Project introduction

The Papakura ki Pukekura - Papakura to Bombay project is part of a longer-term strategic transport network being investigated and delivered to support growth in South Auckland. Stage 1 of the project, Papakura to Drury, is currently being delivered through the NZ Upgrade Programme.

  • Estimated project dates

    Apr 2021–Dec 2027
  • Estimated project cost

    $655 million (funding available for Stage 1 from Papakura to Drury)
  • Project type

    Road improvements, Walking and cycling
  • Project status

    Consenting, Construction, Design

Project updates

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Project updates

We send out regular updates on the SH1 Papakura to Drury / Papakura to Bombay project. If you would like to receive these updates, subscribe using the link to our sign up form below.

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Traffic notices provide a brief overview of temporary night closures and road layout changes for the coming week. If you would like to receive these updates, please subscribe using the link to our sign up form below.

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Project overview

Auckland is growing fast, and the south is the region’s largest future urban growth area. About 1.7 million people live in Auckland and over the next 30 years this could grow to reach 2.4 million.

Over the next 30 years, southern growth areas such as Pukekohe, Drury, Paerata, and Takanini, could provide up to 40,000 new homes, as well as new jobs. These improvements will provide better choices for existing communities and the extra 120,000 people who will make the area home.

Investing in public transport and walking and cycling paths, in addition to roading improvements, plays an important part in building a strategic transport network which meets the needs of the people who live, work and travel in the area.

Through the NZ Upgrade Programme (NZUP), Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi) and KiwiRail have begun construction of around $2.7 billion of transport improvements for south Auckland within the next three years. This includes SH1 between Papakura and Drury, rail electrification to Pukekohe and three new rail stations between Drury and Paerata.

NZUP for Auckland delivers on the Government’s commitment to support the transformation of Auckland’s transport system.

The SH1 Papakura to Drury project’s improvements will support the growth of communities by improving access along and across the motorway, enhancing local connectivity and resilience, and improving transport choices.

  • What benefits will this project provide?
    • Supports investment in road and rail in South Auckland including the electrification of rail to Pukekohe and future-proofing for additional lines.
    • Reinforces the Southern Motorway’s function to support national and regional economic growth.
    • Supports the growth and liveability of communities by increasing access to employment, markets, services and amenities.
    • Provides an additional traffic lane in each direction, interchange improvements and opportunities for dedicated public transport services.
    • Promotes walking and cycling in South Auckland and enables people to access new areas.
    • Extends the Auckland walking and cycling network, maximising the investment in the Southern Path built to the immediate north of the project area as part of the Southern Corridor Improvements project.
    • Contributes to the safety and resilience of Auckland’s transport system.
    • Creates infrastructure that improves the Southern Motorway’s resilience against the impacts of climate change.
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  • Papakura to Drury key features
    • Improved highway access, safety, resilience and capacity on SH1 between Papakura and Drury, including 4.5km of new traffic lanes in each direction.
    • Wide shoulders to enable future bus services.
    • 4km of new paths for people walking and cycling, extending the 4.5km Southern Path between Papakura and Takanini (opened in May 2021).
    • Interchange improvements at Papakura, including a new southbound on-ramp.
    • Interchange improvements at Drury, enabling rail electrification, future-proofing for additional rail lines, and improved access for over-dimension vehicles.
    • Improved safety barriers, lighting and noise mitigation.
    • 100% stormwater treatment of new and existing Southern Motorway impervious surfaces within the project area.
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  • Walking and cycling

    As part of the Papakura to Drury project, a walking and cycling path will be built next to the Southern Motorway, alongside the northbound lane. 

    It will extend the Southern Path opened in May 2021 as part of the Southern Corridor Improvements project and provide a new and alternative transport choice in this growing area.

    As well as connections at interchanges, there will be connections to local roads along the route and to local cycling paths. This will help expand the Auckland cycle network.

    The walking and cycling path will improve access to schools, work, local community destinations and the wider transport system.

    This will help deliver safer and healthier streets for Aucklanders, supporting the development of more liveable communities.

    The growth of housing in large parts of South Auckland means there is an increasing need to provide safe and affordable access to schools and employment areas, and transport alternatives to the use of private motor vehicles.

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  • Environmental approach

    Protecting and enhancing the local environment is a prime consideration in our project planning.

    This includes protecting and enhancing areas of environmental and heritage significance, areas and places that are important to the community, and areas that will become more urbanised in the future.

    The project will ensure 100% treatment of stormwater from new and existing impervious surfaces within the project area to improve local water quality.

    Flooding to the east of SH1 along Chichester Drive has been identified through consultation with Auckland Council. This flooding will be alleviated by replacing culvert pipes crossing under the motorway with larger sized ones, allowing more water to flow through.

    The project is required to complete and maintain Infrastructure Sustainability Council (ISC) certification. The ISC system is an international sustainability rating tool that is designed to drive good sustainability outcomes. It will help ensure the project team remains focussed on reducing greenhouse gas emissions during both the detailed design and construction phases.

    The project supports New Zealand’s efforts to mitigate climate change and transition to a low-emissions economy by:

    • unlocking opportunities for passenger rail electrification and replacing road-over-rail bridges to future-proof for additional rail lines
    • providing new walking and cycling infrastructure to unlock alternative transport mode choices and improve connectivity and accessibility for local communities
    • future-proofing for the provision of public transport by introducing wide shoulders on SH1.
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  • Working with partners, stakeholders and the community

    Waka Kotahi is dedicated to working closely with partners, stakeholders, and the community throughout design and construction on the Papakura to Drury project, and on the design of the wider Papakura ki Pukekura – Papakura to Bombay project.

    Coordination with Auckland Council and Auckland Transport, as well as interest groups and community groups, will ensure that the project recognises cultural history and utilises local knowledge to help the project team understand the areas it is working in and how best to design for safety and accessibility.

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  • Working with property owners

    Waka Kotahi meets with potentially affected property owners to understand how they use their land and how the project design could be refined to reduce the impact on their properties. We will continue our engagement with property owners as the project progresses.

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Project stages

Stage 1 (includes 1A, 1B1 and 1B2)

The Papakura to Drury section (Stage 1) of the wider Papakura to Bombay project has been consented and is being constructed in stages under the NZ Upgrade Programme.

View larger map [PDF, 208 KB]

Construction began on Stage 1A (green) in April 2021. This stage is contained predominantly within the existing motorway designation and was consented in 2020. It comprises upgrades to the motorway, while the additional land required for the shared path component of the project is secured through Stages 1B1 and 1B2.

Notices of Requirement and resource consent applications were approved for Stage 1B1 (orange) of the project in November 2021. These were approved under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 as the project is one of 17 projects listed under the Act.

The approval of Stage 1B1 consents paved the way for early works near the rail line beside Drury Interchange to start in February 2022. Early works have focussed on building new/replacement bridges over the rail line at the interchange, which will enable KiwiRail to electrify the rail line between Papakura and Pukekohe. Construction of the main Drury interchange upgrade will commence in 2024.

Notices of Requirement and resource consent applications were approved for Stage 1B2 (grey) of the project in June 2023. Stage 1B2 was separated out from Stage 1B1 to allow appropriate time and consideration of the project’s impact on Oopaheke, an identified site of cultural significance spanning both sides of the motorway at Otuuwairoa / Slippery Creek.

Design plans showing plans for Stage 1 

Stage 2 

Stage 2 of the wider Papakura to Bombay project is a planning project that will protect the route and land required for future improvements to the SH1 Southern Motorway between Drury and Bombay.  There is currently no funding earmarked for the delivery of Stage 2, meaning there is no confirmed timeframe for construction at this stage. 

Waka Kotahi lodged its Notices of Requirement for Stage 2 of the project with Auckland Council in mid-February 2024. This step begins a statutory process under the Resource Management Act 1991 that will provide greater certainty for the community and landowners of Waka Kotahi’s transport plans in the area, and protect the land required for future motorway improvements. We expect a decision on the Notices of Requirement in late 2024.

Route protection questions and answers [PDF, 214 KB]

There is a standalone project to install traffic lights at Bombay Interchange in 2024.  Visit the ‘Bombay Interchange Signalisation’ tab of the website to learn more about this project.

Bombay Interchange signalisation