What to expect when Auckland’s boundaries reopen


With the Government announcing changes to the Auckland boundary settings from December 15, Waka Kotahi will be helping police to remove checkpoints and will be working to ensure everyone can get where they’re going safely.

Update 14 December @ 11:26am

Crews have put in a big effort overnight, working super efficiently and as a result have removed all of the barrier at Ōhinewai.

As a result there will be no need to detour any traffic around the Ohinewai work site as previously stated below.

This was going to be the only full road closure, on SH1 in Auckland, Northland and the Waikato.

“Road closures will be in place overnight for a short time while this work is carried out, as it’s important our teams are given the space to safely dismantle the checkpoints. We ask motorists and freight carriers to plan their travel around this,” says Jacqui Hori-Hoult, Regional Manager Operations and Maintenance Te Tai Tokerau me Tāmaki Makaurau.

On the night of December 14 southbound traffic can expect closures in place from 10pm to 1am as the boundary is removed while northbound traffic can expect stop/go traffic management in place until midnight, with the boundary removed by 1am. 

“In the days following we know that people across the country will be looking forward to re-connecting with friends and whānau ahead of the holiday period and we are expecting the roads to be very busy,” says Jacqui Hori-Hoult.

With this in mind, Waka Kotahi has decided to pause all planned maintenance and capital works involving full road closures on SH1 in Northland, Auckland and Waikato for a period of five days from Wednesday December 15 to 8pm Sunday December 19.

“In the five days before Christmas last year more than 200,000 vehicles left Auckland. We’re anticipating some of this rush to take place earlier this year, which is why Waka Kotahi wants to mitigate disruptions where possible, but road users are advised that delays will still be inevitable.”

Motorists are normally encouraged to use the Waka Kotahi Holiday Journey tool to help plan the best time to travel. With traffic patterns differing from previous years, people are instead urged to follow real time traffic updates via our Auckland/Northland(external link) and Waikato/BOP(external link) Twitter pages or our online traffic and travel tool(external link).

Southbound travellers who choose to leave very early on December 15 will be detoured at one point on their route as contractors finish off a series of overnight closures on SH1 at Ōhinewai. However, this work will be completed by 7am.

The closure is to allow 8.5km of temporary steel barriers to be removed. The temporary steel barriers were put in place to provide a safe work area, protecting construction workers from live traffic while they completed safety upgrades in the area.

More detail, including detour route information, is available here:
SH1 Waikato Expressway overnight southbound lane closure at Ōhinewai

All motorists, whether they are heading north or south are required to adhere to signage on the state highway network, including temporary speed limits, through our work sites, regardless of the pause.

“These speed reductions are in place to keep motorists safe, as some of our roads are currently undergoing pavement and asphalting works, so drivers may not be used to the road conditions in these areas.”

Waka Kotahi will also be actively monitoring Cyclone Ruby as it tracks towards New Zealand. The weather event has the potential to impact our state highway network with heavy rain warnings already in place for parts of the North Island. Updates will be provided as needed.

“Predicting Aucklander’s movements leading into Christmas and after four months of boundary restrictions is a tough ask. If you are planning on leaving please make sure your car is registered, has a current WOF and you check your tyres, windscreen wipers and lights, says Jacqui Hori-Hoult.

“Be patient and build in time for a safe and stress-free journey.”

Police/Iwi border checkpoints

Police have indicated they will be working with Iwi at two border checkpoints in Northland from December 15, with travellers needing to show a vaccination passport or a negative COVID-19 test.

These checkpoints will be located on SH1 at Uretiti and SH12 Maungaturoto.