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Project introduction

Mill Road will provide a safer, more reliable and accessible transport corridor, providing travel choice which will support residential and employment growth in south Auckland.

  • Estimated project cost

    $1.345 billion
  • Project type

    Road improvements, Walking & cycling
  • Project status


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About the project

Part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, Mill Road is a 21.5km corridor, running parallel to State Highway 1 which will provide a safer way to move between the communities of Manukau, Takaanini, Papakura and Drury. By providing an additional route from Manukau to Drury, the 120,000-plus people who will make Auckland’s southern suburbs their home during the next three decades will have better transport choices.

The project upgrades the existing two-lane sections of Mill Road to four-lanes and will connect to the new sections of the corridor being built across greenfield sites. The four-lane corridor, with a separated walking and cycling path, will ensure better access to places of work, education and play as well as support the improvement of public transport services.

The new corridor will build greater resilience into Auckland’s state highway network by helping to manage the high demand on SH1. Mill Road will provide a safe, easy-to-use alternative route for local trips, helping to reduce traffic volumes on SH1 and keep inter-regional travel and freight moving to support economic growth.

Work is underway to identify a preferred route and engagement with the community and property owners is a key part of this.

The project is being funded as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme and we expect to start construction in stages from late 2022. The upgrade programme is investing $6.8 billion across New Zealand to save lives, get our cities moving and boost productivity in the country’s growth areas.

Read more on the New Zealand Upgrade Programme


  • Enables urban growth by providing for regional and local trips, improving local access to future and existing urban areas.
  • Improves resilience and journey times for customers.
  • Improves safety for road users.
  • Provides more transport options for the local community.
  • Relieves traffic pressure from local parallel roads to support public transport along these local routes.

Key features

Waka Kotahi will deliver a transport corridor which will include:

  • A new 21.5km four-lane corridor
  • A separated shared walking and cycling path
  • Connections with local roads
  • An interchange overbridge at Drury, connecting the corridor to State Highway 1.

By being built as a four-lane corridor there will be opportunities to manage general traffic, prioritise public bus services and create new separated walking and cycling paths. We’re also investigating different options for ‘managed lanes’ which could include one lane in each direction being allocated to public transport, freight or multiple occupancy private vehicles.

Strategic context

Mill Road is a part of the wider range of transport projects within the transport network plan for southern Auckland. Some of the projects are being investigated by the Supporting Growth Programme and others, such as Mill Road and Papakura to Drury have been bought forward for delivery as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme. 

The key features of this transport network plan include:

  • Safety upgrades and improvements to the roading network, including on key rural routes.
  • Proposed new strategic routes including an alternative route to Pukekohe, and upgrades to existing transport corridors such as State Highway 1 between Papakura and Bombay, and State Highway 22.
  • Ongoing investment in the rail network, including new train stations, and frequent bus services.
  • A walking and cycling network.

Read more on the other upgrading projects: