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Project introduction

We’re looking at ways to make the Wairarapa safer through a range of interventions along the sections of State Highway 2 (SH2) in the region.

  • Project type

    Safety improvements, Speed review
  • Project status


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Road to Zero – safe system methodology

As part of the New Zealand’s Road to Zero road safety strategy for 2020–2030, the safe system methodology is being used to improve SH2 in the Wairarapa between Masterton and Featherston. Road to Zero sets a target to reduce deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand’s roads, streets, cycleways and footpaths by 40 percent over the next 10 years. The safe system approach recognises that whilst mistakes are inevitable – deaths and serious injuries from crashes are not. The safe system approach seeks to create a safe and forgiving road system that makes the safety of people a priority.

Road to Zero
Safe system

Three separate but complementary projects are planned between Masterton and Featherston: a review of the speed limits, proposed roundabouts and barriers at dangerous intersections as well as twenty-one raised pedestrian crossings that will help pedestrians to safely cross a busy highway.

Making the road safer

The section of SH2 between Masterton and Featherston connects the Wairarapa to Wellington and the central and eastern North Island. It’s important for locals, economic development and tourism. But the volume of traffic, some intersections, speed and roadside hazards like poles or ditches make it a high-risk road.

Between January 2010 and December 2019 there were 488 crashes. Four people were killed and 28 people were seriously injured.

What we are doing

People will always make mistakes but there are changes we can make to the road so simple mistakes don't cost lives. We are investigating ways to make this stretch of road better. The types of improvements we are looking to make include:

  • widening the centreline or putting a barrier along the middle of the road in busy areas to help stop head-on crashes 
  • improving road markings so they’re easier to see in wet weather and at night 
  • widening the road shoulder in some areas to give drivers more room to recover if they lose control 
  • making some intersections safer 
  • reviewing speeds so they’re safe and appropriate for the road 
  • improving signs to warn drivers that they are approaching local communities along the route.