Holidaymakers to Taranaki urged to plan ahead


As summer draws nearer and people flock to Taranaki for the season’s festivities, Waka Kotahi is reminding road users to take care through our road works and project sites.

The summer maintenance season is in full swing and State Highway 3 and 43 are a hive of activity with work to improve the resilience and the safety of the network.

Essential maintenance work and a number of ongoing infrastructure projects underway on SH3 between New Plymouth and Te Kuiti, as well as SH43 between Whangamomona and Taumarunui, means traffic cones, traffic management and hi-vis vests are a common site on the network at the moment.

Waka Kotahi Manawatū-Whanganui and Taranaki System Manager Liesl Dawson says delays during summer works can be frustrating but there’s a good reason they happen now.

“It’s important these permanent works and resurfacing are carried out during warm, dry weather. The same work isn’t as effective in the colder, wetter months.”

“As always, while travelling, please drive to the conditions, and be aware of possible delays, temporary traffic management, and lower speeds in some places.

“Making sure road users and contractors remain safe at work sites is our top priority and that’s why it’s crucial motorists follow sign posted speed limits.

“The lower speeds are in place to protect drivers, onsite crews and people’s vehicles. Contractors make a point of regularly sweeping loose chip from work sites, but keeping to the sign posted speeds minimises the risk of damage from any loose chip that may remain. In addition to that, there are often new road layouts through work sites, and those lower speeds help people better navigate the change.

“By keeping up to date with our interactive Journey Planner, you can minimise your delays and make the most of your destination,” says Ms Dawson.

Current project sites on SH3 include:

  • New Plymouth to Hāwera Safety Improvements Project
  • Te Ara Tūtohu: Waitara to Bell Block Safety Improvements
  • Te Ara o Te Ata – Mt Messenger Bypass

Current maintenance work sites on SH3 include:

  • Tongapōrutu north of Hutiwai Road

    Crews continue work at Tongapōrutu, north of Hutiwai Road to complete guardrail and asphalt repairs. This work is expected to finish up on 2 November, weather permitting.

    This area of the network was damaged in November 2022 when heavy rainfall caused an under slip causing damage to the road. Crews have since reinstated the road by installing a retaining wall and rebuilding the road pavement last month.

    The site will be under stop/go traffic controls, with delays of approximately 5-10 minutes. Crews will be on site from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.

  • Rangikura between Nicholas Road South and Kokako Road

    Crews are working on pavement rehabilitation works at Rangikura between Nicholas South and Kokako Roads until mid-December. The work involves stabilising the existing pavement with cement and overlaying with new aggregate, before sealing to waterproof the road.

    Crews will be onsite 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday during these works. The site will be under stop/go traffic controls during the day, with delays of approximately 10-15 minutes.

  • Tariki between Surrey and Rugby Road

    Crews are completing repairs at Tariki between Surrey and Rugby Roads until early December. Crews are first completing drainage repairs in the area before reconstructing the slow lane of the northbound passing lane.

    Traffic will continue to flow in both directions under a temporary speed limit of 30km/h. Crews will be onsite 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday during these works, with delays of approximately 5-10 minutes.

  • Uruti, north of Mangamaio Road

    Crews are completing slip repairs at Uruti, north of Mangamaio Road until mid-to-late December. The work includes the installation of rock mesh protection to improve the safety and resilience of this slip-prone area of the network.

    Crews will be onsite from 6am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.  Stop/go traffic controls, with traffic being held in both directions at times (stop/stop), with delays of approximately 20-30 minutes for the duration of construction.   
  • Tāngarākau Gorge, SH43

    Crews are sealing a 12 kilometre stretch of the Forgotten World Highway – SH43 through the gorge.

    From mid-October until mid-December, daily road closures will be placed through the gorge Monday – Friday between 9am and midday and 1pm and 3pm. The road will be open at midday so people can travel through.