Drive to the signposted speed

When the new motorway opens there may be temporary speed limits in place while the team work hard to fully complete the project. Make sure you always drive to the sign posted speed.

Leave a safe following distance

As a general rule, in good conditions you should always drive at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.

In other conditions (when the road is wet or slippery), you should allow four seconds between you and the vehicle in front.

If you’re joining the motorway at the Pūhoi southbound on-ramp, use the whole length of the merging lane to get up to speed, look for a gap, indicate and merge safely. If there is other traffic in the merging lane, make sure you leave a gap from the car in front so the merging lane can smoothly ‘merge like a zip’ with the flowing traffic.

If you’re already driving on the motorway, leave a gap for merging traffic. By leaving a gap, you’ll make it easier for traffic to flow smoothly and help avoid congestion.

Drive to the conditions

Make sure you adjust your driving to the road conditions and take extra care when travelling at busy peak times.

Know your journey

When the new motorway opens, you’ll be able to use the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner to plan your journey before you drive.

Waka Kotahi Journey Planner(external link)

What to do in an emergency

As with many rural motorways, there may be some locations where (depending on the network provider), there is currently no network coverage, or lower signal strength.  In an emergency, all phones automatically reroute 111 calls to any available mobile network and there are emergency telephones installed along the length of the new route.

If your vehicle breaks down:

  • indicate and steer your vehicle to a safe place off the road
  • open the bonnet to let others know you’ve broken down and need help
  • turn on your hazard lights or use a safety triangle to warn others at night, turn on the inside light
  • if you don’t have a mobile phone and it’s not safe to walk, wait for help in your car don’t stand in the road
  • if you need help from other drivers, leave plenty of space for them to stop.

If your vehicle breaks down on a motorway:

  • indicate and steer your vehicle as far off the road as possible – don’t stop suddenly
  • lift up the bonnet and boot and, if possible, hang something white on the driver’s door handle or window to show you need help
  • turn on your hazard lights or use a safety triangle to warn approaching traffic at night, turn on the inside light
  • if you don’t have a mobile phone and it isn’t safe to walk, stay in your car and wait for help don’t stand on the motorway.

Over dimension vehicles

The Pūhoi to Warkworth connects to the Northern Gateway Toll Road at the Johnstones Hill Tunnels. There is no travel on Auckland motorways for loads exceeding 3.1m width or 4.3m height and the same applies for the new motorway. Over dimension vehicles will not permitted to use the new motorway and will continue to travel along the Hibiscus Coast Highway and Old SH1 route.


The PPP contract with Northern Express (NX2) includes the maintance of the motorway for a 25-year period. 

P2Wk Services is the company subcontracted by NX2 to maintain the motorway when it opens. P2Wk Services is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the road and carrying out any repairs that come up over the next 25 years. That could be anything from fixing any damage to the median barriers to carrying out rehabilitation works and reseals to maintain the road in a good operating condition.

After 25 years, P2Wk Services contract with NX2 (and NX2’s contract with Waka Kotahi) will end, and the road will be handed over to Waka Kotahi in prime condition; still as reliable as the day it opened.

Electric vehicle (EV) charging points

The nearest EV charging points will be in Warkworth, Pūhoi or Dairy Flat Service Centre. You can find an EV charging map of charging stations in New Zealand or find EV chargers on a particular route using the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner.

Waka Kotahi Journey Planner – EV charging stations(external link)