Puhoi Highway $1.3b And More


The Holiday Highway is certain to cost more than the $1.3b estimated back in 2009.

Today, while announcing the route, NZTA shied away from putting a figure on the cost - but transport minister Steven Joyce said:  ”The challenge for this project is not so much the funding but getting the design, consultation and consenting processes all done from a standing start.”

NZTA would only say this on funding: “ The estimates for the Puhoi to Warkworth section are still being developed as part of the ongoing project investigation and will not be finalised until the route is confirmed. However, the budget for the Puhoi to Wellsford project is $1.3 billion (2009 dollars).”

The business case for the Britomart CBD loop will put the figure for that job in the region of $2b.

HOW MUCH?: Minister says it doesn't matter, just built it

NZTA wants the Holiday highway completed by 2020 but adds “NZTA will seek to accelerate the programme wherever possible.”

It says the route announced today is based on seven months of in-depth specialist work assessing environmental, social and engineering inputs including the extensive feedback from the first round of consultation in June and July this year.

The route is the result of a three step process.

  1. The project team developed a long list of options in the project area based on desk top study of constraints. These included environmental (streams, DOC reserves), social (Puhoi historic village) and Engineering (terrain, road geometry). These were mainly clustered around the existing SH1 but some went as far west as the Auckland to Whangarei railway line.
  2. The team reduced this to a short-list based on a series of criteria covering areas such as transport, environmental, social and economic factors.
  3. Once the short-list was established further investigations were undertaken including some walkovers of property and public consultation to come up with an indicative route.

With 55 to 60 properties going to be affected, public information days will be held in Warkworth and Puhoi starting this weekend. But, as it was with Waterview, it will be anxious uncertain time for those property owners.

No land will be bought yet as the route may still change and the projected route is not definite enough to confirm exact boundaries affected.

“We are only in the first phase of the project and have yet to fix where the route will be and exactly how much land will be needed, ” says NZTA on the issue today.

“We have prepared maps for landowners whose properties are crossed by the indicative route which show how much land might be affected. But this is just a rough indication. It is possible that the route might move off their properties or require more or less land following the consultation and further studies.”

The info sessions are on:

  • This Saturday 10am-2pm – Warkworth Primary School, Hill Street,
  • Warkworth Tuesday 23 November 4pm-7.30pm – Old Masonic Hall, Baxter Street
  • Puhoi Thursday 25 November 3.30pm – 7.30pm – Puhoi Sports Club
  • Warkworth Sunday 28 November 10-2pm – Warkworth Primary School, Hill Street, Warkworth

The consultation will run till 28th January 2011.

NZTA says it is not consulting on a route north of Warkworth because the terrain and geology through the Dome Valley and around Wellsford is very difficult for road building. “We need to do more work to develop the best value-for-money solution for this section of the project.  Both the steep land through Dome Valley and the flatter land around Wellsford have their issues. It is important we have a good understanding of this before we select an indicative route for this section.”

To allow NZRA to start without slowing progress with the Puhoi to Warkworth section, it spilt the project into two sections.

One of the contentious issues is access.

NZTA says on the question of why the Warkworth access will be to the north of the town that the access is close to the town centre providing easy use for local residents and visitors using the existing SH1. Through traffic will be shifted away from Hill Street improving its operation.

The proposed access allows for a potential Matakana link road to the eastern beaches, however, this will need to be discussed further with Auckland Council. There is access to the Woodcock’s Road industrial and commercial areas via Auckland Council’s planned western collector. This could be enhanced with a potential new link road from the bypass to Hudson Road, however, this will need to be discussed further with Auckland Counci. Increases in traffic on Woodcocks Road by the secondary school and on Hill Street by the primary school are avoided.

As far as the Hill Street Upgrade project is concerned, traffic will travel in and out of Warkworth from the north through a tie-in to the existing state highway. The agency says the Hill Street intersection improvements currently underway are still required to help with the intersection performance until the new highway is in place.  Once the new highway is built, some further minor upgrades to the Hill Street intersection will help direct the changed traffic flows.

Traffic to the eastern beaches will then turn left at the Hill Street intersection.

The decision on an access near Puhoi/Mahurangi West required further work,  including understanding the future for the area as set out in the Auckland plan currently under development.




  1. BD says:

    Hahaha that’s rich for Stephen Joyce saying this

    The challenge for this project is not so much the funding but getting the design, consultation and consenting processes all done from a standing start.”

    If that’s the case Mr Joyce why make up crap about the $32 million for rail projects then. What about Holiday Highway 2 then an alternative for statehighway 16, i bet this would be the next stupid project to be built, and no mention of the $32million dollar funding gap there for that as its a motorway project.

    The fact of the matter is, National could get the CBD loop built now, but it doesn’t want to build it, not because the public want more motorways built because the government thinks we need them.

    I simply remember reading an article from Alan Griffith – a former director of finance for the Tauranga City Council, about his point of view on motorway projects.

    “You cannot go on building motorways forever”

    This says it all, he should be the transport minister if anything. This seems to be the case with the National Government that motorways will keep on being built forever.

    I just hope and pray that when the business report for the CBD loop is finished it gets rubber stamp and we just build the dam thing for the better of the future. Auckland already looks like a city dominated with cars, they should call it “Car City”. I never in my life seen so many car park builldings and motorway junctions, the fact of the matter if Aucklands population keeps growing like is, we need to cater for the population by means of significant upgrades to the public transport system, I don’t mean stupid second hand cheap upgrades I mean upgrades built to the same standard the motorway projects get.

    The current problem is now the NZTA is too forcused on roads it’s all well and good saying that we need to sort roads out first, but by the time we end up building every single possible road we can build, this will be like 20-30 years down the line, the public transport system will not be able to cope.

  2. antz says:

    God, if this keeps up in the next 50 years we might as well have an expressway from auckland to tauranga and whangarei.

  3. GJA says:

    I wonder if SJ realises that if he carries on like this and not listen to the public. That he will not build the Puhoi Highway, since he will not be in government in 9-11 months from now.

    National will lose the election on this issue.

    Not sure who will then be government, hopefully not labour. What adbout Rodney or Winston? ;-)

  4. max says:

    GJA - seriously, National is currently at no risk of losing the election over Puhoi. Only us transport nerds really care. Witness the fact how quiet the general media is on this, and how unlikely it is that this topic would come up during a breakroom chat.

    National is skirting the edge of becoming unpopular when they say “No money for the CBD tunnel”, but unless the fuel prices rise and stay up, few people will question the motorway orgy. They won’t lose any election based on that.

  5. we dont need this new motorway i know i drive from warkworth to auckland everyday it only takes 40minits devenport to auckland can take longer and we up in warkworth dont want it


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