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Project introduction

The Transport Agency has confirmed the need for a new state highway on the Tauranga Northern Link designation.

  • Estimated project cost

    $100+ million
  • Project type

    Study & Investigation
  • Project status

    Design, Investigation

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October 2018 – Re-evaluation complete

The Transport Agency has released plans for the SH2 corridor between Waihi and Tauranga. This prioritises the Government’s vision for a safer transport network free of death and injury, accessible and affordable transport, value for money and reduced emissions.

The focus is to improve safety in the short and medium term as well as planning for future population growth.

The re-evaluation confirms the need for the Tauranga Northern Link which supports and prioritises public transport and high occupancy vehicle use. The Transport Agency will work with partners to develop and implement a transport system operating strategy and investment programme for the Northern corridor and city centre. We will then carry out the specimen design for the route. 

The new plans for the Tauranga Northern Link include a new two-lane road, one lane in each direction, between Te Puna and Tauranga. The opportunity for an additional two lanes for the TNL which could be used for public transport and high occupancy vehicles.  

The construction timing and form of the new route will depend on growth and funding priorities across the rest of the country. We’ll be coming back to the community and stakeholders with this detail in early-2019.

We appreciate the community’s patience as we’ve worked through this important re-evaluation process.

Programme overview


Every three years, the government issues an investment strategy on the land transport system called the Government Policy Statement on land transport, also known as the GPS.

The GPS is a document that guides land transport investment over a ten-year period. Transport investments have long lead times, high costs and leave long legacies. Good transport investments therefore require careful planning to ensure that today’s transport network will be able to meet our future needs.

The GPS 2018 is committed to creating an efficient, modern and resilient transport system for New Zealand, across all transport modes and reflects this new approach through four clear priorities: a safer transport network free of death and injury, accessible and affordable transport, reduced emissions and value for money.

The Transport Agency supports the government priorities by investing in projects which improve walking, cycling and public transport facilities, and provides transport choices.

In April 2016, construction funding for the Tauranga Northern Link was granted as part of the $520 million Waihi to Tauranga Corridor programme. Since then, the programme has been re-evaluated to align with the government’s objectives, which has meant deferring construction of the TNL. Investigations on how the new road functions and would fit in with the wider network will now get underway.

Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS)(external link)
State highway project re-evaluations