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Nine reasons for safer journeys between Napier and Gisborne


Nobody likes getting stuck behind a slow moving vehicle for a long time, and it can lead to unsafe and potentially fatal manoeuvres.

So it will be a relief for many motorists that today’s completion of nine passing opportunities on State Highway 2 between Napier and Gisborne means those frustrations will be less of a constant feature of journeys on this important interregional lifeline.

Work is now complete on a $4 million project to give drivers on State Highway 2 between Napier and Gisborne an extra 2 kilometres of passing opportunities. The NZ Transport Agency has built five new and extended four existing passing opportunities on this stretch of road, and today the Agency joined Gisborne MP Hon AnneTolley to celebrate this milestone.

Highway Manager Chuck Dowdell says the project was made possible by a special Crown contribution covering the cost of the project to enable it to proceed as quickly as possible.

“State Highway 2 is the lifeline that connects our region for locals, tourists, and freight. By providing a multitude of safer passing opportunities, we people can co-exist on the road with less frustration, get where they need to go with minimal delay, and get there in one piece.

“Freight is more than just trucks and truck drivers. It’s how we move the goods that we all rely on for our lives and livelihoods. By providing improved passing opportunities, State Highway 2 becomes better placed to help grow the local economy while also providing a more efficient and safe route for residents, holidaymakers and truckies.

“The public are always telling us they want more passing opportunities, and we’re delighted that we can give them more places to safely overtake slow moving vehicles. This project will help reduce driver frustration and keep drivers and their passengers safe as they travel around the region.”

Mr Dowdell also said that, with Easter and School holidays almost upon us, now is a good time for drivers to brush up on the rules when using a passing opportunity to overtake:

  1. Keep left. If your speed is slowing down the flow of traffic, get as far to the left as you can and let the traffic behind you pass. If there’s a slow vehicle bay ahead, you should move into it as soon as it is safe to do so. A good rule of thumb is not to let more than four vehicles build up behind you, and always keep left when towing. Letting faster vehicles pass you and using the slow vehicle lanes is considerate—but is also the law.
  2. Don’t speed up when you reach a passing lane/opportunity. Research shows that this is one of the most annoying things you can do to other drivers (along with running red lights and tailgating). It’s human nature to speed up at passing lanes and opportunities, because the road widens and you instinctively feel safer, but don’t do it. Be alert to the number of vehicles behind you and let them pass when you reach the passing lane—that’s what it’s there for!
  3. When the passing lane or opportunity ends, merge like a zip. Whichever lane you’re in, show you want to merge by putting on your indicator for at least three seconds and adjust your speed and following distance. If you are in the slow lane, be aware of overtaking drivers as you reach the end. As an overtaking driver, make sure you complete your manoeuvre well before the opportunity ends – pass early, not late, or wait for the next one.
    As well as the new passing opportunities, the Transport Agency will increase its monitoring of the impact of heavy traffic on the condition of the road. The National Land Transport Programme has also allocated $9 to $10 million over the current three year period to improve the condition of the highway.

For more travel and traffic information in the Napier and Gisborne area see our roadworks map in Hawke’s Bay Today, ring 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or sign up for email alerts at

To see what’s happening on our state highways (both locally and all around New Zealand), please visit link) or ring 0800 4 HIGHWAYS.

And to find out more about making all your journeys safer, please visit link)

For more information please contact:

Anthony Frith
Media Manager – Central
NZ Transport Agency

T: 04 894 5251
M: 027 213 7617

The NZ Transport Agency works to create transport solutions for all New Zealanders - from helping new drivers earn their licences, to leading safety campaigns to investing in public transport, state highways and local roads.