Project introduction

An 18km four-lane expressway that takes State Highway 1 along the Kāpiti Coast, and is the first of the Wellington Northern Corridor projects completed. It separates local and highway traffic and aims for safer and shorter trips to and through the Kāpiti Coast - with local and national benefits.

  • Estimated project cost

    $630 million
  • Project type

    Road improvements, Road management
  • Project status



The Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway main alignment was completed four months early, with the road opened to traffic on 24 February 2017.

The Expressway delivers a key section of the Wellington Northern Corridor, a long needed upgrade of State Highway 1 north of Wellington. This highway is a critical link to the lower North Island and key regional destinations because the existing highway (soon to become a local road) does not serve its users well. It has a poor safety record, is vulnerable to closures by storms and crashes, and drivers are often caught up in nose-to-tail traffic.

The upgrade was required to provide safe, efficient and reliable access to and from New Zealand’s capital and third-largest city. It was also needed to support expected residential and business growth throughout the Wellington region.


  • Reduced congestion on local roads as traffic is transferred to the Expressway.

  • Shorter and more reliable travel times for Expressway traffic by avoiding urban traffic lights and speed limits.

  • Modern road design resulting in safer trips to and through Kāpiti.

  • Improved access to Wellington's port, CBD, interisland ferry terminals, airport and hospital.

  • Kāpiti residents and businesses the first to benefit from the Wellington Northern Corridor improvements.

  • A second route and a more resilient road network in the event of crashes or natural disasters.

  • More jobs and better access to jobs in Kāpiti and beyond.

  • Innovation in the way the project is being delivered is setting new standards for the construction industry in New Zealand and beyond.

Key features

  • Two traffic lanes in each direction separated by a median safety barrier.

  • 18 new bridges including a new crossing over the Waikanae River.

  • Connections to local roads at Poplar Avenue (Raumati), Kāpiti Road (Paraparaumu), Te Moana Road (Waikanae) and Peka Peka Road.

  • Safety improvements on many local roads in the vicinity of the Expressway.

  • An end-to-end shared pathway next to the Expressway for pedestrians, cyclists and horses in some sections.

  • Environmental protection and enhancement including 140 hectares of new planting and landscaping, creation of 9.5 hectares of new or restored wetlands and 1.4 million locally eco sourced plants.

  • Archaeological investigations and monitoring over the life of the project.

  • Delivery by an alliance that has brought together the best team for the job.

  • New jobs and local procurement.

Related project information

Below you can find out more about the Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway, including information about the M2PP application to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPS) and a full list of our resources.