Project introduction

Now the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway is open, the status of old SH1 as a state highway will be removed and responsibility for it transferred from Waka Kotahi to Kāpiti Coast District Council. As the road will officially become a local road, works are required to ensure it’s fit-for-purpose.

  • Project type

    Road management
  • Project status


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The Peka Peka to Ōtaki section of the Kāpiti Expressway is now completed. This means old State Highway 1 (SH1) in the area is no longer required to function as a state highway and will officially become a local road. Responsibility for ownership, maintenance and any future upgrades of that road will be transferred from Waka Kotahi to Kāpiti Coast District Council – this process is called ‘revocation’.

Works to the part of old SH1 that bypasses the expressway – from Makahuri (previously known as Marycrest) in Te Horo to Taylors Road just north of Ōtaki – will be undertaken to ensure it meets the needs of a local road. This section of road is approximately 12km long. The 3km of road south of Marycrest to Te Kowhai Rd does not require any works i.e. it’s already in a state to be handed over to Council.

To achieve this, Waka Kotahi and the council are working in partnership to plan, design and deliver old SH1 in that area as a fit-for-purpose local road that strengthens the district’s resilience and improves connections for all modes of transport.

It’s important local communities are part of this process and the project team is committed to ongoing engagement throughout the duration of the project.


The following benefits are expected to result from proposed changes along the road corridor:

  • Positively contributing to and enhancing the Ōtaki and Te Horo business areas to suit the expected traffic volumes and movements.
  • Continuing to operate as an emergency bypass route to the Kāpiti Expressway.
  • Protect and enhance natural systems, local features and amenity.
  • Facilitating the movement of people to local communities from east to west and enhancing connectivity for all transport modes through and across the district by:
    • expanding walking and cycling connections and options
    • improving connections to and from rail and bus facilities
    • enhancing the safety of all road users including intersection improvements and slower traffic speeds, so people using all transport modes and of all abilities can have improved access.

Redesigning the old route

State highways are designed to carry a large number of vehicles as quickly and efficiently as possible. Local roads have different considerations - they run through residential, commercial and recreational areas, and are used by a different type of traffic.

As we prepare for old State Highway 1 to officially become a local road, we’ve thought about what features it will need to have such as road layout, intersections, landscaping, street furniture and the needs within commercial areas.

What we have considered:

  • Road layouts to suit the traffic movements and lower traffic volumes.
  • Pedestrian crossings and shared paths.
  • Road markings to improve safety and awareness along the route.
  • Lighting and signage along the route for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
  • Feature landscaping, tree planting and street furniture.

We’ve also considered the look and feel of the commercial areas within and around Ōtaki and Te Horo.

The public were asked to provide feedback on the concept and preliminary designs in 2019 and 2021. More information on the feedback we received which assisted with these designs can be found on our ‘Community Engagement’ page.

Community Engagement(external link)

Considering appropriate speed limits

Between November and December 2022, Waka Kotahi consulted on proposed new speed limits for the old State Highway 1 as part of an Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan.  Waka Kotahi is considering feedback from this consultation alongside existing information to finalise the interim plan.  More information on the process and timeframes for a decision on any permanent speed limit changes is provided on our ‘Te Upoko o Te Ika – Greater Wellington’ page.

Te Upoko o Te Ika – Greater Wellington

You can subscribe to updates on the Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan by subscribing on the following webpage:

Subscribe to updates on the Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan(external link)