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Project Introduction

The Warkworth to Wellsford project is the second section of Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance. The project is in an investigation phase with lodgement of consents currently planned for late-2017.

  • Project type

    Roads of National Significance
  • Project status

    Investigation

Project updates

Warkworth to Wellsford Factsheet 2017
Factsheets, (PDF)
Warkworth to Wellsford Project Update - February 2017
Project updates, (PDF)
Public Information Days - February 2017
Newsletters, (PDF)
Warkworth to Wellsford Project Newsletter — July 2016
Project updates, (PDF)

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About this project

The Warkworth to Wellsford project is the second stage of Ara Tūhono Pūhoi to Wellsford - one of the seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS). The RoNS are essential state highways that the Government has identified that require upgrading to reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and support economic growth in New Zealand. Stage One of the RoNS between Pūhoi and Warkworth will shortly commence construction of a four lane divided carriage motorway.

An off-line motorway, completely separate from the current SH1 remains the preferred long-term option between Warkworth and Wellsford and the Transport Agency is continuing to investigate this second stage of the RoNS.

The Indicative Route

The Indicative Route for Warkworth to Wellsford connects to the Pūhoi to Warkworth section to the northwest of Warkworth and heads north, crossing Woodcocks and Kaipara Flats Roads.

The new motorway will be located in a separate valley, to the west of the existing SH1, until it reaches the Hoteo River where it will head eastwards crossing over the existing SH1and Wayby Valley Road, with an interchange proposed at Wayby Valley Road.

The motorway then continues generally parallel to Wayby Valley Road, before turning northwards and crossing Rustybrook Road. As the motorway heads north it will cross local roads including Whangaripo Valley, Farmers Lime and Silver Hill roads, bypassing both Wellsford and Te Hana townships.

A further interchange is proposed near Mangawhai Road, with the motorway then connecting back into the existing SH1 to the north of Vipond Road.

Benefits

There will be a number of transport benefits as a result of the project including:

  • Improved travel time between Warkworth, Wellsford and Te Hana
  • Reduced heavy traffic on SH1 through Wellsford and Te Hana, with the removal of nearly 1000 heavy vehicles per day
  • Reduced congestion through the Wellsford main street
  • A high quality, safe new route with improved geometry and gradients
  • Efficient connection to the Warkworth and Wellsford town centres through well located and convenient interchanges
  • Improved corridor resilience through the provision of a reliable additional route separate to the existing SH1.

What happens next?

The finding of further investigations into the Warkworth to Wellsford Indicative Route will be considered alongside input from landowners, iwi, stakeholders and local communities to announce an Indicative Alignment in mid-2017.

Once we have an Indicative Alignment, the next step is to protect the area needed to construct the road by lodging a Notice of Requirement (NOR) and applying for the necessary resource consents.

The Transport Agency, on behalf of the NZ Government, is working to route protect by 2018 for future construction. To achieve this goal, we are intending on lodging the application in late-2017.

Project phase

  • Route investigation and community consultation (2010)

    The project team, working with consultants Sinclair Knight Merz (now Jacobs), completed a detailed study of the Pūhoi to Wellsford route.

    Community input was sought through two rounds of consultation. The first round of engagement was undertaken between 1 June and 16 August 2010. A lot of feedback was received and a map summarising feedback was prepared.

    As a result of this consultation, a decision was made by the Transport Agency to separate the project into two sections - Pūhoi to Warkworth and Warkworth to Wellsford.

    A second round of consultation on Pūhoi to Warkworth took place between 16 November 2010 and 28 January 2011, with feedback and subsequent information on the project available on the  Pūhoi to Warkworth webpage.

    Due to the difficult terrain in the Dome Valley and ground conditions near Wellsford, the Warkworth to Wellsford section of the project was put on hold in 2010, pending further investigation work.

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  • Identifying an Indicative Route (2016)

    Investigations into the Warkworth to Wellsford section recommenced in 2016 with a project  team, including members of the 2009-2010 Sinclair Knight Merz (now Jacobs) team, reviewing all previous investigations works undertaken to date.

    Comprehensive technical assessments of the original ‘long list’ of options is expected to take nine months to complete, with the expectation that these investigations will identify an Indicative Route to take forward for public consultation early-2017.

    Once identified, the indicative route will be discussed with all potentially affected landowners first, then presented to the wider communities of Warkworth and Wellsford for feedback.

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  • Obtaining statutory approvals (2017-2018)

    The finding of investigations into the Warkworth to Wellsford indicative route will be considered alongside input from landowners, iwi, stakeholders and local communities to announce a preferred route in 2017.

    Once we have a preferred route, the next step is to protect the area need to construct the road by lodging a Notice of Requirement (NOR) and applying for the necessary resource consents.

    The Transport Agency, on behalf of the NZ Government, is working to route protect by 2018. To achieve this goal, we are intending on lodging the application with either the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) or the Auckland Council in mid-late 2017.

    The community (and general public) will have the opportunity to formally make written submissions on the project and this includes the opportunity to present the contents of the submission to the appointed commissioners and/or an Environment Court judge for their consideration.

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Ara Tūhono partners

The project team is working closely with regional and iwi partners to deliver the Ara Tūhono - Warkworth to Wellsford project.

  • Auckland Council

    Auckland Council (external link) is responsible for planning and managing growth across the Auckland region including the towns of Pūhoi, Mahurangi West, Warkworth and Wellsford. The Auckland Plan outlines a 30-year vision to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city. 

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  • Auckland Transport

    Auckland Transport (external link) is responsible for all of Auckland’s transport services (excluding state highways) including roads, cycleways and walkways, bus, train and ferry services. They also co-ordinate road safety and community transport initiatives such as travel plans for workplaces and schools.

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Our partners on this project

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