SH2 Katikati to Tauranga permanent speed limits

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Project introduction

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has set new permanent speed limits on State Highway 2 between Katikati and Tauranga.

  • Project type

    Speed review
  • Project status



There’s been a high number of crashes on State Highway 2 (SH2) between Katikati and Tauranga. We want to make sure that speeds are safe and right for this road, and make our roads safer for everyone who uses them.

To help us fully understand the issues on the road, we spoke to mana whenua, the local community and our road safety partners, to understand their views on its speed. We then publicly consulted on our proposed speed limit changes along this corridor in October and November 2019, and have used people’s feedback, alongside our technical reviews, to make our decision on safer speed limits.

Neighbouring safety upgrades are also underway on SH2 between Waihī and Ōmokoroa. Safety improvements include intersection upgrades, roadside barriers, widened road shoulders and wide centrelines. These improvements, alongside safe and appropriate speed limits, will make SH2 safer for everyone.

New permanent speed limits

The following speed limits were proposed during consultation and have been set as the new permanent speed limits:

SH2 Katikati to Bethlehem, Tauranga

Existing speed limits

New speed limits from 11 December 2020

Katikati to Te Puna

From 170m south of Marshall Road to 180m east of Loop Road.

100km/h and 90km/h


Pahoia School zone

From 140m north of Pahoia Road to 365m south-east of Esdaile Road.

The variable speed limit will lower the speed limit from 80km/h outside the school to 60km/h at peak school traffic times. This is 35 minutes before the start of school until the start of school, and 20 minutes at the end of school, beginning no earlier than five minutes before the end of school.

It also may operate for 10 minutes at any other time when there is a school-related activity.

100km/h and variable 70km/h

80km/h and variable 60km/h


Te Puna  

From 180m east of Loop Road to 360m east of Te Puna Road



Te Puna

From 360m east of Te Puna Road to 135m west of Te Puna Station Road.


No speed limit change*


From 135m west of Te Puna Station Road to 370m east of Bethlehem Road.

90km/h and 50km/h

No speed limit change*

*Speed limits to the east of Te Puna, and the rural/urban boundary shift west of Bethlehem, have not changed. Waka Kotahi will re-assess the speed limit through this section in the future if the function of the road changes. For example, due to growth and development changing the way we use the road, or if new cycling infrastructure is constructed.  



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Investigation and evidence

The speed review process involves a number of steps that help determine the speed limit we propose at consultation. We complete a technical assessment that considers the road itself, the traffic volumes, the crash history, and the way people are currently travelling on the roads.

A review of average travel speeds shows people are typically driving below the existing speed limits.

We engaged with road user groups, members of the public, councils, local iwi, AA and the police to provide further feedback and conclude the safe and appropriate speed limits. The speed limits of 80km/h, 60km/h, variable 60km/h were assessed to be the safe and appropriate speeds for this route. 

Crash history

This stretch of SH2 is one of the highest risk roads in the Bay of Plenty. In the ten years between 2009 and 2018, 27 people were killed and 77 were seriously injured on this road.

Speed increases both the likelihood of crashes and the severity of crash outcomes, regardless of what caused the crash. Lowering speed limits on the road will make it more forgiving of human error so simple mistakes don’t cost lives.

Travel times

The new permanent speed limits prioritise people’s safety. In terms of travel time, if you were able to drive the 28km from Katikati to Bethlehem with no interruptions, the lower 80km/h limit would add about four and a half minutes to your trip compared to the current mix of 100km/h and 90km/h speed limits.

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about the SH2 Katikati to Tauranga permanent speed limits by reading the frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions 

Consultation and submissions

Waka Kotahi consulted on proposed speed limit changes on SH2 Katikati to Tauranga between 21 October and 18 November 2019. 576 submissions were received during the consultation period from stakeholder organisations and the public.

How speed reviews work

More information about speed and the speed review process is available on the Speed Review Programme webpage.