Safer speed limits for SH10 to be introduced this month


New safer permanent speed limits are just around the corner on a 7km stretch of SH10 between Awanui and Kaingaroa north of Kaitaia.

Waka Kotahi is moving as fast as possible under legal process to implement the changes, with the speed limits set to take effect from October 22.

“We acknowledge that these changes have been a long-time coming for members of the community, especially in light of the devastating crash in the village of Kareponia last week, which occurred while work to confirm lower speed limits was being finalised,” says Steve Mutton Waka Kotahi Director Regional Relationships Te Tai Tokerau me Tāmaki Makaurau.

“Ensuring that state highways have safe and appropriate speed limits is a key element of Waka Kotahi’s work to prevent people being killed or seriously injured in road crashes.”

Formal consultation on the current proposals started about a year ago, following initial consultation on this corridor in 2019. Waka Kotahi received vital feedback from iwi, road users, stakeholders and the communities and residents along the route.

There are a number of communities along SH10 between Awanui and Kaingaroa, including the settlement of Kareponia which lies between Church Rd and Kumi Rd and includes more than fifty households, a church, cemetery a kohanga reo and two marae.

“We know that pedestrian and vehicle movements increase significantly during kura, hui, whakanui and tangihanga and we believe these are the right changes to assist in preventing crashes happening, or if a crash does occur, then reducing the level of harm to those involved. Speed is the single biggest factor that determines if someone is killed or seriously injured in a crash or walks away unharmed,” says Steve Mutton.

The changes

Confirmed speed limit changes for State Highway 10 Awanui to Kaingaroa

Location Current speed limit New speed limit
from 22 Oct 2021
Existing 100km/h area from 455m southwest of Pukewhai Rd to 610m northeast of Duncan Road. 100 80
Existing 100km/h area through Kaingaroa from 610m northeast of Duncan Road to 360m southwest of Duncan Road. 100 60
Existing 100km/h area from 360m southwest of Duncan Road to 1.480km southwest of Pairatahi Road. 100 80
Existing 100km/h area through Kareponia from 1.480km southwest of Pairatahi Road to 1.275km northeast of Godinovich Road. 100 60
Existing 100km/h area from 1.275km northeast of Godinovich Road to 430m west of Kumi Road. 100 80
Extending the existing 50km/h area by 190m east of Awanui, from 430m west of Kumi Road to SH10/SH1 intersection. 100 50

These changes are the result of calls from the community and iwi to investigate what could be done to make this part of State Highway 10 safer as well as part of our wider programme to ensure there are safe and appropriate speeds on all state highways in New Zealand.

With any project like this, thorough research and technical advice must be undertaken and considered before changes are made, and this process can be lengthy.

While work was progressing on these speed changes, Waka Kotahi made several other safety improvements in this area including:

  • School bus turning warning signage
  • Electronic Speed warning sign
  • Installation of billboards with targeted speed messages
  • Installation of pedestrian warning signs

The permanent speed limit changes will initially be posted using temporary signs at the locations listed in the table above. They will be replaced once permanent signs are available, approximately three to five weeks later. There will also be further speed management interventions around marae and road widening work taking place at Kareponia, scheduled for 2022.

“We want to recognise the huge mahi put in by people in these communities to work with us in order to make these changes and we will continue to keep working with them as the next set  of safety improvements are made,” says Steve Mutton.

“The SH10 speed review shows that communities have an important role to play in contributing to discussions about making their roads safer, and we encourage people to keep giving us  their feedback as we carry out more speed reviews on more state highways in the years ahead. This feedback helps us to decide if we have safe speeds on our roads, if a change is required to better reflect how a community uses their roads, where new speed limits could begin or end, and if any other safety improvements might be needed.”

Further information, including a map of the speed limit changes, the consultation summary and submissions, are available on our website.

SH10 Awanui to Kaingaroa speed review

Northland and north Auckland speed review programme

Waka Kotahi has also just completed robust engagement on speed limits across 11 state highway corridors in Northland and north Auckland. A summary engagement report will be released shortly, and we are currently reviewing the feedback alongside the technical analysis, to decide on which of the 11 corridors considered will move ahead to the next phase, which will involve a formal public consultation.

For more information on this review please visit our website.

Northland and north Auckland speed reviews

Changing speed limits

Changing speed limits is a legal process, including moving any current speed limit signs to other locations on the road. Road Controlling Authorities (RCAs) are responsible for setting new speed limits and are guided by the Speed Management Guide, which is a national framework that helps RCAs make informed, accurate and consistent speed management decisions in their communities. Waka Kotahi is the RCA for state highways, while local authorities are the RCA for local roads. RCAs also need to adhere to the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017, which sets out the roles and responsibilities of the road controlling authorities (RCAs) for reviewing and setting speed limits. There are numerous steps Waka Kotahi follow when changing speed limits, more information on our speed review process can be found on our website.

Speed review process

Vision Zero

Road to Zero, New Zealand’s road safety strategy, sets out the goal of reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40 percent over the next decade. This sets an initial target of reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on New Zealand roads by 40% (compared to 2018 levels) by 2030, as a first step towards a long-term goal of no deaths or serious injuries.

Reaching that initial target would mean reducing annual road deaths to less than 230 and serious injuries to less than 1,700 by 2030. Last year 318 people were killed and more than 2,500 were seriously injured on New Zealand roads.

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