Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway


31 January 2023


Kia ora

Happy new year and welcome to 2023!

After an incredible push from the team to get the expressway open before Christmas, our attention has turned to completing works on local roads and other outstanding tasks for the project. As most of you will have seen, we’ve been busy completing the southern tie-in to the Mackays to Peka Peka (M2PP) section of expressway which involves final road surfacing and line marking. This was the work we deferred until now so we could get the road open before Christmas.

Chris Hunt

We’ll soon be commencing local road works at the northern end now that the bulk of traffic is using the expressway.

We’re also continuing work on:
• the shared path (and will endeavour to get this open as soon as we possibly can once it’s safe to do so)
• the painting of the Ōtaki Pink carnation, featuring the handprints of local students, within the shared path underpass
• landscaping works around the gateway sculptures
• our destination signage to encourage motorists to stop over in Ōtaki (more on this further down).

After almost three years on the project, I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on. When I reflect back on this period, it’s certainly not been an easy journey but I’m extremely proud of what we’ve managed to achieve collectively and – based on the feedback I’ve received over the last month – we’ve managed to deliver an expressway everyone is pleased with.

With my departure, I welcome Steve Findlay (the current Construction Manager) who will replace me as Project Director and Justin Hall (Project Manager, Infrastructure) who will be stepping into Steve’s Construction Manager role - both Steve and Justin have been on the project longer than I have.

Finally, I’d like to thank my whole team who have supported me along the way and also you, the community, for the collaboration you’ve shown working with us to deliver a legacy for Ōtaki and the wider region.

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
Chris Hunt, Project Director



Old State Highway 1 to close just north of Makahuri for works

Between 7 February and 20 March (weather dependent), a detour will be in place for north and southbound traffic on old State Highway 1 (SH1) just north of Makahuri - formerly known as Marycrest. This is to enable construction of permanent tie-in works between local arterial roads and old SH1.

Depending on direction of travel, this will require traffic to detour off old SH1 and use either Te Hapua Road (to the north) or Te Horo Beach Road (to the south), then rejoin SH1 past the closure.

Over the six-week period, works will include:
• rebuilding the tie-ins between old SH1 and local roads
• completing the shared pathway
• rebuilding the entranceway to the Makahuri underpass
• installing pedestrian traffic lights
• building a new rail crossing
• completing private accessways and sealing.

Most works will be completed over this period to minimise how long the disruption will be in place. Some further minor works will continue beyond that timeframe, but these will only require road shoulder closures.



Shared path – safety first for the community

The first quarter of 2023 will be busy for the team as they work to complete the 10km shared path which is a significant project in itself. 

A lot of work has to go into constructing a crossing for the path over the old SH1 by Makahuri with the safety of those who use the path being paramount.

For this reason, a comprehensive road safety audit of the path was undertaken pre-Christmas which provided further recommendations for works needed. On completion of these works, we’ll carry out a further audit to ensure all safety concerns have been addressed.

Once fully finished and open, the shared path will be a fantastic asset which is safe for everyone to use.

You can see a section of the shared path to the left of the Expressway in the photo below.



Working with local businesses

The expressway project team has worked with several businesses over the years including The Milk Station - a wedding and conference venue nestled between the centre of Ōtaki and the rural area around Rahui Road.

The Milk Station’s owner – Lyndia Wood – has been working closely with our team regarding works to improve the area between The Milk Station and the expressway, in a way that’s sensitive to the history and theme of the venue and which will best enable its operations. Works have involved extensive landscaping, fencing and paving in the area.

The venue was previously a council-owned milk station in the district, called The Rahui Milk Treatment Plant, a hub of social and business activity. Known as a big employer where milk was collected, processed and bottled, it produced milk for consumption in the days of the recyclable glass bottle, as well as cream and butter.

Lyndia, who bought the place in the mid-1980s, has transformed it into a Mediterranean/European-inspired events venue.  While it’s a far cry from its Rahui Milk Treatment Plant days, the original buildings – while having been renovated – remain.

Managed by Lyndia’s son-in-law Norbert Koptisch, it’s now a location for conferences, weddings and everything in between.  This provides wide-ranging benefits for the Ōtaki community, such as local catering suppliers providing food and beverage for events and visitors to the venue potentially shopping/eating in the Ōtaki township.

We look forward to finishing the works by The Milk Station in the near future and thank the venue, as well as other local businesses, for their patience during the project.

Looking northwest over the expressway, the photos below show how works have progressed over the years to transform the area around The Milk Station.



How to use the expressway

You’ll probably have read the descriptions of how to access the expressway in our last two newsletters.

If you want to look at the information again, it’s all available on this webpage. Or refer to our PP2Ō Expressway map to view the entire route. This map is also included in our brochure which can be picked up in hard copy from our information centre located at 216 Main Highway, Ōtaki (open 9-5pm Monday – Friday, Saturday 9am-4pm and Sunday 10am-4pm).

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 14 February, Ōtaki College (members only).



Upcoming construction milestones: Northern area

• Local road works and laying of stormwater pipelines.
• Ōtaki Main North Road and County Road footpaths and kerbs with landscaping continuing at Pare-o-Matangi reserve.



Central area

•   Jim Winiata Way cul-de-sac completed and topsoil laid along the bridleway.
•   Painting of the mural in the pedestrian underpass continues.
•   Landscaping of the areas by the southern and northern gateway sculptures.



Southern area

•   Laying of EMOGPA (the top layer of asphalt) at the southern tie-in at Peka Peka.



Ōtaki - experience our manaakitanga

New Ōtaki destination signage is nearing completion and will encourage people to stop over in the town, whether that be for a cultural experience or retail and hospitality.

The signs will be installed at the northern and southern entrances to Ōtaki - the sign at the southern end of Ōtaki features hospitality imagery, while the one at the northern end features people and culture.

Recently we had photos taken for the sign at the northern end – the final picture we used on the sign is shown below, along with a photo of the picture being taken at the Raukawa Marae on Mill Road in Ōtaki.



PP2Ō Expressway staff get re-inducted to site for 2023

Once a month we get together early in the morning for Health and Safety training. This month, the team participated in a site re-induction for 2023 along with exercises on life-saving rules and ‘blind spot’ activities.

Frontline staff led a discussion on the main critical risks for 2023, with the aim of informing the team about how they can manage health and safety better on site.

Some great presentations and messages were shared with everyone, including the need to make sure we’re sun smart during these hot summer days.



More information


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

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