Project introduction

The Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway, opened in December 2022, has reduced congestion and improved travel time reliability for people and freight in the area. The expressway bypasses Ōtaki township and is part of the Kāpiti Expressway, connecting to the Mackay’s to Peka Peka section further south.

Driving the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway

If you haven’t driven the Peka Peka to Ōtaki (PP2Ō) Expressway before,  check out the links  below for information about where the on/off-ramps are located and other useful details. 

How to drive the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway

Flyover video of the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway

Old State Highway 1 corridor improvements and revocation

Now the PP2Ō Expressway is open, the status of the old SH1 between Peka Peka and Ōtaki as a state highway will be removed in time and responsibility for it transferred from Waka Kotahi to Kāpiti Coast District Council (this process is called revocation). As the road will officially become a local road, works are required to ensure it’s fit-for-purpose. Head to our Peka Peka to Ōtaki corridor improvements page to find out more.

Peka Peka to Ōtaki corridor improvements 

  • Estimated project cost

    $445 million
  • Project type

    Road improvements, Road management
  • Project status

    Construction, Design


The aim of the PP2Ō Expressway project is to remove congestion points on the route and thereby improve journey time reliability through the Kāpiti District, as well as improve the safety of road users.

This will:

  • improve the efficiency of freight and people movements between Wellington and further north
  • assist in fostering economic productivity and growth in the area.

Why an expressway is needed in Kāpiti

The importance of improving the State Highway 1 network throughout the Kāpiti District was identified by a number of studies. The network faced a number of issues in the district relating to:

  • traffic characteristics (i.e. mix of light and heavy vehicles)
  • safety
  • population increases
  • access, congestion and reliability
  • route security (due to traffic incidents and weather events)
  • freight movement
  • amenity and social impacts, including effects on walking and cycling.

In looking at the need for an expressway, we considered:

  • the main focus of the state highway network, which is about moving people and freight between and within New Zealand’s main centres as safely and efficiently as possible
  • the needs of the local network and community , given the dual function old SH1 provided.

The project therefore sought to achieve an integrated network that also facilitated local trips and choice in transport modes, while recognising that the transformation of old SH1 to a fit-for-purpose local road is the subject of a separate statutory process.

Cycleway / shared path

The 10-km long shared path for cyclists and pedestrians, which runs alongside the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway, opened in May 2023. 

Learn more about the PP2Ō shared path


The expressway project has a number of other key features, including:

  • bridge artwork and cultural features significant to local iwi and the Ōtaki community
  • an overbridge at Te Horo to link School Road and Gear Road with Te Horo Beach Road
  • overbridges just north of Ōtaki allowing Ōtaki Gorge Road to pass over the expressway and railway
  • a 1.3km Ōtaki railway realignment
  • a vehicle overbridge at Rahui Road crossing the expressway and the railway line
  • a 330m-long four-lane Ōtaki River bridge located east of the Ōtaki River rail bridge
  • an underpass at Taylors Road to improve safety and provide access for local residents
  • heritage features such as the relocated historic Mirek Smišek pottery kilns.

The access arrangement to and from the expressway for Ōtaki includes south-facing ramps to the south of Ōtaki (at Ōtaki Gorge Road) and north-facing ramps to the north of Ōtaki to provide ease of access in and out of Ōtaki.

How are road users benefiting?

The expressway delivers a wide range of benefits, including:

  • improved road safety along the corridor due to the separation of local and highway traffic
  • the relief of severe congestion points north of Peka Peka
  • improved access to Wellington's port, CBD, interisland ferry terminals, airport and hospital
  • more reliable journey times
  • more efficient movement of increasing freight volumes.

Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway alignment map

*Indicative map only and not to scale

View larger map image [PDF, 181 KB]

Community involvement

Getting the expressway open in December 2022 involved years of community consultation. Starting in 2001, consultation carried through to 2014 when a Board of Inquiry was appointed to assess and subsequently approve construction of the new road. Following the Board of Inquiry, construction works commenced in early 2017 and six years later the road was opened to road users.

Working with the project’s neighbours and the wider community throughout the construction phase has been an important part of this job. A dedicated community engagement team based locally in Ōtaki has kept people updated through monthly e-newsletters and regular information flyers about works happening in specific areas.

Over the last six years, the project team has worked with over 200 key stakeholders, including iwi, local authorities, transport interest groups, schools, sporting clubs, local landowners, community groups, environmental groups, ecologists and local businesses.

How to get in touch

Project Contacts

Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway Project Team –
More contact info
  • Phone: 0800 7726 4636
  • More detailed queries can be mailed to:

    Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway
    NZ Transport Agency
    PO Box 5084
    Lambton Quay
    Wellington 6145