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.
Maintaining safe, reliable road and rail freight connections is essential for people on the West Coast, for tourism and the economy.
This is our vision for the West Coast, and an important part of Road to Zero, Aotearoa New Zealand’s road safety strategy.
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.
In the West Coast region, we’re continuing to invest in maintaining and operating the state highway and local road networks to maintain critical connections with the remainder of the South Island. Improving preparedness in responding to extreme weather events, maintaining access to tourist locations and improving safety across the road and rail network is a priority.
On SH7, we have replaced the single-lane wooden Ahaura River Bridge and planning for the replacement of the Stoney Creek Bridge has begun.
To help prevent run-off crashes around bridges that too often result in people being killed or seriously injured, we have an ongoing programme of investment to upgrade safety barriers across the region. This includes safety improvements on the Taipō River Bridge – SH73 between Jacksons and Kūmara – one of five single-lane bridges in the programme, expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
On SH6, SH7 and SH69, we plan to invest in the design, and start construction on a number of safety improvements, including new signage and road markings, wider centrelines and installing safety barriers at high-risk locations along 60kms of highway.
To ensure our state highways remain safe and efficient, 148.3 lane kilometres of road renewals were completed in the West Coast region from mid 2021 to mid 2022, and 141.8 lane kilometres are planned as part of the 2022/23 road maintenance programme.
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 the West Coast 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 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.
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.
We’re working hard to ensure the region’s highways are safe, resilient and well maintained to effectively support the forestry, fishing, mining, agriculture and tourism industries that underpin the West Coast’s economy.
The West Coast’s dispersed settlement, relative isolation to neighbouring regions, vulnerability to adverse weather events and mountainous coastal terrain present significant challenges for the state highway network, which forms a critical lifeline link between the region’s communities and the remainder of the South Island. Safety, resilience, and access are critical given the vulnerability of West Coast highways to storms and surface flooding, slips, rockfall and coastal erosion.
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 6, 65 and 67 showed:
The findings from our analysis on State Highways 6 and 7 showed:
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.
Some key themes we’ve heard from these conversations:
We’ve 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]
Following our analysis and conversations with partners, interested groups and organisations, we propose the following new speed limits:
View larger map and speed limit tables [PDF, 2.5 MB]
|State highway||School||Existing speed limit (km/h)||Proposed new speed limit (km/h)
|6||Greymouth High School||50||50/30*|
|6||Franz Josef Glacier School||80||80/30*|
|67||St Canice’s School (Westport)||50||50/30*|
|State highway||Reference number (refer to map)||Location||Description||Existing speed limit (km/h)||Proposed new speed limit (km/h)|
|6||1||Punakaiki township||North of the Pancake Rocks Blowhole area to south of the stopping area||60||40|
|7||1||Reefton township||West of Ross Street to near Kelly Street||50||40|
|7||2||Blacks Point township||South of Franklyn Street to south of Anderson Street||70||60|
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 on the West Coast by:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com