Project introduction

The Warkworth to Wellsford project is the second section of Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford project. The project is in an investigation phase with designation and consents lodged in March 2020.

July 2021 update

5 Jul 2021

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency continues to work towards securing land designation and resource consents for the Warkworth to Wellsford project.

A Notice of Requirement (NoR) and resource consent application was lodged with Auckland Council in March 2020 and submissions closed on Monday 29 June 2020.

The Council hearing commenced on 6 October and adjourned on Thursday 15 October 2020.

On 25 March 2021, Auckland Council granted resource consents, subject to conditions, for the Warkworth to Wellsford project. The appeal period for resource consents closed on 19 April 2021 and several appeals have been filed with the Environment Court.

Council also recommended Waka Kotahi confirm the NoR.  Waka Kotahi confirmed the NoR on 11 May 2021. The appeal period for the NoR closed on 1 July 2021 and several appeals have been filed with the Environment Court.

Both resource consent and NoR appeals will now progress via usual Environment Court process.

Once the Environment Court process has concluded Waka Kotahi will provide further information on the outcome of this process.

Completing the route projection phase for this project will provide long term certainty for property owners, adjacent communities and the wider region.

Waka Kotahi does not anticipate any works on the corridor commencing this decade.


  • Project type

    Road management
  • Project status


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About this project

The Warkworth to Wellsford project is the second stage of Ara Tūhono Pūhoi to Wellsford. Stage one, between Pūhoi and Warkworth, is now open to motorists.

An off-line highway, completely separate from the current SH1 remains the preferred long-term option between Warkworth and Wellsford and Waka Kotahi is continuing to investigate this second stage of Ara Tūhono Pūhoi to Wellsford project.

Ara Tūhono Pūhoi to Wellsford

The indicative alignment

The indicative alignment for Warkworth to Wellsford connects to the Pūhoi to Warkworth section to the northwest of Warkworth and heads north, crossing Woodcocks and Kaipara Flats Roads.

The new highway will be located in a separate valley, to the west of the existing SH1, until it reaches the Hoteo River where it will head eastwards crossing over the existing SH1and Wayby Valley Road, with an interchange proposed at Wayby Valley Road.

The highway then continues generally parallel to Wayby Valley Road, before turning northwards and crossing Rustybrook Road. As the highway heads north it will cross local roads including Whangaripo Valley, Farmers Lime and Silver Hill roads, bypassing both Wellsford and Te Hana townships.

A further interchange is proposed near Mangawhai Road, with the new highway then connecting back into the existing SH1 to the north of Waimanu Road.


There will be a number of transport benefits as a result of the project including:

  • Improved travel time between Warkworth, Wellsford and Te Hana
  • Reduced heavy traffic on SH1 through Wellsford and Te Hana, with the removal of nearly 1000 heavy vehicles per day
  • Reduced congestion through the Wellsford main street
  • A high quality, safe new route with improved geometry and gradients
  • Efficient connection to the Warkworth and Wellsford town centres through well located and convenient interchanges
  • Improved corridor resilience through the provision of a reliable additional route separate to the existing SH1.

What happens next?

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is currently preparing for a Council hearing, scheduled to commence on Tuesday 6 October. The hearing, to be held at the Warkworth Masonic Hall, is expected to take up to three weeks.

Project phase

  • Route investigation and community consultation (2010)

    The project team, working with consultants Sinclair Knight Merz (now Jacobs), completed a detailed study of the Pūhoi to Wellsford route.

    Community input was sought through two rounds of consultation. The first round of engagement was undertaken between 1 June and 16 August 2010. A lot of feedback was received and a map summarising feedback was prepared.

    As a result of this consultation, a decision was made by the Transport Agency to separate the project into two sections - Pūhoi to Warkworth and Warkworth to Wellsford.

    A second round of consultation on Pūhoi to Warkworth took place between 16 November 2010 and 28 January 2011, with feedback and subsequent information on the project available on the  Pūhoi to Warkworth webpage.

    Due to the difficult terrain in the Dome Valley and ground conditions near Wellsford, the Warkworth to Wellsford section of the project was put on hold in 2010, pending further investigation work.

  • Identifying an Indicative Route (2016)

    Investigations into the Warkworth to Wellsford section recommenced in 2016 with a project  team, including members of the 2009-2010 Sinclair Knight Merz (now Jacobs) team, reviewing all previous investigations works undertaken to date.

    Comprehensive technical assessments of the original ‘long list’ of options is expected to take nine months to complete, with the expectation that these investigations will identify an Indicative Route to take forward for public consultation early-2017.

    Once identified, the indicative route will be discussed with all potentially affected landowners first, then presented to the wider communities of Warkworth and Wellsford for feedback.

  • Confirming an Indicative Alignment (2018)

    We have refined the Indicative Route presented publicly in February 2017 to what is now called the Indicative Alignment within the proposed designation boundary.

    The proposed designation boundary will be the area of land that the Transport Agency is proposing to designate for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Project.

    It includes land which may be required for design refinements and for temporary construction activities such as access roads, construction yards and erosion and sediment control.

    Find out more about the Indicative Alignment for Warkworth to Wellsford [PDF, 742 KB]

  • Obtaining statutory approvals (2020)

    The findings of investigations into the Warkworth to Wellsford indicative route have been considered alongside input from landowners, iwi, stakeholders and local communities to announce an indicative alignment in late-2018.

    The next step is to protect the land needed for the new transport corridor by lodging a Notice of Requirement (NoR).

    The NoR and resource consents were lodged with Auckland Council in March, who then notified affected parties and the public in May.

    The submissions period will close on Monday 29 June 2020, with a Council hearing expected to occur later this year.

    Find out more about the statutory process for Warkworth to Wellsford [PDF, 117 KB] 



Ara Tūhono partners

The project team is working closely with regional and iwi partners to deliver the Ara Tūhono – Warkworth to Wellsford project.

  • Auckland Council

    Auckland Council(external link) is responsible for planning and managing growth across the Auckland region including the towns of Pūhoi, Mahurangi West, Warkworth and Wellsford. The Auckland Plan outlines a 30-year vision to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city. 

  • Auckland Transport

    Auckland Transport(external link) is responsible for all of Auckland’s transport services (excluding state highways) including roads, cycleways and walkways, bus, train and ferry services. They also co-ordinate road safety and community transport initiatives such as travel plans for workplaces and schools.


Our partners on this project