Project introduction

The Southwest Gateway programme will provide choice and reliability for how people, and freight, travel around the south and east Auckland, including to and from the airport. The programme aims to provide better public transport, walking/cycling facilities and safer more efficient freight movements.

Project update

The completion of improvements to SH20B marks a significant milestone to support clean, green transport networks in Auckland

On Friday 16 April, many residents and guests celebrated the opening of improved State Highway 20B following 15 months of the construction works including night time closures.

The state highway still has more works including landscaping before it will be fully completed but it will not disrupt day-time traffic.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency would like to thank the residents along SH20B and all road users for your patience and support for the improvement works.

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Programme overview

Southwest Gateway project map

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Auckland Airport are working together to deliver this work.

  • Airport to Botany Rapid Transit(external link)(external link) - this project will deliver a frequent rapid transit system between the airport, Manukau and Botany. It will improve transport choice, reliability, and journey times and connect to the rail network at Manukau Station and an upgraded Puhinui Station Interchange.
  • 20Connect - this project will improve journey reliability and safety along State Highways 20, 20A and 20B and provide more choice when travelling around southwest Auckland. Improvements will encourage freight and heavy vehicles off local roads and onto the state highway network.
  • Auckland Airport Precinct Improvements(external link) - this project will deliver consistent, reliable journeys on a network that supports a shift to public transport options.

Southwest Auckland is an area of high cultural value and we are working with Mana Whenua to better understand these values and how we can protect them. We are committed to managing environmental effects on the local area including waterways and stormwater and where possible, enhancing the existing environment.

  • Video

    An overview of the Southwest Gateway Programme


Airport to Botany Rapid Transit

This project will deliver a fast, frequent and affordable rapid transit between the airport, Manukau and Botany. It will travel along a fully separated congestion-free corridor, through key centres and development areas.

Rapid transit will support urban regeneration and fill a missing link in Auckland’s rapid transit network, with connections to local buses, the Eastern Busway and the southern and eastern train lines. Separate walking and cycling facilities will be provided.

Airport to Botany project map

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  • Rapid transit stations

    Stations will provide connections to local bus services, and will be located near town centres, employment hubs and residential areas.

    • Manukau centre - two new rapid transit stations in Manukau will improve access to planned town centre developments, offices, housing and schools and encourage economic growth.
    • Botany station - a high-quality station will provide easy transfers between local buses and rapid transit services. It will be built as part of the Eastern Busway project.
  • Journey times
    From To Time
    Airport Manukau 18-19 minutes
    Manukau Botany 18-21 minutes
    Airport Papakura 31-33 minutes
    Airport Botany 36-40 minutes
    Airport Britomart 45-50 minutes


  • Key statistics
    • 18km of congestion-free rapid transit
    • 12km of new walking and cycling facilities will be provided
    • Reliable 36-40 minute journey between the Airport and Botany


20Connect will improve journey reliability and safety along state Highways 20,20A and 20B and provide more choice when travelling around southwest Auckland, including to and from the airport.

Improvements identified move freight and heavy vehicles from local roads to the state highway network. Separate walking and cycling facilities will be provided.

Read more about the 20Connect project

20Connect project map

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  • Project sections
    • State Highway 20B - to support future rapid transit and improve capacity for people and freight, in the long-term SH20B will be a four-lane expressway with a dedicated rapid transit corridor and walking and cycling facilities.
    • State Highway 20 - additional lanes and dedicated walking and cycling facilities will be provided on SH20 to allow for airport and business growth and provide transport choice.
    • State Highway 20B/20 connection - a new southbound ramp from SH20B to SH20 will enable rapid transit to move smoothly through the intersection, while improving safety and access to the south from the airport.
    • State Highway 20A/20 connection - new southbound ramp will improve freight movements from the airport and surrounding individual areas and remove heavy vehicles from local roads.
  • Key statistics
    • Freight will travel through 3 intersections instead of 8 – keeping local roads for local people.
    • 12 km of new walking and cycling facilities to connect communities and improve travel choice.
    • Travel time on SH20B eastbound in afternoon peak will reduce from 35 to 5 minutes.

Early improvements (COMPLETED)

The first stage of the Southwest Gateway programme has been completed. Puhinui Station has been upgraded to provide a high-quality interchange to allow for easy connections between bus and train.

Other early improvements include priority lanes, new and upgraded intersections and improved walking and cycling connections along State Highway 20B, Puhinui Road and Lambie Drive that integrate with improved transport facilities in the airport precinct.

Early improvements project map

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The priority lanes allow for a new, frequent AirportLink bus service between the airport, Puhinui Station Interchange and Manukau. A new 36 bus service will link local town centres between Onehunga and Manukau, via Papatoetoe.

  • Puhinui Road and Lambie Drive improvements

    A 1.2km section of on-road cycle lanes will be removed east of the Puhinui Station Interchange between Clendon Avenue and Cavendish Drive. The existing footpath between Ranfurly Road and Puhinui school will be upgraded.

    The priority bus lanes will remove on-street parking during peak hours and require some trees to be removed and new trees planted.

    We propose that the bus priority lanes in both directions, will operate between 6am-10am and 3pm-7pm, Monday-Friday.

    We have looked at operating the bus priority lanes for longer hours (eg 7am-7pm or 24 hours). However, traffic modelling, customer demand and retaining parking for the community and businesses, we are proposing peak only operation.

    Pedestrian crossings will be upgraded, and a new roundabout provided at Puhinui Station Interchange to improve safety and access to the station, shops, schools and parks.

    A shared path will be provided on the north side of Puhinui Road between SH20 and Puhinui Station Interchange as well as a protected cycleway along Lambie Drive.

    The bus priority lanes and walking and cycling facilities will connect with the improvements planned along State Highway 20B to create a direct airport link.

  • State Highway 20B improvements

    SH20B will be upgraded to provide additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek Bridge and SH20 to allow new 10-12 minute bus services between the airport and Puhinui Station Interchange.

    Other early improvements on SH20B to be delivered by 2021 include:

    • Safety improvements including median barrier protection and improved lighting.
    • Walking and cycling facilities, pavement improvements drainage and stormwater treatment.
    • Two new intersections – at Campana Road to allow for future development south of the state highway, and at Manukau Memorial Gardens to improve safety.

    Walking and cycling opportunities along SH20B will be improved with a dedicated shared path that connects with walking and cycling facilities on Puhinui Road. The shared use path will run on the north side between SH20 and Manukau Memorial Gardens, to provide access to the gardens, cross at the signalised intersection, and travel on the south side along SH20B to improve access to the future developments.

    New pedestrian and cycling facilities will be added alongside the existing bridge over Waokauri Creek to allow for a continuous separated facility. The path will be easy to access, well-lit at night and have improved wayfinding and line marking, making it safe and easy for users of all ages and abilities.

    SH20B potential cross section

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    Speed limit review

    There are three different speed limits along a 3km section of state Highway 20B – 50km/h, 60km/h and 100km/h.

    We are looking at introducing a consistent and reduced speed limit to recognise the change in the road environment and in 2021, once construction on the early improvements is complete.

    SH20B existing speed limits

    In the last five years, 22 collisions have been recorded on State Highway 20B, two of them overtaking/head on crashes. SH20B is predominantly rural environment but significant development is planned.

    We think reducing the current 100km/h speed limit to 60km/h between Manukau Memorial Gardens and Pukaki Creek, will provide a safer and consistent speed limit for the corridor.

    We want to know what you think about the current and proposed speed limit. We will use your feedback to recommend a new speed limit and then formally consult with key stakeholders and the community early next year.

  • Key statistics
    • 10-12 minute bus journey between the airport and the Puhinui Station Interchange.
    • Fast and easy connections to southern and eastern train lines.
    • More reliable and timely travel choices around south and east Auckland.
    • Improved access to employment areas in Manukau and the airport.
    • Improved station safety, amenity and facilities.
    • Progress towards long-term transport, social and economic outcomes.