The need for a new connection to the Whangaparāoa Peninsula has a long history. In the 1980s the idea for the ‘Wēiti Crossing,’ or a bridge across the Wēiti River connecting Stillwater to Whangaparāoa, was first identified.
Rodney District Council decided that a new access corridor from East Coast Road to Whangaparāoa Peninsula was the best option. This would address both transport and land-use needs. The idea for the corridor became known as ‘Penlink’ (shortened from Peninsula Link). A scheme design and work to protect the land corridor for O Mahurangi – Penlink followed.
The designation, construction and operational resource consents were approved in 2001. The designation allowed for the construction and operation of the two-lane road and the ability to buy the land required. The council was unable to secure funding for O Mahurangi – Penlink despite the transport need for the project.
Following the establishment of Auckland Council in 2010, Auckland Transport took on the O Mahurangi – Penlink project. In the 2010s, there was significant engagement with a range of partners, stakeholders and property owners.
On January 2020, the Government announced O Mahurangi – Penlink as a NZ Upgrade Programme initiative. They appointed Waka Kotahi as the delivery agent for the project. In June 2021, the Government confirmed funding for the full delivery of the project. The two-lane, proposed toll road is due to start construction in 2023.
In June 2022, HEB, Fulton Hogan, Aurecon and Tonkin + Taylor gathered with Waka Kotahi to sign an agreement. The group became an alliance to construct the O Mahurangi – Penlink project.
At the alliance signing ceremony, Mana Whenua gifted the name O Mahurangi to the project. The name recognises the ancestress Mahurangi, a tohunga (priestess) who lived in Hawaiiki. The powers of Mahurangi enabled the construction of the great voyaging waka Tainui.