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huntly section earthworks on taupiri pass banner2

Project introduction

In March 2015 the Transport Agency selected a joint venture of Fulton Hogan, HEB, Jacobs and Opus International Consultants to construct the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway.

  • Estimated project cost

    $384 million
  • Project type

  • Project status


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The Huntly section will form part of the expressway, connecting Auckland with the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.







  • Connect the already completed Ohinewai section of the expressway to the Ngaruawahia section, which opened in late 2013.
  • Reduce traffic congestion and improve safety within the Huntly and Taupiri townships by significantly reducing through traffic.

Public open day 15 February 2020

Come along to walk, run, cycle or take a bus along the Huntly section before it opens to traffic.

When: Saturday 15 February 2020.
10am-3pm (last bus departs 2pm). No bus bookings needed.

Where: On the new road, enter and exit at SH1-Gordonton Road Interchange, Taupiri.

We have the Expressway Classic half-marathon and other shorter running and walking events early in the day – see details and register at link). Entries close Saturday 8 February. 

Find out more about the celebrations.

Wear a hat, and bring your sun screen. See you there.

Huntly project flyover - October 2019

Key features and other benefits

When complete the Waikato Expressway will be the key strategic transport corridor for the Waikato region, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of Waikato and Bay of Plenty. The Expressway will improve economic growth and productivity through more efficient movement of people and freight.

Other benefits include:

  • reducing travel times between Auckland and Tirau by up to 35 minutes
  • reducing significantly the number of fatal and serious injury crashes
  • reducing fuel costs
  • reducing traffic congestion within smaller communities like Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Cambridge
  • increasing the highway's capacity and passing opportunities.

Key features

The Waikato Expressway will be 102km in length running from the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge. It will provide for two lanes of traffic in each direction divided by a central barrier with local roads and interchanges generally serviced by bridges and underpasses.

Designation map

  • View map

    For a more detailed map showing the designated route, click through one of the individual map boxes on the image below:

    Map of Huntly with index of 12 more detailed maps.


Project stages

The project is now in the detailed design and construction stage. Some enabling works are expected to be carried out between now and September 2015, including fencing and establishing the site compound.

  • Planned route

    The 2012 KiwiRAP report rated the Huntly to Hamilton stretch of State Highway 1 (SH1) as the highest risk road in the country based on the number of fatal and serious injury crashes per kilometre. Between 2007 and 2011 there were 41 fatal or serious injury crashes on the route.

    This section will significantly improve safety for the more than 17,000 motorists who travel this route every day.

    The project includes a 15.2km four-lane expressway built between the completed Ohinewai and Ngaruawahia sections.

    It will connect to the existing Expressway at Ohinewai with a grade separated interchange providing north facing ramps connecting to the existing SH1. As part of this connection a bridge carrying Expressway traffic will be built over the existing SH1 and the North Island Main Trunk railway.

    The section will connect to the completed Ngaruawahia section at the Gordonton Road interchange.

    There will be four local road bridges at Ralph Road, McVie Road, Orini Road and Waring Road. The project also includes four Expressway bridges to take Expressway traffic over the Mangawhara Stream, Whangamaire Stream, Komakorau Stream and Mangatoketoke Stream.

    This project will also make a sizeable ecological contribution to the area, with more than 100ha of forest and bush habitat enhancement, including landscape and restoration planting of riparian, forest areas and wetland.

  • Properties on the designated route

    Inevitably the Expressway will pass through land currently owned and operated by a range of individuals, farms and organisations.  Processes for managing land purchase or compensation for those affected by the new road are laid out in the Public Works Act and summarised in a useful guide “Landowner’s rights” which is available from Land Information New Zealand or via their website link)


  • Opportunities to comment and input

    In parallel with the investigations, the Transport Agency and its consultant BBO have consulted with landowners, tangata whenua, and other affected parties to ensure that there is a full understanding of any issues that could affect the highway design and to identify anything that had changed since 2004. This had included developing further details of mitigation measures that formed part of the designation process including ecological restoration, traffic noise mitigation, erosion and sediment control, landscape design and protocols in case of accidental archaeological discovery. This consultation has included a combination of site visits and individual meetings. For further information on the Resource Management Act see link)


Environmental management

Reflecting the NZ Transport Agency's desire to protect important sites, there has been close liaison with local landowners and iwi groups regarding the route of the Huntly section and the crossing of the Taupiri Range.

The Transport Agency is committed to improving the contribution state highways make to the environment and social wellbeing of New Zealand by:

  • Protecting and enhancing the environment

  • Using and managing resources efficiently

  • Considering environmental issues early

  • Contributing to sustainable outcomes by working with others

  • Continually improving environmental performance.

  • Noise control

    Noise levels will comply with the latest standards. Measures used will include:

    • Monitoring of noise during construction and advance notification of any unavoidably noisy construction activity.

    • Using haul routes for moving materials will be away from main roads and sensitive residential areas wherever practicable.

    • Providing landscaped buffer zones and noise barriers to protect local residents, businesses and sensitive areas from road noise.

  • Visual impact, landscaping and environmental measures

    Careful consideration will be given to native wildlife and habitats, in order to minimise impact and disruption.

    Landscaping and planting will be used to mitigate the visual impacts of the new road and create a pleasant environment for both road users and others.

    Culverts will be used and plans will be developed to manage natural water flows and drainage.

  • Significant sites – Cultural, historic and environmental

    To protect this history the following measures will be used:

    • Protocols and agreements with local Iwi

    • Engagement of cultural heritage monitors

    • Liaison with local historical groups

    • On site archaeological controls to ensure that approved processes are followed

    Important cultural and historic sites such the urupa on Taupiri Mountain and the Rangiriri Pa will benefit from the improvements provided by the Expressway.


Our partners on this project