SH35 Gisborne to Te Puia Springs, townships and beaches speed limits

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Project introduction

We’ve undertaken a review of speeds on SH35 to ensure they are safe and appropriate. We’ve formally consultated with you and used the feedback provided to recommend what speed limits are best for this road.

  • Estimated project dates

    Nov 2019–Dec 2019
  • Project type

    Speed review
  • Project status


Project updates

Have your say: SH35 speed review
SH35 speed review update
SH35 speed review update
SH35 speed review consultation summary report
Public consultation, (PDF)

Project background

Between September and December 2019, we consulted with the East Coast community and road user groups on safe and appropriate speed limits for State Highway 35 (SH35) townships and beaches between Gisborne and Te Puia Springs.

We reviewed the speed limits on this route as it’s one of the highest risk roads in the region. We wanted to ensure speed limits are safe and appropriate for this road. No matter what causes a crash, speed is always a factor in the severity. Put simply, the speed of impact can be the difference between walking away or being carried away from a crash.

  • Permanent speed limits

    The following speed limits were proposed during consultation and have been set as the new permanent speed limits. The new permanent speed limits take effect from Tuesday 8 September 2020.

    Location Current speed limit New speed limit
    from 8 September 2020
    Tamarau 70km/h to 80km/h 60km/h
    From 20m north-west of Coldstream Road to 60m east of Wheatstone Road.
    Okitu Township 70km/h 60km/h
    From 100m south-west of Wairere Road to 390m north of Sirrah Street.
    Makorori to Pouawa 100km/h 80km/h
    From 390m north of Sirrah Street to 400m north of Pouawa Bridge.
    Turihaua and Pouawa Beaches (seasonal) 70km/h 60km/h
    From 600m south of Turihaua Bridge to 400m south of Pouawa Bridge. The seasonal speed limit is from 20 December to 1 February.

    Except for Te Puia Springs township, the outcome for the speed limit changes on the other sections of Gisborne to Te Puia Springs townships – was in line with the proposed speed limit changes, and the permanent speed limits outlined below will come into effect on Tuesday, 8 September 2020.

    Following submissions on Te Puia Springs Township and further analysis of our technical data, we’ve decided to reconsider the proposed speed limit change on this section. We’re planning to re-consult with the Te Puia Springs community about a new proposed speed limit. We will provide further information about this in the coming months.


Investigation and evidence

When determining the proposed speed limits that we consulted on, we reviewed the speeds that people are currently driving on this road, as well as the road itself. The speed limits of 60-80 km/h were assessed to be the safe and appropriate speeds for the route.

  • Crash history

    Between 2009 and July 2019 there were 377 crashes between Gisborne and Te Puia Springs, with nine fatalities and 46 serious injuries. Of these deaths and serious injuries 20% were in the locations proposed in this speed review with three fatalities and eight serious injuries on the Makorori to Pouawa section. Three fatalities and two of the serious injuries occurred in 2018 alone. Lower permanent speed limits were needed to reduce the number of crashes and resulting deaths and serious injuries.

    The new permanent speed limits are estimated to reduce the number of crashes by 25%. This will reduce the amount of time the road is closed due to crashes and reduce inconvenience to drivers.

  • Travel times

    The new permanent speed limits will have minimal impact on travel times. Between Gisborne and Te Puia the increase in travel time will be approximately 2 minutes and 45 seconds.