SH1 Taupō to Hātepe safety improvements

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Project introduction

Waka Kotahi are prioritising infrastructure changes aimed at improving safety on SH1 between Taupō Airport and Hātepe. Our team are working to understand the feasibility of the project design and once we know more, we will seek public feedback.

  • Project type

    Safety improvements

Project updates

SH1 Taupō to Hātepe safety improvements map
Project maps, (PDF)

Project update – cultural impact assessment

From mid 2023, we will be working with hapū to develop a Cultural Impact Assessment. A Cultural Impact Assessment is a report that documents Māori cultural values, interests and relationships with an area and manages any impacts.


Between 2009 and 2023, seven people were killed and twenty-three people were seriously injured in crashes on SH1 between Taupō Airport and Hātepe.

In 2020, we reviewed speed limits between Taupō and Turangi and new permanent speed limits are now in effect in some sections along the route. Through consultation, the community told us they wanted to maintain the existing 100km/hr limit between Taupō Airport and Hātepe.

We committed to investigating infrastructure improvements that would improve safety on sections between Taupō Airport and Hātepe to reduce the likelihood of serious crashes causing deaths and serious injuries.   

  • Project features

    The project is focused on safety improvements including:

    • Prioritising wide centrelines and creating locations to safely pull over along the route between Taupō Airport and Hātepe. Wide centrelines provide more separation for opposing traffic than standard centreline markings. This helps reduce the likelihood of head-on crashes.
    • Widening the road shoulders to give drivers more room and space to pull over in an emergency. 
    • Installing some roadside safety barriers where roadside hazards can’t be removed and laying new line markings. 
    • Installing flexible median safety barriers to prevent head-on collisions. These barriers prevent head on crashes and reduce the number of loss-of-control crashes.  Barriers on our roads have resulted in a marked decrease in deaths and a reduced risk of serious injuries.
    • Turnaround bays and access points for local traffic. 
  • Timeline
    Date Activity Status
    Late 2019 Speed review and formal consultation Completed
    2021 Speed review – new speeds introduced Completed
    2021/2022 Safety improvement investigations Completed
    Mid-2023 to mid-2024 Cultural impact assessment We are here

Other safety and infrastructure projects in the region

We are also working on a number of safety and infrastructure improvements in and around the Taupō region. Find out more: