Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway


28 February 2023


Kia ora

This is my first issue of Express Connect as Project Director, having taken over from Chris Hunt, and I look forward to keeping you informed about the project as we wind it up over the coming months.

It’s hard to believe we’re nearly into March 2023, with the expressway now operational for just over two months. We’ve been learning from the community and visitors to the area how they’re adapting to the new expressway and using it to improve their travel. I’m pleased to say feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly with the quality of the road surface and the planting established next to it – both which contribute to an enjoyable journey. 

Chris Hunt

This month we’d like to collect more views from you and invite you to share your thoughts by filling out a quick survey (more on this below).

This issue, we look at the current focus for the construction team which is the completion of local road and property works, as well as the opening of community and cultural assets. One example is the formal opening of our gateway sculptures at each end of Ōtaki which are spectacular landmarks, along with the burying of the project’s time capsule.

We’ve also been doing shared path and paving works which have required the closure of a section of old State Highway 1, just north of the new pedestrian underpass at Makahuri/Carvello Farm. We know these works have caused some disruption and thank impacted residents and businesses, particularly in the Te Horo area, for their patience. Our approach has been to get in and fully complete the works in these areas, even if this takes a bit longer, so we don’t have to return at a later time to finish anything and create more disruption.

Another big item we're completing is the well-anticipated shared path. While we’re very close to finishing it, there’s still work to be done and we urge cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians to be patient until it’s officially opened for public use. It’s not safe to use now, even though you may be able to access sections and get through some of the gates.

For further information on the project please visit our information centre (which has updated photos and brochures), check out our website, call us on 0800 PP2O INFO or email

Ngā mihi
Steve Findlay, Project Director



Gateway sculptures formally opened

You’ll have seen how the installation of the two gateway sculptures at each end of Ōtaki has been progressing in the last few issues of Express Connect.

We’re now happy to tell you that the sculptures - standing six metres high and weighing about four tonnes each - were formally opened on 17 February!

A blessing led by local iwi (Ngā Hapū ō Ōtaki) was held at the sculpture at the southern end of Ōtaki township with representatives from Waka Kotahi, Kāpiti Coast District Council, the project, mana whenua and the community in attendance. The sculptures have beautifully landscaped and planted areas surrounding them, with bench seats and pathways so you can get up close to have a look!

Glen Prince, Waka Kotahi Principal Project Manager, credits the sculptures and landscaping to the design and production teams involved – who worked closely with the artist, mana whenua and community groups – along with the PP2Ō Gateways Steering Group which provided guidance and helped progress the project.

“They’re fantastic landmarks for Ōtaki and the people who worked to create them should feel incredibly proud. It’s pleasing to see how large infrastructure projects like this can also leave behind a wonderful cultural legacy and enhance the environment within the areas and communities they touch.”

A time capsule – containing artefacts that represent the history of the project, as well as the history and culture of the area – is part of the sculpture at the southern end.  The artefacts include items that were donated by the community and archaeological relics discovered on site during the earthworks phase of the project. 



About the sculpture design

The three strands of each sculpture represent significant local waterways – the Waitohu, Mangapouri and the great Ōtaki River – winding together to meet in a circle at the top representing Tama-nui-te-rā, the sunny rays of Ōtaki. The strands also represent a kō (Māori cultivation tool), linking into the rich history of horticulture and gardening in Ōtaki.

The kō was also used as a weapon that commemorates the settlement of this district in the time of Te Rauparaha, thereby representing the three iwi Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Te Ati Awa and Ngāti Raukawa. Stainless steel discs with cultural narrative and pictures etched on them have been embedded in the concrete foundations underneath the sculptures.



Ōtaki Gorge Road – expect traffic delays

As you’re no doubt aware, resurfacing and line marking works are being carried out on Ōtaki Gorge Road near old State Highway 1 (SH1). This has required one lane to be closed, with stop/go traffic lights in place, causing delays at the on/off-ramps to old SH1 and the expressway – we ask motorists to delay any non-essential travel, if possible, through this area.

Works are in place weekdays from 9am (after peak morning traffic) to 9pm at the latest and likely to take one to two weeks unless resource becomes available to complete these works at night.

We thank people for their patience during this time and apologise for the inconvenience.



Shared path and crossing

We know everyone’s keen to know when the shared path will be completed.

Progress has been going well this month and, if we’re able to avoid the storms hitting other parts of the country, the opening of the path should go ahead by the end of April.

A key piece of work is the completion of the safe crossing and installation of pedestrian and traffic lights at Makahuri (formally known as Marycrest).



Have your say on the expressway

Now the expressway’s open, you can have your say on how you’re finding the new road by responding to our 'how are we doing’ survey. This only takes a minute, but really helps this and future projects of a similar nature.

With a significant amount of traffic now bypassing the town via the expressway, Elevate Ōtaki would love to hear about the impact of the new road on businesses through a separate business survey. If you have a business in the area, please do complete the survey so we can get an understanding of your views.



Information Centre remains open through to 2024

The information centre is located at 216 Main Highway, Ōtaki (open 9-5pm Monday-Friday, Saturday 9am-4pm and Sunday 10am-4pm). 

The centre has brochures, which include a map of the whole expressway, for taking away. The map can also be viewed/downloaded as a larger image here: PP2Ō Expressway map.

We also have a flyover video of the road just before it was opened which is worth checking out.



Community meeting

Our next meeting is scheduled as follows:

• Community Liaison Group – 7pm, Monday 17 April, Ōtaki College (members only).



Upcoming construction milestones: Northern area

• Reshaping of land east of Taylors Road/the expressway and construction of permanent accesses to residential properties.
• Construction of a pathway (pictured below) and carpark in the Pare-o-Matangi reserve.
• County Road paving and construction of a cul-de-sac.
• Completion of The Milk Station landscaping works.



Central area

• Installation of the gateway sculptures fully completed and formal opening ceremony held. Planting in the areas around the sculptures is continuing.
• Ōtaki Gorge Road asphalt works have commenced south of the old SH1 bridge over Ōtaki River.
• Makahuri shared path works (pictured below) between the underpasses and Jewell Stream bridge are almost complete.
• Old SH1 is closed at the section north of Makahuri - formerly known as Marycrest - to upgrade that part of the road and install a new safe crossing for users of the shared path. A detour is in place via Te Horo Beach Road and Te Hapua Road until the end of March, weather dependent.



Southern area

•  The final layer of asphalt (EMOGPA) has been laid at the southern tie-in where the PP2Ō Expressway meets the Mackays to Peka Peka section.
• The speed limit, which was temporarily reduced in that area to allow the works to be carried out, is now back to 100kph.



PP2Ō Expressway staff – monthly share meeting

Every month we have a meeting to share information with project staff and support health and safety education.

This month we had a guest speaker covering off work safe processes in the event of an incident, which was highly informative. Some good news stories were also shared, including some of the significant environmental undertakings which helped make the expressway a success.

In brief, 22 streams were permanently realigned, 21 streams were temporarily diverted and more than 12,500 fish were safely relocated!



More information


For more information on the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway, contact us at 0800 7726 4636 or email

Visit our website