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Why did you have to set new speed limits?

There were a number of safety issues with the state highway in this location, these had also been raised by the community. They included:

  • Te Puia Springs township expressed concerns with the speed of vehicles, including large logging trucks, through the township which has a narrow road corridor.
  • Most of the Gisborne to Te Puia section of SH35 has been identified as being in the Top 10% Deaths and Serious Injuries (DSI) saving corridors in New Zealand.
  • There were 20 crashes on this length of road reported between 2010 and 2019, with one person dying, three people seriously injured, and another seven receiving minor injuries.

Even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it’s what will most likely to determine whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed from that crash. When speeds are safe for the road, simple mistakes are less likely to end in tragedy.

What are the new permanent speed limits?

Te Puia Springs Township – from 80m west of Waipiro Road to 180m north-west of Cemetery Road – 50km/h

Open road section between Puketiti Road and Te Puia Springs – from 180m north-west of Cemetery Road to 350m south of Puketiti Road – 60km/h

Open road between Tokomaru Bay and Puketiti Road – from 350m south of Puketiti Road [BG1] to 470m west of Beach Road (Wharf Road) – 80km/h

Map showing new speed limits from 22 October 2021

Map showing new speed limits along SH35 from Te Puia Springs to Tokomaru Bay

How were those limits decided?

The speed review process involves numerous steps that help determine the speed limits we propose at consultation.

The first step is completing a technical assessment which considers the road itself, the traffic volumes, the crash history, and the way people are currently travelling on the roads.

Following the technical assessment, we undertook informal engagement with road user groups, members of the public, councils, AA, and the Police. The feedback we received from engagement helped to determine if and what we will formally consult on for proposed speed limit changes.

During consultation we ask the community and road users for submissions on any external factors, we may need to be aware of. The consultation period rans for a minimum of 4 weeks. Once consultation closes, we analyse the submissions and review our technical assessment.

The consultation for the proposed speed limit changes is not a vote, it is about seeking valuable local and community input so that we can consider wider factors and context into our decisions.

For more information about how we reached these decisions, please read our consultation summary report.

Consultation summary [PDF, 926 KB]

Learn about the speed review process

Setting new speed limits is a legal process, and Waka Kotahi as a Road Controlling Authority (RCA) is responsible for setting new speed limits on New Zealand’s state highways. We are guided by the Speed Management Guide, which is a national framework that helps RCAs make informed, accurate and consistent speed management decisions in their communities. We also need to adhere to the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017, which sets out the roles and responsibilities of the RCAs for reviewing and setting speed limits. 

Speed management guide

Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017

When do the speed limit changes come into effect and how are the public being notified?

The new speed limits take effect on 22 October 2021.

The public will be notified of the new permanent speed limits through the newspaper, on the radio, on the Waka Kotahi website, and on social media. The public will see the new speed limit signs up from 22 October 2021.

How many crashes have happened on the route?

There have been 20 reported crashes on this stretch of road between 2010-2019. one person died, 3 people seriously injured, and another 7 people have received minor injuries.

A small change in speed can make a big difference to the outcome of a crash. As your speed increases you have less time to react. Even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it’s what will most likely to determine whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed from that crash.

Will lower speed limits help reduce the number of crashes?

Even when speed doesn’t cause a crash it’s what will most likely to determine whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed from that crash.

If we are going to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads we need to address every part of the system. We need safer vehicles, safer drivers and safer roads – and we also need safer speeds.

When speeds are safe for the road, simple mistakes are less likely to end in tragedy.

Safer speeds will also reduce the amount of time the road is closed due to crashes and reduce inconvenience to drivers.

Did you consult with the public on these changes?

Yes. In September and October 2020, we consulted with the public on the proposed permanent speed limits. We received 9 submissions.

Consultation summary [PDF, 926 KB]

Consultation submissions [PDF, 143 KB]