Best & Worst Roads


How safe are our state highways?

We get a guide to answering that today with the release today of new star ratings for our state highways as part of what’s called the KiwiRAP programme.

It sounds like a Saturday morning Maori TV music programme but KiwiRAP is actually been developed by the AA and the NZTA toprovide an assessment of the relative levels of safety built in to our state highways.

One star roads have the lowest safety rating and five star roads the highest. There are no 1 star but nor are there any 5 star roads over a five-kilometre length.
KiwiRAP provides star ratings for 89 percent of New Zealand’s state highway network, covering 10,002kms of rural highways with speed limits of 80km/h or more.

KiwiRAP also shows that 28 percent of all vehicle kilometres travelled by our vehicles occurs on our four star roads, 40 percent on our three star roads, and 33 percent on our two star roads.

Of the 10,002-kilometres assessed: 39% rated 2 stars, 56% rated 3 stars, 5% rated 4stars.

Results overall:

This table below shows the Star Rating results for each of the 15 regions. The results illustrate what percentage of the rural state highway network fall within each of the 5-Star Rating bands.

This table shows the ratings for each of the 15 regions based on vehicle kilometres travelled.
Of the 10,002-kilometres assessed:
• 33% of annual vehicle kilometres travelled is on 2 star roads
• 40% 3 star
• 28% 4 star

This tables provides a snapshot of the key safety features that have a large influence on safety outcomes over New Zealand’s rural state highways.
• 5% of the network is median divided
• 20% has forgiving and safe roadside conditions
• 96% has good delineation
• 98% has wide lanes
• 13% has good sealed shoulder width
• 72% has good horizontal alignment
• the network has an intersection frequency of one intersection for every two-kilometres of travel.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says he hopes drivers will use the ratings to educate themselves about the relative safety of the roads they use and adjust their driving accordingly.
KiwiRAP website here




  1. William M says:

    Oh yes, Mr Joyce. I, John Q. Taxpayer, will really read your statistics before driving to Gisborne this summer. *pfft*

  2. ingolfson says:

    William - this data is intended for planners and politicians to gauge the need for maintenance and upgrades. But then, your response shows that you are not the target “customer” for these statistics anyway.

  3. Mike F says:

    I’ll get in before someone else does.

    Auckland 4 star roads - 1 star drivers

  4. jarbury says:

    So the 7th riskiest piece of road in the whole country is SH1 between Warkworth and Wellsford. Remind me again what safety upgrades are proposed to this road between now and 2022?

    Oh yeah, none. Thanks to Joyce’s grandiose holiday highway that’s about 20-30 people condemned to their deaths.

  5. Bill says:

    Yes, I absolutely agree with this new 5-star rating system as part of KiwiRap across the entire highway network. I also understand that the RAP system for roads is used in Australia, the UK, the US and Europe as well. I believe the 5-star rating system, along with KiwiRap are a number of good tools that everyone can utilise.


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