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Project introduction

The Ōtaki to north of Levin project is the northernmost section of the Wellington Northern Corridor and will improve the safety and resilience of the transport network connecting Ōtaki and Levin, and continue the strategic and economic link to central New Zealand.

  • Estimated project cost

    $100+ million
  • Project type

    Roads of National Significance
  • Project status


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The NZ Transport Agency is investigating a new state highway which will help solve the safety and resilience problems associated with sections of State Highway 1 (SH1) and State Highway 57 (SH57).

This project is part of the Wellington Northern Corridor. The proposed new state highway would tie in with the yet to be completed Kāpiti Expressway and extend to just north of Levin, including a bypass of Levin Town Centre.  A higher quality route will enhance road safety, allow quicker journeys and connections between the main freight hubs of Wellington (and the South Island) with regions to the north and east, such as Palmerston North and Hawke’s Bay.

Project update

The NZ Transport Agency released the shortlisted corridor options for public consultation on 5 February 2018. The consultation period closed on 23 March 2018 and the project team is now analysing the feedback received. Thank you to everyone who took the time to chat with the project team and send us their feedback.

What’s going on?

Over the past three years we have developed staged plans to improve the state highway network that have been consistent with our long term objective to develop a four-lane expressway to Levin.

We have delivered safety improvements in Ōhau and Manakau. Initial monitoring of these improvements indicates the vast majority of traffic is now travelling at a speed more suitable for the area.

Work on the Wellington Northern Corridor is progressing and by 2020 an expressway will extend from Wellington to Ōtaki.  To the north of Levin the replacement of the Whirokino Trestle and Manawatū River Bridge is expected to be complete by 2019 opening up this route to all High Productivity Motor Vehicles, which will increase freight traffic (trucks) on this route.

Working with the community

We want to ensure that our plans allow for potential increases in transport demands, integrate with Horowhenua District Council’s plans for the district, and take into account issues and constraints associated with the project. 

We are working closely with local councils in the Horowhenua and Kāpiti districts and are engaging closely with key stakeholders and community groups.

In June 2017, we sought the community’s view on the values, interests, issues and constraints associated with the Ōtaki to north of Levin project and in early 2018 we will seek more public feedback.  The results of the previous round of consultation [PDF, 5.8 MB] are being used to help develop corridor options for the project.

The next round of public engagement for the Ōtaki to north of Levin project began on 5 February 2018 and provides our project partners, stakeholders and local community with an opportunity to review the shortlist of proposed options and contribute to the selection of a preferred corridor.

It's anticipated a recommended corridor option will be put to the Transport Agency Board in mid-2018.

Project Contacts

Ōtaki to north of Levin project team –
More contact info
  • Phone: 0508 625 4636

  • Alternatively you can write to us:
    Ōtaki to north of Levin project team
    Freepost 225938
    PO Box 5084, Thorndon
    Wellington 6145