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Auckland is growing fast and the south is the region’s largest future urban growth area. About 1.7 million people live in Auckland and over the next 30 years this could grow to reach 2.4 million.
Over the next 30 years, southern growth areas such as Pukekohe, Drury, Paerata, and Takanini, could provide up to 40,000 new homes, as well as new jobs. These improvements will provide better choices for existing communities and the extra 120,000 people who will make the area home.
Investing in public transport and walking and cycling path, in addition to roading improvements, plays an important part in building a strategic transport network which meets the needs of the people who live, work and travel in the area.
Through the NZ Upgrade Programme (NZUP), Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi) and KiwiRail have begun construction of around $2.7 billion of transport improvements for south Auckland within the next three years, including SH1 between Papakura and Drury, rail electrification to Pukekohe and three new rail stations between Drury and Paerata.
NZUP for Auckland delivers on the Government’s commitment to support the transformation of Auckland’s transport system.
The SH1 Papakura to Drury project’s improvements will support the growth of communities by improving access along and across the motorway, enhancing local connectivity and resilience, and improving transport choices.
What benefits will this project provide?
- Supports investment in road and rail in South Auckland including the electrification of rail to Pukekohe and future-proofing for additional lines.
- Reinforces the Southern Motorway’s function to support national and regional economic growth.
- Supports the growth and liveability of communities by increasing access to employment, markets, services and amenities.
- Provides an additional traffic lane in each direction, interchange improvements and opportunities for dedicated public transport services.
- Promotes walking and cycling in South Auckland and enables people already using active modes to access new areas.
- Extends the Auckland walking and cycling network, maximising the investment in the Southern Path built to the immediate north of the project area as part of the Southern Corridor Improvements project.
- Contributes to the safety and resilience of Auckland’s transport system.
- Creates infrastructure that improves the Southern Motorway’s resilience against the impacts of climate change.
Papakura to Drury key features
- Improved highway access, safety, resilience and capacity on SH1 between Papakura and Drury, including 4.5km of new traffic lanes in each direction.
- Wide shoulders to enable future bus services.
- 4km of new paths for people walking and cycling, extending the 4.5km Southern Path between Papakura and Takanini (opened in May 2021).
- Interchange improvements at Papakura, including a new southbound on-ramp and northbound ramp improvements.
- Interchange improvements at Drury, enabling rail electrification, future-proofing for additional rail lines, and improved access for over-dimension vehicles.
- Improved safety barriers, lighting and noise mitigation.
- 100% stormwater treatment of new and existing Southern Motorway impervious surfaces within the project area (where currently there is none).
The Papakura to Drury section (Stage 1) of the wider Papakura to Bombay project is being consented and constructed in stages over the next five years under the NZ Upgrade Programme.
View larger map [JPG, 403 KB]
Construction began on Stage 1A (green) in April 2021. This stage is contained entirely within the existing motorway designation and was consented in 2020. It comprises upgrades to the motorway, while the additional land required for the shared path component of the project is secured through Stages 1B1 and 1B2.
Waka Kotahi lodged an application in June 2021 to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 for Stage 1B1 (orange) of the “Papakura to Drury South” project, which is one of 17 projects listed under the Act. Construction of Stage 1B1 is expected to start in 2022.
The Act provides a new decision-making process.
Summary of project engagement and the fast-track consenting process [PDF, 99 KB]
You can find information about the fast-track consenting process and our consent application on the Environmental Protection Authority website.
Status of fast-track projects(external link)
Waka Kotahi expects to lodge Notices of Requirement and resource consent applications for Stage 1B2 of the project (grey) in 2022. This stage has been separated out for consenting purposes to allow appropriate time and consideration of the project’s impact on an identified site of cultural significance adjacent to SH1.
The Government recently announced that Stage 2 of the project (light blue), including Drury South interchange, will not be progressed as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme. Waka Kotahi is working through the next steps for Stage 2 to Drury South, and Stage 3 to Bombay, following the Government’s decision.
Route protection questions and answers(external link)
Walking and cycling
As part of the Papakura to Drury project, a walking and cycling path will be built next to the Southern Motorway, alongside the northbound lane.
It will extend the Southern Path opened in May 2021 as part of the Southern Corridor Improvements project and provide a new and alternative transport choice in this growing area.
As well as connections at interchanges, there will be connections to local roads along the route and to local cycling paths. This will help extend the Auckland cycle network.
The walking and cycling path will improve access to schools, work, local community destinations and the wider transport system.
This will help deliver safer and healthier streets for Aucklanders, supporting the development of more liveable communities.
The growth of housing in large parts of South Auckland means there is an increasing need to provide safe and affordable access to schools and employment areas, and transport alternatives to the use of private motor vehicles.
Protecting and enhancing the local environment is a prime consideration in our project planning.
This includes protecting and enhancing areas of environmental and heritage significance, areas and places that are important to the community, and areas that will become more urbanised in the future.
The project will ensure 100% treatment of stormwater from new and existing impervious surfaces within the project area to improve local water quality.
Flooding to the east of SH1 along Chichester Drive has been identified through consultation with Auckland Council. This flooding will be alleviated by replacing culvert pipes crossing under the motorway with larger sized ones, allowing more water to flow through.
The project is required to complete and maintain Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) certification. The ISCA system is an international sustainability rating tool that is designed to drive good sustainability outcomes. It will help ensure the project team remains focussed on reducing greenhouse gas emissions during both the detailed design and construction phases.
The project supports New Zealand’s efforts to mitigate climate change and transition to a low-emissions economy by:
- unlocking opportunities for passenger rail electrification and replacing road-over-rail bridges to future-proof for additional rail lines
- providing new walking and cycling infrastructure to unlock alternative transport mode choices and improve connectivity and accessibility for local communities
- future-proofing for the provision of public transport by introducing wide shoulders on SH1.
Partnership with Mana Whenua
Waka Kotahi is committed to working in partnership with Mana Whenua to deliver the project following the principles of Te Ara Kotahi, Waka Kotahi’s strategy for partnering with Maori, which recognises and provides for cultural heritage, identity and Mātauranga Māori.
Building on collaboration with Mana Whenua on the project to date, Waka Kotahi will continue to partner with them as the project progresses.
Working with partners, stakeholders and the community
Waka Kotahi is dedicated to working closely with partners, stakeholders and community throughout design and construction on the Papakura to Drury project, and on the design of the wider Papakura to Bombay project.
Coordination with Auckland Council and Auckland Transport, as well as interest and community groups, will ensure that the project recognises cultural history and utilises local knowledge to help the project team understand the areas it is working in and how best to design for safety and accessibility.
Working with property owners
Waka Kotahi has met with potentially affected property owners to understand how they use their land and how the project design could be refined to reduce the impact on their properties. We will continue to engage with property owners as the project progresses.