Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

SH2 Wairarapa highway improvements

21 September 2023


Major milestone achieved for Masterton to Carterton safety improvements

Welcome to the September newsletter for the SH2 Masterton to Carterton safety improvement project.

After more than a year of work, the dust is about to settle – so to speak! 

The start of September saw the bulk of the infrastructure construction works completed and most of the road cones and traffic management removed. The smoother run for road users will be welcome, particularly for those entering the highway from side roads and into the three new roundabouts.

We’re encouraging drivers to take extra care now that most of the traffic management has been removed, as adjusting to a new road layout takes time.

At this point in the project, an independent road safety audit is completed. It’s an important part of the overall sign-off process.

A 70 km/h speed limit along the highway, and a 50km/h speed limit zone near the turnaround bay at Clareville and nearby rest area, will remain in place until after any necessary works have been completed.

A road safety audit is a routine project requirement and it’s done to assess whether any minor safety tasks need to be completed before the project’s formal sign off. The audit was done mid-month and the following report will be closed out, as a priority.

Until the final surfacing is completed late this year, contractors will monitor the road surface and ensure any problems are fixed as quickly as possible and attend to any new actions from the audit’s findings. All traffic management will be removed only when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Following this step, the only remaining tasks ahead are laying the road’s final top seal and refreshing the painted line marking. This needs to be done when the weather is warmer and drier. Weather is always an unknown factor, so if the temperatures are good and conditions are dry – the work will take about two to three weeks to complete.

We’ll keep Wairarapa residents updated before any work starts and keep you informed until the project is fully completed.



A quick recap of what’s been achieved

  • The construction of three major roundabouts and associated traffic islands.
  • Drivers entering State Highway 2 from East Taratahi, Wiltons, Norfolk, and Ngaumutawa Roads, now have brand new purpose-designed roundabouts. This makes entry onto the State Highway easier, safer, and quicker.
  • A new turnaround bay at Clareville. A safe place for drivers to turn into and stop before heading north on the highway without crossing two lanes of traffic. It’s designed for easy use for many different sizes and shapes of vehicles, including large trucks and tractors.
  • Wire-rope median barriers and widening of the road along the highway.

During the building phase on the Norfolk Road roundabout.


Thank you!

The entire project team is grateful for the patience and understanding shown by local residents and road users during the project’s construction phase, and a very special thank you must be given to those who live along the route.

We acknowledge that the temporary speed limits, traffic management and rough road surfaces were disruptive. We’ve done all we can to minimise this during the main works phase.

All the different teams have been appreciative of your support. We’ve ended up with a significantly safer road corridor for people travelling between Carterton and Masterton, and those entering the busy highway from some rural roads via the new roundabouts.

To everyone who’s given our workers a wave, a thumbs up, or a friendly toot along the way – thanks enormously - those acts of kindness were noticed and valued by all the team.

Building the Ngaumutawa Road roundabout during night works.


New videos show crash avoidance features – Rightcar

A new video series about the key crash avoidance features to look for in a vehicle has just been launched on Rightcar.

In the animated videos we join ‘Sam’ on a journey to discover more about a range of electronic crash avoidance features which can all help save lives and reduce injuries by automatically assisting drivers when needed.

Each of the videos acknowledges anyone can make mistakes when driving, before explaining how a specific crash avoidance features works. This is typically by detecting people’s mistakes, such as speeding or drifting out of a lane, or detecting something in the path of the vehicle, such as another car, and alerting or assisting the driver if they don’t act.

The nine safety features chosen for the videos include automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist systems, selected due to their potential to prevent the most common crash types in Aotearoa.

You’re welcome to watch and share the crash avoidance features and while you’re on Rightcar, check the safety rating and crash avoidance features of your current car. Remember, to save lives and reduce injuries on our roads we need everyone making safe choices, in safe vehicles, on safe roads and travelling at safe speeds.

Watch the videos here.



More information


If you know anyone who might be interested in these updates, they can sign up on this webpage here.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback you can get in touch by phone on 0800 353 824 or email us at SH2Wairarapa@nzta.govt.nz.

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