Important updates from Waka Kotahi



10 June 2021 

Local insight sought for SH30 Tikitere to Whakatāne speed review

People from Tikitere to Whakatāne are being asked to share their local insights, as Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency continues to review speed limits on state highways around the region. 

State Highway 30 between Tikitere and Whakatāne in Eastern Bay of Plenty is the latest state highway to come under the spotlight, after being identified as a road where safer speed limits could make a big difference in preventing deaths and serious injuries.

Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships David Speirs says between 2010 and 2019, 10 people died and 73 were seriously injured on this road.

“We’re working toward a future where no-one is killed or seriously injured in road crashes in Aotearoa New Zealand,” he said.

“Lots of change is needed to get us there but there is one thing we can do that will make a huge difference immediately – making speeds safer on our roads.

“The speed of a vehicle at impact is the single biggest factor in determining whether you or someone you love walks away from a crash.” 

Mr Speirs says Waka Kotahi has heard concerns from people in the community about the speeds people are travelling on SH30 between Tikitere and Whakatāne.

“Engaging with the community helps us get feedback and local knowledge on how people feel about current speeds in the area, including on roads around their local school, marae, business or workplace.”

This information helps when deciding if a speed limit change is the best thing to improve road safety, where new speed limits might begin or end, and if any other safety improvements might be needed. The feedback also helps determine if and what speed limit changes will be formally consulted on. 

“We’d like people to tell us about places that are hard to get to or from, how safe they feel crossing the highway or letting their children walk or cycle to school in certain areas, and if there are any other sites or information that we need to be particularly aware of,” Mr Speirs says.

“Reviewing speed limits is something we can do now to prevent avoidable deaths and help us achieve our Road to Zero target to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by 40 percent over the next 10 years.” 

Have your say

Feedback is open Wednesday 9 June to Wednesday 7 July.

Come and see us at a pop-up event

  • Rotoiti Sports Club, 1303 State Highway 30, Rotoiti - Saturday 12 June, 10am – 1pm    
  • The Hub (outside Farmers), 3 Phoenix Drive, Whakatāne - Saturday 19 June, 11am – 2pm
  • Awakeri Event Centre, SH30, Awakeri - Thursday 24 June, 3pm – 6pm

If you are unable to attend in person and wish to provide feedback, visit: or email:


Final push to complete SH33 safety improvements

Work is about to get underway on one of the final sections of the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency State Highway 33 Te Ngae Junction to Paengaroa project.

Waka Kotahi Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery Jo Wilton says over the next six months the focus is on completion of the $34.5 million safety improvements project.

“Starting from Monday, work will get underway on a 2.1km section between the Sun Valley Curves passing lane and the recently completed passing lane on the hill towards Rotorua.

“To make this section of road safer we’re widening the shoulders and installing flexible safety barriers along the roadside where there are hazards such as trees and deep ditches. Before the safety improvements are made, a full road reconstruction will also be completed, to provide more strength and skid resistance to the surface,” says Ms Wilton.

To do this work as safely and efficiently as possible, the 2.1km length will be split into six 750m sections, with work completed one lane at a time under Stop/Go using traffic lights. Motorists can expect to wait up to five minutes at the lights.

“The team on the ground will be monitoring traffic, but people should expect the Stop/Go to create some minor delays. We thank road users for their patience while this important work is underway,” says Ms Wilton.  

Each section will follow the same process. The contractor will mill or grind away the old road surface, lay metal on top, compact and stabilise the metal by adding cement, then allow it to cure. Next, chip seal will be laid, then compacted. Once the new road has been laid, new line marking and roadside barriers will be installed before it’s reopened to traffic. Each section will take approximately 20-30 days to complete, weather dependent.

To keep everyone safe, work on the road is planned to take place during daylight hours, between 7am and 7pm, using traffic lights at the active sites. Outside of these hours the traffic lights will remain in place. People are asked to take extra care when travelling through the site by following the 30km/h temporary speed limit and the directions from traffic management staff and signs.

Waka Kotahi is committed to Vision Zero, a vision for Aotearoa New Zealand where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. Road and roadside safety improvements have been underway since late 2017 as part of the SH33 Te Ngae Junction to Paengaroa safety improvements project. This road was identified as a high-risk rural road, and the safety improvements are part of the Safe Network Programme.

The SH33 safety improvements also include a wide centreline from Te Ngae to Paengaroa, flexible roadside safety barriers at high risk locations, safety improvements in Mourea, Ōkere Falls and Paengaroa, rumble strips and a south-bound passing lane between Paengaroa and Ōkere Falls.

The 34km route is being completed progressively in stages and is expected to be finished in the 2021/2022 construction season.

For more information visit

Page reviewed: 10 Jun 2021 9:30am