Consents granted for Manawatū Tararua Highway project


Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway project has officially been given the green light for construction, with the main works resource consents granted by the Environment Court on Friday.

“We’re pleased to receive the Environment Court decision to grant resource consents for the project,” Owner Interface Manager Lonnie Dalzell says.

“This is a significant milestone towards delivering the much-needed replacement to the Manawatū Gorge route that’s been closed since 2017, and we’re looking forward to construction starting in January next year.

“Te Ahu a Turanga will restore a crucial link that supports the needs of our communities, travellers and businesses across the North Island. The new road will be safe, resilient and efficient for all users, and will have a separated shared path for walkers and cyclists.

“It will also help boost our local economy, and create and support jobs. We are currently recruiting people to fill a range of roles, including drivers, operators, carpenters, labourers and team leaders, and expect that a large proportion of people employed on the project will be from within the region.

“There will be a big focus on protecting the environment as much as possible and we’ll be working closely with iwi, local government and other key partners to ensure a positive environmental and cultural legacy,” Mr Dalzell says.

Waka Kotahi is holding public information sessions starting this week for people to see the latest animated flyover video and chat with experts from the team about progress on the project.

Experts from our project whanau will be on-hand with a display of carefully selected plants that will be used throughout the project. The project expects to plant up to two million plants over the course of construction.

The first drop-in sessions were held on Tuesday and Wednesday this week in Woodville and Dannevirke. The next drop-in sessions are being held on:

  • 19 November - Bush MultiSport Park Pahīatua, 4pm-6pm
  • 25 November - Village Valley Centre Ashhurst, 4pm-6pm
  • 2 December - Palmerston North Plaza, 9am-5pm

Those who can’t make a session but want to keep up with the latest highway news can sign up for email updates on the project website

More information sessions will be run as the project progresses.

For people planning travel over the Saddle Road over the festive period, check the Waka Kotahi Facebook page for traffic updates link)

Waka Kotahi would also like to advise people of changes to the current western Manawatū Gorge car park. We are creating a temporary car park to be accessed from SH3 Napier Road. The current car park is needed as a base for construction of the project’s bridge over the Manawatū River.

This will be of similar size to the existing car park (about 3,500 square metres) and, weather-permitting, Waka Kotahi aims to have it open by the end of November. The existing car park will be closed at that time.

The temporary car park will be in place until the bridge is completed and the site cleared in 2024. The new car park and gateway will then be reopened for public use.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: