What to expect on Waikato and BoP state highways this holiday season


Motorists planning a festive holiday trip in the Waikato or Bay of Plenty are urged to plan ahead, drive with care and be aware of construction sites on state highways on their travels.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency work sites will close from 23 December to 5 January to leave the roads clear for holiday traffic, but there may still be temporary speed limits and road cones at some work sites or where there has been recent road resurfacing.

“Traffic management, such as temporary speed limits, signs and cones, is used to alert road users to a change in the road or to works ahead, so look out for the signs and take care in the run up to Christmas and during the holiday period,” says Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships Steve Mutton.

“It’s particularly important that motorists remain patient and don’t try to overtake while our crews set up and take down traffic management signs and cones. When motorists disregard the traffic management, they put their safety, that of other road users and our road workers at risk.

“Speeding through work sites is a significant problem. Speeding vehicles can flick up loose metal and other objects which are a danger to road workers and other road users. Motorists also have less control at higher speeds. They may clip road cones and send them flying at our road workers or oncoming traffic or lose control completely.

“There will be some holiday congestion and delays, and we all need to factor that into our plans. Trying to ‘make up lost time’ by speeding and unsafe overtaking puts everyone using the road at risk. Speed is a factor in every crash. Even when it isn’t the direct cause, it can be the difference between someone walking away unharmed or being seriously injured or even killed. For everyone’s safety, please slow down.”

Improving safety on New Zealand roads is a top priority for Waka Kotahi. We are committed to Vision Zero, which aspires to a New Zealand where no-one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. 

With fewer people travelling overseas because of COVID-19 this year, the Christmas-New Year holiday period is expected to be a very busy time on Waikato and Bay of Plenty roads. Work sites to look out for include:


  • State Highway 4, north of Raurimu: 70km/h temporary speed limit due to uneven road surface.
  • State Highway 25A, between Kopu and Hikuai: 60km/h temporary speed limit due to uneven road surface.
  • State Highway 25A/State Highway 26 intersection, Kopu: 50km/h temporary speed limit due to temporary roundabout.
  • SH26/Avenue Road intersection, Morrinsville: 50km/h temporary speed limit due to temporary roundabout.
  • State Highway 32, southwest of Tokoroa: 70km/h temporary speed limit due to uneven road surface.
  • State Highway 39, south of Ngahinapouri: 50km/h temporary speed limit and cones at Mangaotama Stream Bridge to protect the bridge deck ahead of replacement.
  • State Highway 41, between Ngapuke and Kuratau: 50 km/h temporary speed limit due to road reseal site paused for holiday break.
  • SH41, east of Ngapuke: 60km/h temporary speed limit due to uneven road surface.
  • Hamilton section, Waikato Expressway: 50km/h temporary speed limit where the Hamilton section joins the existing SH1 at Tamahere.
  • State Highway 3, Awakino Tunnel Bypass: 30km/h and 70km/h temporary speed limits due to temporary diversions and traffic lights in place at the Awakino Tunnel end of site.

Bay of Plenty

  • State Highway 2 and State Highway 34, Eastern Bay of Plenty: Possible temporary speed limits, cones and lane shifts or shoulder closures for maintenance works.
  • SH2, Waihi to Omokoroa safety improvements: Temporary speed limits, shoulder closures, barriers and cones will remain in place at various sites within the project corridor.
  • SH2/State Highway 29A, Bay Link: Temporary speed limits will remain in place through the site.
  • State Highway 30, Rotorua Eastern Corridor Stage One: 30km/h temporary speed limit at the Tarawera Road intersection due to the temporary roundabout. Possible shoulder closures or stockpiles of road cones in grassed areas.
  • State Highway 33, Te Ngae Junction to Paengaroa safety improvements: Possible 70km/h temporary speed limit between Okere Falls Bridge and Maniatutu Road.


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