New motorway will improve travel between Northland and Auckland

The NZ Transport Agency says the proposed route for a new road between Warkworth and Wellsford announced today will make traveling between Northland and Auckland safer, faster and easier.

It has shared an Indicative Route for the Warkworth to Wellsford section of the Ara Tūhono Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance.

'Building an off-line motorway, completely separate from the existing State Highway 1 will improve safety, reduce congestion and support Northland’s economic growth,' says Ernst Zollner the Transport Agency’s Northland Director.

'Removing sharp bends, providing better passing opportunities and a dual carriageway to separate north and southbound traffic will improve safety and is predicted to reduce the fatal and serious injury crash rate by 80% through this area.'

Due to the natural environment through the Dome Valley, State Highway 1 is susceptible to flooding, slips and ongoing repairs. The location of the new motorway, to the west of the Dome Forest, will provide a reliable alternate route between Northland and Auckland.

The Indicative Route ties into the local road network helping to connect local communities.

It joins the Pūhoi to Warkworth section of motorway near Kaipara Flats Road. It will then travel on the western side of the Dome Valley until it reaches the Hoteo River where it will cross eastwards over the existing SH1 to an interchange proposed at Wayby Valley Road in Wellsford. Another motorway interchange is proposed near Mangawhai Road, with the motorway then meeting the existing State Highway 1 north of Vipond Road.

“Once the motorway is built travel will also be safer for local road users because 90% of regional traffic, especially heavy traffic, can avoid townships making their main streets safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.”

The Indicative Route will be shared with the public for their feedback which will help further refine the route. If the route is confirmed it will be taken forward for consenting and route protection by 2018.

More information about the project is available on our website from 18 February, and comments and feedback can be made at link) or by visiting one of the five public information days, to be held at the following times and locations:

Warkworth Masonic Hall

Baxter Street, Warkworth

Saturday 18 Feb 11-3pm

Wellsford District Community Centre

Matheson Road, Wellsford

Tuesday 21 Feb 3-7pm


Warkworth Masonic Hall

Baxter Street, Warkworth

Thursday 23 Feb 3-7pm

Wellsford District Community Centre

Matheson Road, Wellsford

Saturday 25 Feb 11-3pm

Te Hana Hall

Whakapirau Road, Te Hana

Tuesday  28 Feb 3-7pm

The Warkworth to Wellsford section is the second stage of the Ara Tūhono Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance.

It supports the Government’s objective of establishing transport solutions to grow and support the Northland economy by connecting communities and moving freight efficiently.

Protecting the route is an important first step towards improving the Auckland to Whangarei corridor.  Decisions about when the motorway will be constructed will be made as part of the process of developing national and regional land transport plans.