Our vision

We all deserve a transport system that puts people at the centre – that protects and helps us to get to the places and people important to us, so we can live life to the full.

When our streets are calm and everyone travels at speeds that are appropriate for the road environment, we create inclusive, healthy and people-friendly towns and cities where we can all move around freely, no matter how we choose to travel.

We want our tamariki and future generations to have independence and freedom to thrive. We can do this by designing a transport system that allows young people to get around on their own whether walking, cycling, travelling by scooter or by bus.  

In Tāmaki Makaurau, this could mean you can get to work and school efficiently and comfortably. Parents and whānau can have peace of mind when tamariki go to school or to community centres, because they know those travelling alongside them are in a safe system. 

This is our vision for Tāmaki Makaurau, and an important part of Road to Zero, Aotearoa New Zealand’s road safety strategy.

Road to Zero, Aotearoa New Zealand’s road safety strategy

Our journey to a safe system

The safe system is the international gold standard in road safety management and is the approach that underpins Road to Zero.

To design transport systems with people at the centre, we need to address every part. We need speeds that suit the road and how we use it, vehicles and roads that are designed to protect people, and drivers with the right behaviours. We work alongside our partners to implement key interventions that strengthen each part of the system.

Between May-June 2022 we held public consultation on safe speeds around schools and townships on two corridors of state highway in Tāmaki Makaurau:

  • SH16 Wellsford to Waimauku
  • SH1 Te Hana to Warkworth.

Northland and north Auckland speed reviews

Following community feedback, we re-consulted on some areas where the public told us they wanted to see safe speed limits extended, or where there were additional factors we needed to consider through the Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan.

In early 2023, we will share details on the outcome of the May/June 2022 consultation and the Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan.

We also have the following safety improvements being planned or implemented:

  • There is a planned safety project on SH16 between Brigham Creek to Waimauku, to install flexible road safety barriers and flush medians, add extra lanes, make intersections safer and create more space for people who cycle. The project will also provide a shared path along the state highway between Kumeū and Brigham Creek, and a new roundabout at the SH16/Coatesville Riverhead Highway intersection.
  • Safety improvements are being installed on SH1 Wellsford to north of Warkworth through the Dome Valley, including median safety barriers, wider road shoulders and new right-turn bays.
  • A number of safety benefits will be delivered as part of the Ara Tūhono - Pūhoi to Warkworth project, including an extra lane at Moir Hill for slow vehicles, flexible median barrier, fully-sealed medians and shoulders, emergency truck stopping areas and rockfall mesh barriers.

To ensure our state highways remain safe and efficient, 127.2 lane kilometres of road renewals were completed in the Auckland region from mid 2021 to mid 2022, and 141.9 lane kilometres are planned as part of the 2022/23 road maintenance programme.

Why are we changing speed limits?

Changing speed limits comes down to what we all value most: protecting the lives of all of us who use our streets and roads.

Speed limits were first set before we knew what was safe and appropriate for our roads. We know this harms people we care about and have a responsibility for.

Appropriate speeds will make Tāmaki Makaurau more inclusive, good for our health and the environment by making it easier and more comfortable for people to walk, ride bikes and use scooters, wheelchairs and other mobility aids to get around. It also gives our tamariki the opportunity for safe, active travel to school on their own, with friends or their caregivers.

It’s our responsibility to do better.

We’re taking practical steps to ensure we’re protecting the people and communities we care about - and we welcome you to be part of that journey.

A new approach to managing speeds

Safe speeds around schools

We’re empowering our younger generations to thrive and have the freedom to walk, bus or bike to school by setting new speed limits.

We’re working together with local government on a target of all schools across Aotearoa, including kura kaupapa Māori and Kura ā Iwi, with safe and appropriate speed limits by the end of 2027. That’s approximately 2,500 schools in total, so our future generations can get around safely in ways that are good for their health and the environment.

There are several ways to achieve safe speeds around schools. Some roads may get permanent speed limits and others such as the state highway may use variable speed limits. Our approach considers the surrounding area of a school, to look after tamariki travelling further than the streets outside the front gate.

We aim to deliver safe speed limits to between 80 to 120 schools by mid 2024. The remaining schools will be delivered in our next National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) period (2024–27) because these roading environments are complex and will require longer conversations.

How school zone speed signs work

What we know about Tāmaki Makaurau

The different ways our state highways in Tāmaki Makaurau are being used

More than a third of New Zealanders already call Auckland home, with the population expected to grow by 260,000 during the next decade to reach 2.4 million by 2050. We recognise the importance of the state highway network in helping Aucklanders move around the city as well as delivering broad economic, social, and environmental outcomes for the city. 

Auckland lies across the low undulating slopes between the Manukau and Waitematā harbours. Surprisingly, the region is largely rural and a narrow peninsula. This means many of the state highways vary, from high volume motorways through to narrow winding roads.   

High levels of traffic volumes in our largest city result in many drivers experiencing congestion and increases the risk of crashes. Encouraging more people to use public transport, walk and cycle will have a knock-on safety benefit.

Findings from our analysis

As part of our analysis to determine the appropriate speed for a road, we consider the characteristics and nature of the road and its surrounding environment, how people are using the road, and collective safety risk.

The findings from our analysis around schools on State Highways 1, 16, and 22 showed:

  • The roads are used for commuting, moving freight and tourism, and there are also a variety of road users. Lower speeds mean people driving, walking and cycling, including tamariki going to and from school will be safer and more comfortable. 

The findings from our analysis on State Highways 1 and 16 showed:

  • Current speed limits don’t accurately reflect the risk of the roads, including where there are unpredictable, sharper bends and hazards such as steep drop-offs.
  • There’s a need to set appropriate speeds limits in and around townships, where roads are used for commuting, moving freight and tourism. Reducing speed limits helps protect everyone, including vulnerable communities such as tamariki, people walking or cycling, and older generations. 
  • Sections of the state highway are heavily used by trucks, and recent adjacent growth and development have changed the way people access these roads. 

What we’ve heard

We’ve had ongoing conversations with a range of partners, organisations and groups that have an interest or would be impacted by our plans to manage speed on our state highways.

We’ve also heard from our Treaty partners and the broader community through feedback received in 2021 and public consultation in May-June 2022.

Northland and north Auckland speed reviews

Some key themes we’ve heard from these conversations:

  • There’s support for reduced speed in places where there are schools, preschools and a high number of people who walk or cycle.
  • At SH1 Te Hana – Warkworth there’s a desire for more consistency in speed limits throughout the area. Road conditions and driver behaviour are key issues for several in the local community. People are concerned that passing lanes are unsafe.
  • At SH16 Wellsford – Waimauku the road between Kaukapakapa and Wellsford is a tight winding road and shouldn’t be driven at the existing high speed limit.

We considered feedback from these conversations alongside our analysis as factors to develop our draft Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan.

Draft Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan [PDF, 25 MB]

Proposed speed limits in Tāmaki Makaurau

Following our analysis and conversations with partners, interested groups and organisations, we proposed the following new speed limits:

Speed limit map

Map showing locations of proposed speed limit changes in Auckland

View larger map and speed limit tables [PDF, 2.3 MB]

Speed limit tables

  • Other speed limits
    State highway Reference number (refer to map) Location Description Existing speed limit (km/h)
    Proposed new speed limit (km/h)
    1 1 Wellsford north Northern entrance to Wellsford 60 50
    1 2 Warkworth north Northern entrance to Warkworth 80 60
    1 3 Pūhoi to Warkworth mainline 60 End of motorway, for  approach to roundabout - northbound only N/A 60
    1 4 Pūhoi to Warkworth (VSL at north end of motorway) Variable speed limit to allow smart management of traffic to roundabout - northbound only N/A Various (30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 or 100)
    1 5 Warkworth variable speed area - removal Removal of intersection speed zone at Designation Road 80/60* 80
    1 6 Pūhoi northbound off-ramp N/A N/A 80
    1 7 Pūhoi southbound on-ramp N/A N/A 80
    1 8 Pūhoi to Warkworth mainline Warkworth roundabout to north of Johnstone Hill Tunnels N/A 100
    1 9 Albany Station bus ramp N/A 80 50
    1 10 Constellation (18/1 interchange) northbound ramp N/A N/A 80
    1 11 Constellation (18/1 interchange) southbound ramp N/A N/A 80
    16 1 Kaukapakapa 50 North of Henley Road to north of Kahikatea Flat Road 80 50
    16 2 Kaukapakapa south Southern approach to Kaukapakapa from near Inland Rd to near McLennan Farm Rd 100 80
    Close Back to top

We’ll work directly with communities when we begin the implementation phase to finalise speed limit sign locations.

These new speed limits will help us take steps towards a safe system in Tāmaki Makaurau by:

  • ensuring state highways with a school entry point have speeds reduced to care for students travelling to and from school
  • ensuring speed limits on roads in and around townships help protect everyone, including freight, commuters and vulnerable road users
  • ensuring new sections of motorways have safe and appropriate speed limits for the surrounding road environment – such as Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth, the Albany Station bus ramp, and motorway ramps at Constellation Drive.

Frequently asked questions

Have your say

Consultation on the Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan closed on 12 December 2022.

When the Plan has been certified by the Director of Land Transport, we’ll provide an update. We anticipate this taking place in mid-2023.

Speed limits for Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth

In line with the opening of the safer, more resilient and reliable Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway, the new speed limits for the corridor have been certified.

Find out more about the speed limits for for Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth

What about speed management on local roads?

Our local government partners are helping protect people on Auckland local roads through speed management. Learn more about local road speed reviews on the Auckland Transport website.

Auckland Transport – proposed speed limit changes(external link)

We are striving to work with all of our communities. If you would like to receive this information translated into te reo Māori, please email us: speedmanagement@nzta.govt.nz

Kei te kaha mātou ki te mahi me ō mātou hapori katoa. Ki te hiahia koe i ēnei mōhiohio i whakamāoritia ki te reo Māori, whakapā mai i konei: speedmanagement@nzta.govt.nz