Project introduction

The Papakura ki Pukekura - Papakura to Bombay project is part of a longer-term strategic transport network being investigated and delivered to support growth in South Auckland. Stage 1 of the project, Papakura to Drury, is currently being delivered as a Road of Regional Significance.

  • Estimated project dates

    Apr 2021–Dec 2027
  • Estimated project cost

    $655 million (funding available for Stage 1 from Papakura to Drury)
  • Project type

    Road improvements, Walking and cycling
  • Project status

    Consenting, Construction, Design

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Project overview

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, Paerātā, and Takaanini, could provide up to 40,000 new homes, as well as new jobs. Investing in roading improvements play an important part in building a strategic transport network which reinforces the Southern Motorway’s function to support national and regional economic growth, meeting the needs of the people who live, work and travel in the area.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) and KiwiRail have begun construction of  key transport improvement projects for south Auckland planned to be completed within the next three years. This includes SH1 between Papakura and Drury, rail electrification to Pukekohe and three new rail stations between Drury and Paerātā.

The SH1 Papakura to Drury project’s improvements will support economic growth    by improving access along and across the motorway, enhancing local connectivity and resilience allowing people and goods to get where they want to go more efficiently with more reliable journeys.

  • 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.
    • Contributes to the safety and resilience of Auckland’s transport system.
    • Creates infrastructure that improves the Southern Motorway’s resilience.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.

  • Environmental approach

    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.

    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 (ISC) certification. The ISC system is an international sustainability rating tool that is designed to drive good sustainability outcomes.

  • Working with partners, stakeholders and the community

    Coordination with Auckland Council and Auckland Transport, as well as interest groups 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

    NZTA meets 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 our engagement with property owners as the project progresses.


Project stages

Stage 1 (includes 1A, 1B1 and 1B2)

The Papakura to Drury section (Stage 1) of the wider Papakura to Bombay project has been consented and is being constructed in stages under the NZ Upgrade Programme.

View larger map [PDF, 208 KB]

Construction began on Stage 1A (green) in April 2021. This stage is contained predominantly 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.

Notices of Requirement and resource consent applications were approved for Stage 1B1 (orange) of the project in November 2021. These were approved under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 as the project is one of 17 projects listed under the Act.

The approval of Stage 1B1 consents paved the way for early works near the rail line beside Drury Interchange to start in February 2022. Early works have focussed on building new/replacement bridges over the rail line at the interchange, which will enable KiwiRail to electrify the rail line between Papakura and Pukekohe. Construction of the main Drury interchange upgrade will commence in 2024.

Notices of Requirement and resource consent applications were approved for Stage 1B2 (grey) of the project in June 2023. Stage 1B2 was separated out from Stage 1B1 to allow appropriate time and consideration of the project’s impact on Oopaheke, an identified site of cultural significance spanning both sides of the motorway at Otuuwairoa / Slippery Creek.

Design plans showing plans for Stage 1 

Stage 2 

Stage 2 of the wider Papakura to Bombay project is a planning project that will protect the route and land required for future improvements to the SH1 Southern Motorway between Drury and Bombay.  There is currently no funding earmarked for the delivery of Stage 2, meaning there is no confirmed timeframe for construction at this stage. 

Waka Kotahi lodged its Notices of Requirement for Stage 2 of the project with Auckland Council in mid-February 2024. This step begins a statutory process under the Resource Management Act 1991 that will provide greater certainty for the community and landowners of Waka Kotahi’s transport plans in the area, and protect the land required for future motorway improvements. We expect a decision on the Notices of Requirement in late 2024.

Route protection questions and answers [PDF, 214 KB]

There is a standalone project to install traffic lights at Bombay Interchange in 2024.  Visit the ‘Bombay Interchange Signalisation’ tab of the website to learn more about this project.

Bombay Interchange signalisation