Project introduction

Takitimu North Link Stage One will connect Tauranga and Te Puna with a new four-lane expressway and shared path. It will improve safety, access, resilience, and provide greater travel choice. Construction is underway and we are working to protect the route for Stage Two from Te Puna to Ōmokoroa.

  • Project type

    Safety improvements
  • Project status

    Construction, Design, Investigation

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Tirohanga whānui kaupapa – project overview

Improving safety is at the heart of the Takitimu North Link project, which is a key strategic transport corridor for the region, providing greater travel choice with managed lanes, and a shared path for walking and cycling.

The existing State Highway 2 Waihī to Tauranga is a busy highway with a poor safety record and the pressures of this have been felt for some time. From what was once a rural road passing through a few country settlements this section of state highway has developed into a busy commuter and freight route as well as an important tourist link for the northern Bay of Plenty and Coromandel Peninsula.

Western Bay of Plenty communities are projected to grow by 16,000 people in the next 20 years, and traffic crossing the Wairoa Bridge increasing from 20,000 to more than 30,000 daily by 2031.

The rate of growth combined with existing safety, access and congestion issues means Takitimu North Link is a huge investment in the region’s growth.

Through the Government’s New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP), funding has been provided for Stage One Tauranga to Te Puna. NZUP is an $8.7 billion investment to get our cities moving, to save lives and boost productivity in growth areas.

New Zealand Upgrade Programme(external link)

View the concept design [PDF, 1.2 MB]

  • Project benefits

    Takitimu North Link will:

    • improve safety to reduce deaths and serious injuries
    • improve access with more reliable travel times for local people, and regional freight to the Port of Tauranga from Western Bay of Plenty and Coromandel
    • support greater travel choice through public transport prioritisation and shared path which will improve mode shift options
    • support economic development and population growth in the Western Bay of Plenty in line with the Urban Form and Transport Initiative(external link)
    • improve resilience to the road network
    • protect the route for Stage Two of the project.
  • Project name

    The alignment for the Takitimu North Link is within the rohe of Ngāti Ranginui iwi, and includes the hapū of Pirirākau, Ngāi Tamarawaho, Ngāti Hangarau, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Pango, Ngāti Rangi and Ngāti Taka.

    The project name, Takitimu North Link, was gifted by Te Paerangi and acknowledges the area’s cultural significance.

    Takitimu recognises the connection to the waka that brought Tamatea Arikinui to Aotearoa, at Tirikawa, the base of Mauao, at the entrance of Tauranga Moana. The tohunga and navigator, Tamatea Arikinui, and some of his people settled in Tauranga and members of the seven hapū can trace their whakapapa back to this ancestor.


Takitimu North Link Stage One: Tauranga to Te Puna

The New Zealand Upgrade Programme has provided funding to build Stage One, the new 6.8km four-lane road connecting SH29 Takitimu Drive through to SH2 west of Te Puna.

The Western Bay of Plenty community can look forward to significantly improved safety and accessibility, resilience, and more transport choice for moving around the region. It is the Bay of Plenty’s biggest roading project to date.

Takitimu North Link will provide an alternative route to SH2, moving trucks away from local roads and supporting urban growth. It is a key part of the region’s Connected Centres programme developed by the Urban Form and Transport Initiative.

Urban Form and Transport Initiative website(external link)

Read more about building Takitimu North Link Stage One

Takitimu North Link Stage Two: Te Puna to Ōmokoroa

We are progressing to protect the route for Takitimu North Link Stage Two between Te Puna and Ōmokoroa. Designation is scheduled to be lodged in 2023 and applications for resource consents will be submitted. This will give Council, landowners and the community certainty of the route and ensure Waka Kotahi is best placed to move forward when funding for construction becomes available.

Read more about route protection for Stage Two

SH2 Revocation – what happens once the new road is built

The question of what happens to the existing State Highway 2 when Takitimu North Link becomes operational, is being worked out through a Programme Business Case.

When Stage One of the Takitimu North Link is complete it will become the new SH2 alignment between Tauranga and Te Puna. The existing SH2 road, through Bethlehem, will stop functioning as a state highway and is expected to become a local road managed by the local authorities.

Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council are responsible for the local roads and, if revocation is approved by the Secretary of Transport, will take over management of the revoked section of SH2. This is currently expected to happen in 2027.

The process of returning a state highway to a local road is called ‘revocation’. Revocation provides the opportunity to rethink the purpose and layout of this busy section of road.  Waka Kotahi will ensure that when the existing SH2 road is handed over to the local authorities, it is in good condition.

Waka Kotahi is working with hapū partners, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, and Bay of Plenty Regional Council on a future form and function of this corridor. We expect to have some options for the community to consider later in 2023.

Further information on the revocation process [PDF, 429 KB]

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Project contacts

Phone: 0800 865 776