Project introduction

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has set a new variable speed limit outside Kaukapakapa School on SH16.

  • Project type

    Speed review
  • Project status



Roads outside schools are perceived as dangerous for children. At the time when children are arriving at or leaving school and crossing the road, there can be high volumes of traffic, turning vehicles, parked vehicles reducing visibility, and vehicle speeds that often appear too high.

Kaukapakapa School is located on Auckland’s State Highway 16, on the outskirts of Kaukapakapa Village, with a roll of around 300 students from year 1 to year 8. Nearly 5000 vehicles, including trucks, pass the school each day, and the road is also used as a detour for State Highway 1.

People in the local Kaukapakapa community told us that vehicle speeds outside the Kaukapakapa School are too high, and that students don’t feel safe getting to and from school. In response to these concerns, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency proposed using a variable speed limit outside the school to lower the speed from 50km/h to 40km/h during peak school traffic times, using two electronic signs on the road to create a variable speed zone approximately 350m long.

In February and March 2020, we formally consulted with the public on this proposed variable speed limit outside Kaukapakapa School to understand any other factors we should be aware of before making our decision on introducing the proposed variable speed limit. We considered all factors raised during formal consultation, and the outcome of our speed review is to proceed with our 40km/h variable speed limit proposal.

The new variable speed limit will provide a safer road environment around the school, reinforce driver expectations of the likely presence of children, and help encourage safe and active travel to school.

New variable speed limits 

The following variable speed limit was proposed during consultation and has been set as a new variable speed limit that will lower the speed limit during peak school traffic times. This new variable speed limit will apply from 24 August 2020. 

SH16 Kaukapakapa School variable speed limit Existing speed limit New variable speed limit

SH16 - 190m southeast of Opoto Place to 160m northwest of Opoto Place

The variable speed limit will: 

  • lower the current speed limit of 50km/h outside the school to 40km/h at peak school traffic times
    • 35 minutes before the start of school until the start of school, and 
    • 20 minutes at the end of school, beginning no earlier than five minutes before the end of school 
    • it may also operate for 10 minutes at any other time when there is school-related activity. 
  • be displayed on electronic signs located on SH16 outside the school at 190m southeast of Opoto Place and 160m northwest of Opoto Place. 
50km/h 40km/h

Map showing location of new variable speed limit and electronic signs:

SH16 Kaukapakapa School speed limit map

Investigation and evidence 

For this speed review we reviewed the speeds that people are currently driving on this road, and undertook a technical assessment to determine the safe and appropriate speed limit for the road outside the school. Our assessment showed the speed people currently drive in the vicinity of the school is 55-59km/h, which is higher than the posted speed limit of 50km/h. We determined a speed limit of 40km/h during peak school traffic times would be the safe and appropriate speed around Kaukapakapa School. 

Travel times

As the reduced speed limit will operate only on school days (around 200 days each year), and only during peak school traffic times, any impact on your journey time will be minimal. 


Find out more about the SH16 Kaukapakapa School variable speed limit by reading the frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions

Consultation and submissions

Public consultation closed 18 March 2020, and we received 111 submissions from stakeholder organisations and the public.  

Consultation summary [PDF, 366 KB]

Consultation submissions [PDF, 206 KB]

How speed reviews work

More information about speed and the speed review process is available on the Speed Review Programme webpage.