Media Releases

10/22/2017 07:56 PM
Better travel times and more reliable journeys since Waterview Tunnel opened

The NZ Transport Agency says more than 6 and a half million vehicles have travelled through the twin tunnels in the three and a half months since July 2, with more than 400,000 trips each week.

Road users are continuing to benefit from faster and more consistent and reliable travel times says the Transport Agency’s System Design Manager, Brett Gliddon.

“People now have a choice between State Highway 1 and the Western Ring Route and that’s helping to rebalance the city’s travel demands and is making both the motorway system and local roads more efficient.”

“The Waterview Connection was built to create extra motorway capacity and resilience. Prior to the Waterview Tunnel opening average times recorded on both the city’s motorway system and key local routes varied widely. Journey times are now generally faster and more predictable, and we know that certainty about how long it’s going to take you to get somewhere makes a big difference to people’s lives.”

The additional route means that demand is now spread more evenly across more of the motorway system. The redistribution of demand allows the motorway system to absorb incidents such as breakdowns or crashes during busy periods, which means the impact of these incidents is reduced and travel patters return to normal faster than previously.

“Waterview has been a game changer but we’re also continuing to work on Auckland’s other key corridors and building a new transport system to cater for the city’s population growth.”

“It’s hoped construction will start next year on the Northern Corridor Improvements. By improving the connection between SH18 and State Highway 1 we will open up access to the Western Ring Route to more people. This will also provide more transport choices by extending the Northern Busway to Albany.”

“We’re also working with Auckland Transport to plan new roads, public transport and walking and cycling corridors to serve growth areas in the north, south and west of the city. The development of a Rapid Transit Network will help move larger numbers of people along both existing and new corridors.”

“The Waterview Connection was not designed to remove congestion but is a huge step towards completing Auckland’s strategic transport system, so that Auckland is a city where people have options about how they get around, and certainty about how long it will take.”

  • Prior to the Waterview Connection opening journeys from the Airport to the CBD in the afternoon peak would take between 35 and 44 minutes via Manukau Rd and Gillies Ave, now via Waterview Tunnel they take 25 minutes and via the Manukau/Gillies route they are consistently 33 minutes.
  • Travel to the airport from the CBD in the morning averaged between 24-32 minutes, via Waterview this journey now takes 24 minutes and via the Manukau/Gillies route is 27 minutes.
  • There are similar benefits on State Highway 1 between Papakura and the city. In the morning peak the journey could take anyway between 46 and 70 minutes. Journeys are now taking and average of 49 minutes.
  • In the afternoon between the CBD and Papakura it used to take between 38 and 55 minutes while it’s now consistently taking an average of 47 minutes.
  • A journey between Westgate and the city on State Highway 16 in the morning used to take between 21 and 32 minutes, the average is now 20 minutes.

10/19/2017 09:54 PM
City underpass opens today

The $1.8 million project connects Hamilton East at Sillary Street, near the Grey Street-Cobham Drive corner, with the gardens and shared walkways on the southern side of Cobham Drive. It also connects with paths into the city, new paths along State Highway 3 and the Western Rail Trail which opened this year.

The NZ Transport Agency’s central North Island Regional Relationships Director, Parekawhia McLean, says the pedestrian crossing on State Highway 1 will connect communities and visitors with the other side of the city.

“People will now be able to use this 4-metre wide, 27-metre long well-lit and level underpass to get across busy Cobham Drive by foot or on a bike or scooter.

“The underpass also connects with the wider network being built across Hamilton and gives people a safer, fun and more affordable option to get to work, school or for recreation,” Ms McLean says.

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King says the underpass is a great asset to the city and has been supported by cycle groups and the Hamilton East community.

“The project is another example where council has worked with partners to make Hamilton a better place to live, connecting our city and making it accessible for everyone.”

“It’s also great to see the NZ Transport Agency and Government investing in our community and with summer approaching I look forward to seeing Hamiltonians out and about enjoying our beautiful city”.

Jason Harrison, the Council’s Transport Unit Manager, says the underpass is another link in connecting our city and we hope Hamiltonians make good use out of it.

“The underpass includes murals of magical landscapes, organised by Creative Waikato on behalf of the Council, along  the walls of the underpass creating a safe, lively and friendly environment for people to enjoy.”

The underpass project has been funded by the NZ Transport Agency, on behalf of the New Zealand Government.

ribbon cutting

Local member of parliament Tim Macindoe, NZ Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships Parekawhia McLean, Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher, retiring engineer Peter Crosby and local member of Parliament David Bennett at the opening of the Cobham Drive underpass.

10/19/2017 10:28 PM
Work on track to re-open SH1 route to Kaikoura before Christmas

Detailed information about ‘what open looks like’ is being shared via a dedicated web page - The page will be updated regularly as work progresses towards re-opening.

NZ Transport Agency Earthquake Recovery Manager Tim Crow says North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) crews have been working hard under difficult conditions – including ongoing wet weather - to meet the target of re-opening the road in time for the holidays.

“It’s a huge job, but the work is progressing well. We’re re-opening SH1 as early as we safely can to provide better access to Kaikoura and for those communities along the coastal route. However, it’s important people understand that the full rebuild of the highway will not be completed in December and this work will continue well into 2018,” Mr Crow says.

When the road reopens there will be some unsealed surfaces, lane closures and stop/go traffic controls. The route will also need to be closed at night for several months as a safety precaution, and planned closures may also be needed at times to carry out high-impact work.Standard summer opening hours are expected to be between dawn and dusk but this will be confirmed before opening.

Mr Crow says any planned closures will be advertised in advance whenever possible.

“Residents along State Highway 1 have been particularly patient and understanding while work continues to reopen the transport corridor. We know that these communities and businesses, as well as holidaymakers, need to plan ahead for the summer season and we want to provide as much detailed information as possible now to help them make those plans.” 

Mr Crow stressed that every wet weather day places pressure on the work programme and the ability to keep SH1 open could be affected by weather and seismic activity.

“Safety for road users on the reopened State Highway 1 is the top priority.”

Mr Crow says the average estimated travel time to drive between Picton and Christchurch on State Highway 1 when it re-opens in December is expected to be around 5 ½ hours under normal conditions. This is an hour longer than the same journey pre-earthquake, but around an hour faster than the current journey time using the alternate highway route via Lewis Pass, which remains a good option for travel.

Mr Crow says the Transport Agency will be urging drivers to check the latest conditions before they travel, and allow plenty of extra time when planning journeys so that they can get to their destination safely in case of delays.

“We also recommend taking regular breaks and stopping off to support the local communities along the route.”

The alternate Picton to Christchurch route (which goes via state highways 63, 6, 65 and 7 through Lewis Pass) remains a good and reliable option for travel around the top of the South Island, with journeys currently averaging around 6.5 hours under normal conditions. The Transport Agency is also continuing to upgrade this route. 

10/19/2017 08:14 PM
Auckland overnight motorway closures 22–28 October 2017

Check daily updated closure information

  • Northbound lanes between Oteha Valley Road off ramp and Silverdale on ramp, 24–25 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • Oteha Valley Road northbound on ramp, 24–25 October
  • Upper Harbour Highway northbound on ramp, 26 October
  • Upper Harbour Highway northbound off ramp, 25 October  
  • Northbound lanes between Upper Harbour Highway off ramp and Greville Road on ramp, 26 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • Onewa Road southbound off ramp, 23 October (approx 11:00pm to 5:00am)
  • (SH1) southbound lanes between Fanshawe Street off ramp and Hobson Street on ramp, 24–25 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • (SH1) southbound to SH16 eastbound (Port) link, 24–25 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • (SH1) southbound to (SH16) westbound link, 24–25 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • (SH1) Symonds Street southbound on ramp 24 October
  • Market Road northbound off ramp, 24–25 October
  • Tecoma Street southbound on ramp closed continuously from 11:30pm Saturday 30 September until 05:00am Monday 30 October.
  • Greenlane northbound on ramp, 24 October
  • Ellerslie-Panmure Highway southbound off ramp, 25 October
  • Princes Street northbound on ramp, 26 October
  • Northbound lanes between Princes Street off ramp and Mt Wellington Highway on ramp, 26 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • Redoubt Road southbound on ramp, 25–26 October
  • Southbound lanes between Redoubt Road off ramp and Takanini on ramp, 25–26 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • Northbound lanes between Takanini off ramp and Hill Road on ramp, 24 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • Takanini northbound on ramp, 24 October
  • Papakura northbound (diamond) on ramp, 26 October
  • Papakura northbound (loop) on ramp, 25 October
  • Northbound lanes between SH22/Drury off ramp and Papakura on ramp, 25 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • SH22/Drury northbound on ramp 25 October
  • Newton Road westbound on ramp, 23 & 26 October
  • SH16 eastbound link to SH20 southbound, 24–26 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • SH16 westbound link to SH20 southbound, 24–26 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • Rosebank Road westbound off ramp, 24 October
  • Rosebank Road eastbound on ramp, 25 October
  • Patiki Road eastbound off ramp, 26 October
  • Lincoln Road northbound on ramp 26 October
  • Northbound lanes between Lincoln Road off ramp and Brigham Creek Road roundabout, 26 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • Royal Road southbound on ramp, 24–26 October
  • Hobsonville Road southbound on ramp, 24–26 October
  • Southbound lanes between Brigham Creek Road roundabout and Lincoln Road on ramp, 24–26 October
  • Squadron Drive eastbound on ramp, 26 October
  • Brigham Creek Road eastbound on ramp, 23 October
  • Trig Road eastbound on ramp, 24 October
  • Eastbound lanes between Hobsonville Road off ramp and Brigham Creek Road on ramp, 24 October
  • Hobsonville Road eastbound on ramp 24 October
  • SH16 westbound to SH18 eastbound link, 24 October
  • Westbound lanes between Hobsonville Road off ramp and SH16, 24–26 October
  • Lambie Drive southbound off ramp, 23 October
  • Lambie Drive southbound on ramp, 25–26 October
  • Southbound lanes between Lambie Drive off ramp and SH1, 25–26 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • Rimu Road northbound on ramp, 26 October
  • Hillsborough Road southbound on ramp, 26 October
  • Southbound lanes between Maioro Street off ramp and Dominion Road on ramp, 25 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • Maioro Street southbound on ramp, 25 October
  • Kirkbride Road northbound off ramp, 24–26 October
  • Kirkbride Road northbound on ramp, 24–26 October
  • Kirkbride Road southbound off ramp, 24–26 October
  • Kirkbride Road southbound on ramp, 24–26 October
  • SH20 northbound to SH20A westbound link, 25–26 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)
  • SH20 southbound to SH20A westbound link, 25–26 October (approx 10:00pm to 5:00am)

Please follow the signposted detours. The Transport Agency thanks you for your co-operation during these essential improvements and maintenance.

Updates on state highway conditions and hazards and get free email alerts on a specific route by signing up to

Auckland roads and public transport:

10/19/2017 06:23 PM
Short-list of options for key State Highway 1 route through Waikato released

Karapiro Road / SH29 intersectionThe options generally follow the existing State Highway 1 route from the southern end of the Waikato Expressway through to Karapiro Road.

After Karapiro Road they are predominantly located away from the existing State Highway 1, before narrowing down to two options at Piarere.

An NZ Transport Agency Portfolio Manager, Chris Gasson, says the short-list has been determined after extensive investigations and consultation, and the project team is now seeking more feedback from the public.

“This project affects many people who live, work, do business or travel on this key route through the Waikato.

“We have been meeting with landowners, stakeholders and the wider community throughout the process, but we have reached a stage again where we need to know if we have missed anything, so come along to the information day to talk to us and provide your feedback,” Mr Gasson says.

There are also a number of interchange options being considered in the vicinity of Hydro Road/Karapiro Road, and near the current SH1/SH29 intersection at Piarere.

Feedback on the interchange options can be provided at the information day or online at:

The aims of the expressway are to reduce the number of crashes causing death and serious injury, improve travel reliability and improve local access to community features.

Once the consultation period has closed further design will take place. The chosen alignment is expected to be publicly announced late this year.

View the optionsSubmit your feedback

Information day

Karapiro-Taotaoroa Settlers Hall
Karapiro Rd (behind the Mobil Service Station)
Thursday, 26 October 2017 2pm-7pm