General questions

  •   How does Waka Kotahi deal with issues such as noise, vibration and light pollution?

    There are a number of standards and guidelines the project team must follow to ensure issues such as noise, vibration and light pollution are mitigated to an acceptable level. These have been addressed through the development of the project and the Board of Inquiry process. Waka Kotahi will continue to work with landowners and communities throughout the detailed design and construction phases to the project to address any concerns that they may have.

  •   How does Waka Kotahi communicate with affected community groups and iwi?

    Waka Kotahi places emphasis on building relationships with iwi and community groups and keep them informed about the project. At all times, we seek support, understanding, co-operation and assistance with our projects. We are committed to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and abide by our statutory responsibilities under the Land Transport Management Act and Resource Management Act to consult with iwi on all appropriate matters.

  •   What are the benefits of improving this section of highway?

    The Ōtaki bypass will reduce congestion and the community's exposure to traffic noise, separate highway and local traffic in Ōtaki efficiently and use the existing Ōtaki River Bridge as a local road. The benefits of improving the Peka Peka to Ōtaki River sections of SH1 are that it provides safe cross-corridor access for local travel, uses the existing highway as a parallel road and reduces traffic-induced environmental effects. Holiday and peak hour queues in Ōtaki would be reduced. The Ōtaki Railway retail area, which continues to flourish, would also not be at cross purposes between being a destination for local traffic and a through road for business, travellers and freight.

  •   Why was the preferred route chosen?

    The eastern alignment was chosen for the Ōtaki bypass and Peka Peka to Ōtaki River sections of the highway because, compared to other options, it minimised the impact on local businesses along the existing highway. This route bypasses the majority of Ōtaki reducing the potential barrier between Ōtaki township and the Ōtaki community to the west.

  •   What impact will this proposal have on businesses in Ōtaki?

    Our expectation is that the Ōtaki bypass will mean the township becomes a destination rather than a through road. Eliminating the conflict between state highway and local traffic that consistently leads to congestion at holiday periods through Ōtaki will allow the area to be developed into a place that people choose to visit rather than object to being stuck at. Local businesses, like the factory outlet stores, are expected to be more appealing if they are not perceived as being difficult to access. Interchanges and off-ramps will be developed to allow easy access to and from the Ōtaki Railway retail area.

  •   What happens to the current state highway when the expressway has been built?

    It is expected the state highway will revert to a local road which the Kāpiti Coast District Council will operate and maintain. Waka Kotahi will consult with the council about this change to determine future maintenance, handover, emergency re-routing and other issues and seek their agreement.

  •   When will this project be finished?

    As the PP2Ō project has progressed, there have been a number of changes to our scope which have extended the original timeframe. This includes the design and construction of a shared walking and cycling path alongside the expressway, as well as upgrades to the surface of the road which will result in reduced road noise and lower maintenance costs.

    There have also been several unforeseen disruptions, largely the COVID-19 pandemic. With a number of our people having to isolate with Covid and the delivery of materials being held up for the same reason, works are being affected.

    We’re currently working through what these issues will mean for our target date of opening the expressway in late 2022, as it may be pushed out.

  •   What are you doing to mitigate the environmental effects of construction?

    We’ve carried out extensive investigation of the areas being affected by the expressway and we have a dedicated environmental team which includes ecologists and iwi monitors, who oversee the environmental management and compliance of the project. Some of our environmental requirements include:

    • Fish relocation prior to working in waterways
    • Dotterel and Pipit surveys to make sure we’re not impacting nesting sites
    • Terrestrial species relocation prior to vegetation removal in identified habitats within the Expressway footprint. Important habitat features for these species are salvaged and transferred to the relocation sites. 
    • Stream health monitoring before, during and after construction to assess any impacts of Expressway construction on local water bodies.
    • Construction of sediment control measures and erosion protection to protect the receiving environment from site runoff.

    In areas where we’ve had to remove vegetation, it’s either been re-planted elsewhere, or new trees and plants have gone back into the same area. Our planting scope includes:

    • Minimum of 38ha of native planting
    • 1.1ha of wetland planting, including restoration of swamp forest and wetland habitat
    • 1.5ha of indigenous terrestrial forest species and
    • 2.6km of riparian planting.

    Check out Ōtaki College media studies students' coverage of our ecologist in the field surveying fish stocks in a local stream.

    Or our Site Specific Environmental Management Plans.

  •   How do you minimise the effects of construction dust on local roads and neighbouring properties?

    Dust is closely monitored on site and we have a number of dust suppression methods that are used to manage levels, these include:

    • the use of water or ploymers
    • applying mulch
    • planting bare areas as soon as we can.

    The environmental team also use an air quality monitor to assess conditions against permitted levels in accordance with the Construction Air Quality Management Plan. If you’re experiencing any dust issues please contact the project team on 0800 PP2O INFO (0822 7726 4636) or email

  •   Will the construction works be noisy?

    Noise on construction sites is unavoidable, but the project does have measures in place to minimise nuisance noise such as keeping noisy works to daytime hours whenever possible.

    We also have consented noise limits that we’re required to meet and noise is monitored regularly to ensure we’re not exceeding those levels. From time to time certain activities will exceed these limits – in such cases local Council (KCDC) approval is required and we also notify the neighbours well ahead of the works starting.

    If you’re experiencing any noise issues, please get in touch through our 0800 PP2O INFO (0822 7726 4636) or email

  •   What will you do to manage the vibration effects of construction?

    Not all construction vibration can be avoided but the project team must ensure that vibration is reduced as far as practicable and take particular care when using high vibration-causing machinery such as vibrating rollers in close proximity to our neighbours. In instances where vibration is experienced, monitoring will be initiated to assess levels against vibration criteria outlined in Conditions of Consent.

    If you’re experiencing construction vibration, please get in touch through our 0800 PP2O INFO (0822 7726 4636) or email

  •   What hours do the construction team work?

    Our working hours are generally 7:30am-6pm Monday to Saturday, but there will be times when we need to work outside these hours, or at night time. We’ll communicate in advance of any works outside our typical hours.

  •   How do you manage construction traffic on local roads?

    Our traffic management team puts plans in place around every aspect of the construction programme and its interface with the local road network. This ensures we have as little impact on local traffic as possible.

    At times we require temporary traffic management such as stop/go and reduced speeds around our works sites to keep everyone safe.

    As works are ramping up and our sites are becoming more visible from State Highway 1 and the local roads, please slow down, stick to the speed limits and allow a little extra time for your travel.

  •   Why have you changed the surface from chipseal to OGPA (Open Graded Porous Asphalt)?

    Waka Kotahi has confirmed that a change in surface is required for the expressway.

    Recently updated traffic modelling for the expressway shows that an asphaltic surface, rather than chip seal, is required to ensure the expressway can withstand the increased traffic volumes and perform at the level required through-out its lifetime.

    Traffic modelling for the expressway indicates that traffic volumes just north of Peka Peka are currently at approximately 20,000 vehicles per day. By 2031 this could grow by at least 10% to 15% per day.

    Traffic modelling takes into consideration a wide range of data and information including traffic growth (both cars and trucks), potential land development and associated traffic generation and mode choice (i.e. public transport vs vehicle use).

    The benefits of OGPA are:

    • A smoother surface for drivers
    • Ability to drain water from the road surface during heavy rain
    • Ability to withstand heavier traffic volumes
    • Lower operational noise.
  •   When will you apply the OGPA?

    As with most major roading projects, chip seal will be put down for the first 12 months to allow the surface to bed-in, enhance waterproofing, and help reduce the risk of early surface failures. Following that 12-month bedding in period, the OGPA will then be applied.

    Media release announcing the upgrade for the surface of the PP2Ō Expressway(external link).

  •   What does the estimated $445 million cost for the project cover?

    The cost includes initial investigation works, design and construction of the expressway, property-related costs (e.g. providing temporary accommodation for people who had to move out of their homes for construction to take place, building temporary access to homes where construction impacted usual access and heritage property restoration), and direct overheads for management, supervision, administration and quality assurance.