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Project introduction

The Southern Links project aims to develop an effective transport network of state highway and urban arterial routes to support Hamilton’s planned growth. The route has been designated but the project is still in early stages of development and no decision has been made about construction timeframes

  • Estimated project cost

    $100 million +
  • Project type

    Road management
  • Project status

    Investigation

Project updates

Project update - June 2017
Project updates, (PDF)
Project update - July 2015
Project updates, (PDF)
Southern Links commissioners release findings
Media release,
Southern Links submissions open today
Media release,

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Purpose

To ensure that future state highway routes are well integrated with the local arterial road network, and to allow for planned growth in the city.

Benefits

The main aim of the project is to plan for the long-term needs of the city, particularly the projected growth and development in the Peacocke, Tamahere and Hamilton Airport area. Identifying and protecting the future transport network will enable good long-term planning to be carried out for the city.

The NZ Transport Agency and Hamilton City Council (HCC) are working together to ensure that the future state highway routes will be well integrated with local roads, and the planned residential and industrial developments. When constructed the Southern Links project will reduce congestion, improve safety on SH1 and SH3 in the Hillcrest and Melville suburbs of Hamilton, improve freight flows and be a key part of the city’s urban arterial network integrated into the HCC Access Hamilton Strategy.

Southern Links will also complement the Waikato Expressway by providing the main southern access linking Hamilton city and the expressway.

About the project

Southern Links is a $600 million transport network of state highway and urban arterial routes linking SH1 from Kahikatea Drive in Hamilton to the Waikato Expressway at Tamahere and SH3 from Hamilton Airport to central and east Hamilton. 

The project ties in with the projected growth and development in the Peacocke, Tamahere and Hamilton Airport areas.

In 2013 the route protection designations were lodged by the NZ Transport Agency and Hamilton City Council with the relevant councils.  At the same time, resource consent applications to Waikato Regional Council for the key new bridges over the Waikato River and Mangakotukutuku Stream were also lodged.

More than 80 submissions were received and a hearing was held before four independent commissioners in 2014.

The commissioners later issued their recommendations to the Transport Agency, and decision to Hamilton City Council, on their respective parts of the project.  The recommendations/decision were to confirm the designations and approve the resource consent applications, subject to conditions, with a lapse period of 20 years.

The Transport Agency made its decisions on the Commissioner’s recommendations in December 2014 and two appeals were lodged with the Environment Court. The appeals were resolved by negotiation between the parties, with the subsequent Designations being included in the Waipa District Plan on 1 June 2016 and in the Waikato District Plan on 18 August 2016.

Southern Links is still at an early stage of development and no decision has been made about construction. The Transport Agency does not currently have funding allocated for the project. Getting the designations in place protects the network so it can be built when required in the future.

  • Project background

    The NZ Transport Agency and Hamilton City Council (HCC) commenced a joint investigation of the proposed Southern Links project in September 2010. The investigation took nearly three years to complete, to get to the formal Resource Management Act stage.

    The Southern Links project has been integrated into the Waikato region's Future Proof strategy, which aims to optimise the planning of land use, regional growth and key infrastructure in and around Hamilton. Future Proof is a partnership between Waikato Regional Council, HCC, the Waikato and Waipa District councils and Iwi, with the Transport Agency as a key stakeholder.

    Identifying and protecting the future transport network will enable good long-term planning to be carried out.

    This project sees the NZ Transport Agency and HCC working together to ensure that the future state highway routes will be well integrated with local roads and the planned residential and industrial developments. When constructed the Southern Links project will reduce congestion, improve safety on SH1 and SH3 in the Hillcrest and Melville suburbs of Hamilton, improve freight flows and be a key part of the city’s urban arterial network.

    Southern Links will also complement the Waikato Expressway by providing the main southern access linking Hamilton. The network will provide better linkage and access across and in and out of Hamilton and surrounding districts for all motorists. And it supports and enables the local growth strategy by providing efficient movement of vehicles and freight around the Waikato region.

    Those benefits include stimulating the economy, improving journeys by reducing travel times, improving road safety and reducing congestion.

    In August 2013 the Transport Agency and HCC lodged the route protection applications with the relevant councils (Waipa District, Waikato District and Hamilton City). The route protection applications are called a Notice of Requirement.

    At the same time, resource consent applications to Waikato Regional Council for the key new bridges over the Waikato River and Mangakotukutuku Stream on the network were also lodged.

    The Notices of Requirement and resource consent applications for the Southern Links network and the key bridges were publicly notified for submissions on 29 January 2014. The applications were heard by independent commissioners in mid-2014.

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  • Appeals

    Three appeals were received as the process continued to secure the route of the Southern Links transport network near Hamilton. These have now been resolved by mediation.

    After a hearing in 2014, when more than 80 people made submissions, the four independent commissioners recommended route designations be confirmed with a 20-year lapse period. They also attached a range of conditions that must be complied with. 

    The designations were lodged by the NZ Transport Agency and Hamilton City Council with the relevant councils (Waipa District, Waikato District and Hamilton City).  Resource consent applications to Waikato Regional Council for the key new bridges over the Waikato River and Mangakotukutuku Stream were also approved.

    Hearing details and the decisions can found on the Waipa District Council website (external link) (external link) .

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Project Contacts

Simon Brandon – Simon.Brandon@nzta.govt.nz
More contact info
  • Communication, Consultation and Property Liaison Manager
    NZ Transport Agency
    Phone 07 9587888

Hamilton City Council
More contact info
  • For inquiries and contacts within Hamilton city please refer to the Hamilton City Council website: http://bit.ly/2acz35W

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