)

Regional Manager Maintenance and Operations Jaclyn Hankin says with Hawke’s Bay Anniversary also on Friday making for a particularly busy weekend on Central North Island roads, those hoping for a less laborious holiday weekend should consider visiting the Holiday Journey Planner and timing their travel for outside the predicted busy periods for traffic.

“In the Central North Island, people can expect delays on State Highway 1 between Taihape and Waiouru for northbound traffic on Friday between 11am and 3pm, and southbound on Monday from 11am until 4pm, with the heaviest traffic predicted between noon and 2.30pm.”
“For those travelling to or from the Taranaki region, delays are predicted on State Highway 3 over Mt Messenger, particularly heading north toward the Waikato region on Friday afternoon between 2.30pm and 5.30pm, and again on Monday from 12.30pm to 5.30pm, with the worst delays expected between 3pm and 5pm.

“Delays are also expected on SH3 at Whanganui for eastbound traffic for much of Friday afternoon and into the early evening, and again early afternoon on Monday. Westbound traffic can expect some delays from mid-morning to mid-afternoon on Monday.

“State Highway 2 Norsewood is expected to be busy for southbound traffic on Friday afternoon, particularly between 3.30pm and 5pm, and again on Saturday between 10am and 12.30pm. Northbound travellers should expect delays on Friday morning and for much of the day on Sunday, particularly between 2pm and 5pm.

“In the Hawke’s Bay region, delays are expected on State Highway 5 at Te Pohue for eastbound traffic on Monday afternoon between 12.30pm and 4pm.”

Ms Hankin says while most work stops before busy holiday travel periods like the Labour Day long weekend to minimise disruption to people’s journeys, there is still a lot going on in certain parts of our state highway network.

SH3 north of New Plymouth has several sections down to one lane and/or under temporary speed limits due to dropouts, road repairs and sealing work. There are also two areas down to a single lane on State Highway 43, and another on State Highway 4, just north of Taumarunui.

SH2 north of Dannevirke, where the road has been reduced to one lane due to an underslip, will be reinstated to two lanes in time for the holiday weekend, with a 30km/h temporary speed limit in place. The temporary speed limit is likely to remain in place for some time, while the permanent fix is developed and then constructed.

There is also a truck convoy taking place between Palmerston North and Fielding on Saturday morning, with trucks leaving Palmerston North at 7.30am. The convoy is to celebrate 50 Years of Mack Trucks in New Zealand and is expected to include approximately 180 trucks. People travelling at that time are asked to allow extra time for their journeys and show patience.

In Hawke’s Bay, a temporary speed limit will remain in place through the SH2 College Road – Silverstream realignment project site between Hastings and Waipawa. There are also two sites down to one lane on SH2 north of Napier at Raupunga and Waikoau Hill, with traffic lights and priority give way in place, respectively.

In Gisborne, there are sections of unsealed road, temporary speed limits and one-way traffic systems in place at various locations on State Highway 35, following the significant weather events earlier this year.

“Traffic management, such as temporary speed limits, signs and cones, is used to alert road users to a change in the road conditions or to works ahead. Please take notice, adhere to the relevant speed limits and follow the directions of any traffic management staff and signs – it’s all there to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable Labour weekend.”

Because predicted peak times for travel may change based on traffic incidents, weather or driver behaviour, motorists are encouraged to visit the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website before they head off for the latest information on road works, road closures and delays.

“Allow plenty of time. You’re on holiday, there’s no need to rush.

“Congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, but if everyone plans ahead before leaving home, leaves plenty of time for their journey, and drives to the conditions, the worst of the frustrations can be eased and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination," says Ms Hankin.

There are simple things we can all do to help keep everyone on the roads safe.

“Check your vehicle is safe to drive. Check your tyres, wipers, lights and indicators, and ensure you have a valid Warrant of Fitness before you leave.

“Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the roads.
“Keep a safe following distance and take regular breaks to stay alert.

“We want to see everyone get where they’re going – and home again – safely this long weekend.”