Destination: Ōtaki

December 2022

The Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway will be a game-changer - a safe, resilient and reliable route for both travellers and locals. The new four-lane road won’t just mean a bypass for through traffic, it'll also help boost the region’s productivity and growth, and make Ōtaki calmer, quieter and much more enjoyable. Whether you're keen on a day at the beach, a bargain or a bite to eat, soon everyone will be able to more easily experience what beautiful Ōtaki has to offer!

Wetlands are important to a healthy environment

 April 2021

Wetlands play a critical role to play in any healthy environment. Not only do they filter water flowing through them, they also act like a sponge – absorbing water in times of flood and releasing it during drier periods.

The PP2Ō project is now at the stage where work has begun on the wetlands found throughout the project area. A new wetland is being created near the railway station and other existing wetlands throughout the project area are being enhanced.

In the latest project video by the Ōtaki College media studies team, take a look at how a wetland is created and maintained.

Preparing for a traffic switch

March 2021

It’s not an easy job preparing to switch traffic onto a new section of road, especially if you want the move to go seamlessly and safely. When it came time to close Ōtaki Gorge Road and open the new Te Horo Beach Road overbridge (Bridge 8), our Traffic Management Team got to work.

Our team was busy right through the night removing the original road markings, diverting traffic, re-marking the roads and erecting new barriers and signs – all while keeping disruption to an absolute minimum.

From the air – work underway in the south of the project

November 2020

It’s sometimes hard to see all the work underway on PP2Ō, but with a bird’s eye view, you can really see the new expressway taking shape. Earthmoving on the southern end of the project has been a focus for the team over the past few months.

Ōtaki College produces PP2Ō video updates

October 2020

Ōtaki College and Fletcher Construction came to a mutually beneficial arrangement when the PP2Ō project kicked off. The school was looking for opportunities to involve students in media and film studies, and Fletcher wanted to provide monthly video updates for the community and for itself.

So, what better way to do this than to put an agreement in place, and contract the school to carry out the filming?

Working with Head of Department Stephen Aitken, a programme for each year is developed. Stephen assigns students to outline the project through storyboarding and carry out the filming. The team then takes the footage back to the classroom to edit, subtitle and produce the final product.

It’s proved to be a fantastic collaboration that is providing some talented young people with valuable experience.

The historic Smíšek kilns

August 2020

The Smíšek kilns are another notch in the belt of the Ōtaki art scene, and the Mirek Smíšek Ceramic Arts Trust has huge ideas for the development of the kilns. The Trust intends for them to become the centrepiece of an active pottery and traditional weaving arts centre.

There’s one big problem: the unique beehive kilns – thought to be the only ones of their kind surviving in New Zealand – are smack bang in the middle of the new expressway and must be moved 40 metres to the west.

“If it weren’t for the expressway we wouldn’t have known about the kilns,” says Trust spokesperson Susie White. “Once all the overgrowth was removed for the construction, we rediscovered them.”

Deconstructing and reconstructing the kilns is a major, and very technical, undertaking. During the deconstruction, which took approximately a week per kiln, each brick was numbered and stored to await reconstruction.

Once it gets underway the reconstruction is expected to take about two months.

Blessing our new roads

July 2020

For Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki the safety of our roads and the people who travel upon them is of utmost importance, which is one of the reasons why a karakia (blessing) is performed before any new roads are opened. But a karakia is about much more than invoking protection and guidance for travellers. These events have a far greater spiritual meaning for iwi that includes honouring their ancestors.

The PP2Ō project Kaiarahi, Rawiri Rikihana, recently led karakia for the stage 1 Local Arterial Road at Marycrest, the Old Hautere Link Road and the new access roads under the Ōtaki River Bridge.

He explains the significance of the karakia.

Bridge 8 – a job well done

March 2020

It was hard not to notice that the spans for Bridge 8 were going up. After all, they traversed the Main Trunk Rail Line and SH1 at Hyde Park. So much can go wrong with these lifts if precision planning is not undertaken.

The project worked with KiwiRail to ensure the beam lifts over the main trunk line were carried out between scheduled train movements, which gave them a window of about an hour for each lift.

The lifts were undertaken in the middle of the night to lessen disruption to motorists as SH1 also had to be closed. Although a diversion was in place for light vehicles, trucks had up to 30 minute waits while the beams were lifted.

PP2Ō – a bird’s-eye view

November 2019

The PP2Ō project has passed its half-way mark and though there’s still a long way to go before its 2021 opening; a bird’s-eye view gives a clear indication of progress. The 12.5 kilometre stretch of expressway extends from Peka Peka in the south, to Taylors Road in the north.

The importance of archaeology

October 2019

Archaeologist Mary O’Keefe talks about her work and the importance of being on site during large construction projects.

Staying safe around road works

September 2019

Fletcher Construction take safety very seriously. It wants its workers and the community to get home safely to their families.

Ōtaki College Careers Expo a springboard for a career at Fletcher Construction

August 2019

Surveyor Andrew Wheatley and Survey Assistant Matheson Cavanagh are just two of many who took part in this year’s Ōtaki College Careers Expo on 21 August 2019.

Long haul work

July 2019

Clare Miller, Project Manager and Danny Richmond, Site Manager from Goodmans talk to Ōtaki College digital media students about undertaking the bulk of earthworks.

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A day in the life of a bridge builder

July 2019

Watch a timelapse showing the Ōtaki River Bridge being built.

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Remembering the original Main Road North bridge

June 2019

The deconstruction and removal of the Main Road North road/rail bridge was completed in June. Ōtaki College students speak to Ōtaki locals who share their childhood memories of the original bridge being built.

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Rāhui Road closure and diversions

March 2019

Ōtaki College digital media students video the diversion route and interview the team to find out what’s happening and what you need to do to get around the works safely on foot, bike or vehicle.

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Train spotting

February 2019

Ōtaki College digital media students are back in action and this month bring us a video update profiling the people, planning and safety measures in play around the rail re-alignment work scheduled for Easter 2019.

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A look back at PP2Ō 2018

December 2018

And “that’s a wrap” as Ōtaki College Students mash up their show reel of PP2Ō works from 2018. A huge thank you from all of us in the project team for your amazing and professional work over the year!

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PP2Ō Expressway Bridge art graphics

October 2018

Piri-Hira Tukapua talks to Ōtaki College media studies students about the PP2Ō Expressway Bridge art graphics.

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Schools learn about crossing safely

September 2018

Familiarise yourself with the recent changes to Ōtaki foot traffic north of Mill Road roundabout by following our drone flyover of the new safe route. This was distributed in both English and Te Reo Māori to students and parents throughout Ōtaki.

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Fish capture and relocation

August 2018

Our digital update from the Ōtaki College students focuses on the environmental work we’ve been doing ahead of the stream diversions required to build some of the many large project culverts.

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Clifden Cottage relocation

July 2018

Ōtaki College media studies students talk to heritage architect Ian Bowman about the temporary shifting of the historic Clifden Cottage to make room for expressway construction. It’s currently sitting at the end of Old Hautere Road where it will remain there until construction works are complete. Then, it will be moved back to the area it came from.

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Safety culture at work

June 2018

Keeping people safe at work is our number one priority. This month Ōtaki College media studies students share some insights into Health and Safety culture at work on PP2Ō.

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PP2Ō planting collaboration with Ōtaki College

May 2018

Ōtaki College media studies students catch up with other students involved in an exciting horticulture project for PP2Ō Expressway landscaping.

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Moving the historic Mirek Smisek kilns

April 2018

Ōtaki College students share a community update on the history and future vision for historic kilns at the former Te Horo home of world-famous potter, Mirek Smisek that are to be preserved as part of conservation efforts for heritage sites in the PP2Ō project area.

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Ōtaki River Bridge construction video update

March 2018

Ōtaki College students share update from Ōtaki River Bridge construction.

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PP2Ō Bridges 2 and 3

February 2018

Construction update from Bridges 2 and 3 provided by Ōtaki College Students.

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Onsite with the PP2Ō Archaeology team

January 2018

Ōtaki College students' share an update from archaeological investigations onsite at Marycrest late 2017.

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PP2Ō team out and about in Ōtaki

December 2017

Ōtaki College students' update from the PP2Ō Info Days and project team powhiri at Raukawa Marae.

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Ecological surveying on PP2Ō Expressway

November 2017

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

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Bilingual signs for the PP2Ō Expressway

September 2017

The Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway is very proud to be the first construction project in New Zealand to use bilingual signage, adopting a government initiative to promote and revitalise the Māori language. Te reo Māori, as well as English, is being used in all worksite signage on the project.

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PP2Ō team support Ōtaki College Careers Open Day

September 2017

Ōtaki College media studies students' coverage of the Ōtaki College Careers Expo on 22 September 2017, where the PP2Ō team provided insights into the wide range of careers available in civil construction.

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Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway sod-turning event

July 2017

Ōtaki College media studies students' coverage of the PP2Ō sod-turning event on 7 July 2017.