Deciding speed limits

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA), as a road controlling authority, is responsible for setting speed limits on New Zealand’s state highways.

Local councils and Auckland Transport are the road controlling authorities for local roads.

Imminent changes to how speed limits are set

Note: In March 2024, the Minister of Transport confirmed that a new Land Transport Rule for setting speed limits will be released for public consultation in the coming months and signed by the end of the year.

Until the new Rule comes into force, we will continue to set and review speed limits as required under the current Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022.

Direction of new speed limits rule announced(external link)

Speed limit review process for state highways

Ongoing engagement

While technical advice is important when reviewing speed limits, we also consider local knowledge and experience of using our roads to this process.

Our ongoing conversations with Māori and local government partners, key stakeholders and the community provide us with insights on how people use the road and the environment around it, and their concerns around road safety.

We consider these conversations alongside the technical information from our road safety specialists to develop our speed limit proposals.

Formal consultation on proposed speed limit changes

Changing a speed limit is a legal process that includes a formal consultation step. This is where we present our plans to manage speeds on our roads, including proposed speed limit changes on sections of state highway.

During this consultation stage, we provide an opportunity to share feedback on our proposals. Consultation is open for at least four weeks.

Decision on proposed speed limit changes

We consider all consultation submissions, alongside technical information, when making our final decision on proposed speed limits. Then, we submit our decision to the Director of Land Transport for approval.

Once the outcome is available, we publish it on our website and notify people who provided a consultation submission and requested updates on the speed limit review.

New speed limits

If the speed limits are approved, we will let people know when they can expect to see new signs.