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SH1 Whangārei to Port Marsden Highway safety improvements project update
8 November 2021

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Toetoe Road looking south.


Project update - November 2021

Kia ora,

As you’ll be aware, we are currently investigating ways to make SH1 between Whangārei and Port Marsden Highway safer and more forgiving of human error.

You may remember in 2020 we asked the community about this corridor and received lots of feedback about safety. This feedback is helping us to develop the safety improvements project further.

This month, we want to share some of the things we know about safety along this stretch of highway based on previous feedback and ensure we capture any feedback we may have missed during earlier rounds of consultation.

Please read on to find out more about what we’ve learned and how you can share your thoughts.


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Find out more about the project and share your thoughts

Share your thoughts with us today. Feedback will be open until Sunday 28 November 2021.

State Highway 1 between Whangārei and Port Marsden Highway is a critical route for Northland. Between 13,000 and 25,000 vehicles use the road each day.

The route has high traffic volumes and in places it’s windy, steep and difficult to safely turn into driveways and local roads.

In the past 10 years, 22 people have lost their lives and 73 people have been seriously injured in crashes along this stretch of highway.

Most of the crashes have been caused either by head-on collisions or by people turning onto or off the highway. While people can make mistakes while driving, we believe no one should have to pay with their life.

The Whangārei to Port Marsden Highway Safety Improvements project aims to make the road safer and more forgiving of human error to help prevent further crashes or reduce the impact of crashes and ensure people get to their destination safely.

We’ve put together an interactive digital map that details some of the safety concerns along the highway based on crash statistics and community feedback.

Local knowledge provides us with valuable insights into high risk areas where non-reported crashes, including regular ‘near-miss’ events and other safety issues have occurred.

Visit the digital map and share your feedback.



Whangārei to Wellsford Safety Improvements – Central section

As part of our commitment to the government’s road safety stategy ‘Road to Zero’, we’re also delivering safety improvements south of Port Marsden Highway.

Planning and design of the central section is currently underway. The first stage of delivery is a section of safety treatments that require minimal change to the existing state highway, between Port Marsden Highway and the northern base of the Brynderwyn Hills.

We are currently engaging with key stakeholders, affected landowners and the Ruakaka and Waipu communities to gather feedback on our proposed designs, including changes to three SH1 intersections at Waipu. The safety improvement works are dependent on funding approval.

Keep an eye on the website in the coming weeks to find out more about the proposed designs and how to share your thoughts.

Visit the website.

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Safer speeds

In addition to these safety improvements, we are reviewing the current speed limits on nine state highways across Northland, including this corridor, to make sure they are safe and appropriate for the environment. Regardless of the cause of a crash, speed is most likely to determine whether anyone is killed, injured or walks away unharmed.

Earlier this year, we engaged with communities in Northland to help us get feedback and local knowledge on how the highway is used and what the main concerns are. The next steps are to formally consult on any proposed speed limit changes.

You can expect to hear more about this in 2022.

Find out more about safer speeds.