COVID-19 SERVICES UPDATE: Information for all alert levels, Waka Kotahi services and more

SCAM ALERTS: Refund email and Vehicle licence (rego) renewal phishing emails

ONLINE SERVICES: We currently have an issue with receiving some payments and are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience.

EASTER WEEKEND – PLAN AHEAD: Heading away for the long weekend? Check our holiday journeys tool(external link)

Project introduction

Safety improvements were installed on the northern side of the Brynderwyn Hills on State Highway 1 south of Whangarei.

  • Estimated project cost

    $18 million
  • Project type

    Safety improvements
  • Project status



This project, completed in 2017, improved safety on the northern face of Brynderwyn Hills on SH1.

Improvements included:

  • road widening
  • removal of tight corners towards the top of the hill
  • a new lookout point
  • installation 14km of flexible safety barriers along the edge of the road and the centre line to separate north and south bound traffic.

Head-on and run-off-the road crashes account for 75% of crashes on rural state highways.

Flexible safety barriers are designed to stop traffic leaving the road or crossing the centre line and colliding with solid objects such as other vehicles, trees and poles. This helps create a more forgiving road that can help stop simple mistakes becoming fatal crashes.

The flexible, wire rope barrier installation is part of the Safe System approach to road safety, which views mistakes as inevitable, but deaths and serious injuries as preventable.

Frequently asked questions

  • What does a ‘Safe System’ approach mean?

    A Safe System approach recognises that people make mistakes, but aims to reduce the likelihood of crashes with the potential for death or serious injury.

    To reduce the risks, Waka Kotahi implements ways of encouraging people to change the way they drive as well as making changes to the road environment. Improvements may include reducing the speed limit to fit with the road environment and/or installing median and shoulder barrier protection.

  • How was this implemented on the Brynderwyn Hills project?

    To reduce the severity of crashes, Waka Kotahi installed wider shoulders and wire rope median barrier protection from the top of the hill at Artillery Road to the bottom at Waipu Gorge Road. Barriers were installed along the edge of the road as well as along the centre line.

  • What are wire rope barriers?

    Wire rope barriers are safety barriers built from steel wire ropes mounted on weak posts. Like all other barriers their main purpose is to stop traffic leaving the road and colliding with solid objects such as other vehicles, trees, poles, etc.

    They are designed so that no part of them can penetrate the passenger compartment of a vehicle, and so that the vehicle remains upright during and after a collision. They are also designed so that after impact, the vehicle has not been deflected into an adjacent traffic lane.