50,000 Skip Paying Northern Toll


More than 50,000 Northern Toll Road  payment notices are outstanding with a total value of $513,000 – approximately 2.3% of total tolling revenue..

NZTA is to crack down on those who don’t pay.

57% of casual users paid manually by stopping at the kiosks, 28% paid using the web and 15 % paid by telephone.

The overall compliance rate (the percentage of trips that have been paid) on the road is 96%.

NZTA Regional Director for Auckland and Northland Stephen Town said the agency was working to improve payment rates of overdue tolls, including introducing automated referral of infringement notices to the Ministry of Justice for collection, and the NZTA would commence court proceedings against outstanding toll debtors later this year.

More people are using the Northern gateway toll road

NZTA is also looking at ways at cutting costs for administering payments for the Northern Gateway Toll Road.

He says there’s a wide range in the costs incurred to administer different types of payment – from $0.13 per transaction for web payments to $3.85 per transaction for telephone payments.

“These costs are not sustainable going forward, and we’re looking at ways to encourage more use of our easier and less expensive payment channels like the web, including the introduction of a new scale of administration charges which will better reflect the level of service and actual costs of the different payment channels.”

The $2.00 toll for light vehicles is made up of $1.13 in revenue, $0.65 operating charge, and $0.22 GST. The NZTA can retain $0.65 from each toll to cover its operational costs. The average actual cost per transaction for the six months to 31 December was $0.74.

The road’s half-yearly report for the period from July  2010 to December 31 2010 shows that almost 2.5 million trips were made on the road - about two percent higher than forecast, bringing the total number of journeys since the toll road opened in January 2009 to 9.4 million.

The proportion of total network traffic using the toll road rather than the free alternate route is 70.8%, slightly higher than the targeted usage of 70%, but lower than the proportion of network travel reported in June 2010 (75.7%).

NZTA says this reduction is primarily due to a different method being used to yield the road traffic figures for the free alternative route, SH17.

Of interest in the Puhoi road debate: Total traffic volumes for the six months to the end of December 2010 were 1.9% ahead of forecasts.


The proportion of network travel using the Northern Gateway Toll Road is 70.8%. The increase in ‘unidentifiable’ trips on the toll road during this six-montly period was the result of a fault affecting communications between the northbound roadside equipment and the tolling system for a period of 20 hours in November 2010, resulting in approximately 7,800 unidentifiable toll trips.

Key results for the six months to 31 December 2010 include:

  • Approximately $3 million in revenue was collected to repay debt for construction of the road during the six-month reporting period. A total of $11.4 million has now been collected for debt repayment since the toll road opened.
  • The average administration cost per transaction for toll payments for the six month period was $0.74
  • Transaction costs incurred to administer different types of payment varied widely, from $0.13 per transaction for web payments to $3.85 per transaction for telephone payments.
  • Over 5,000 accounts were opened during the six month reporting period, bringing the total number of toll road accounts to more than 52,000
  • More than half (53.5%) of trips taken on the toll road during the six month period were paid for using a toll road account.

If a toll remains unpaid after five days of using the road, a toll payment notice is generated which currently incurs an administration charge of $2.20. If after 28 days, the toll payment notice remains unpaid, aninfringement notice is issued for each outstanding toll. The value of the infringement notice is $40.00.

The outstanding toll still remains payable and is not part of the infringement process. A reminder notice is sent if the infringement notice is not paid within 28 days. If after a further 28 days the notice remains unpaid, the outstanding infringement may be referred to the Ministry of Justice for collection.

The NZTA began issuing infringement notices for unpaid tolls in June 2010. During the six-monthly reporting period the NZTA issued 22,255 infringement notices, and 8,283 noticeswere paid. While initial infringement notices must be issued by enforcement officers, who check to ensure they are correct, the NZTA is working with the Ministry of Justice to improve payment rates by automating the infringement process, including automated referral of outstanding infringement notices to the MoJ.





  1. Carl says:

    hows about they put in a proper toll booth system, rather than the pull off, walk through BP probably after you have then decided to buy gas and coffee and pay your dues.

    I’ve made the trip north twice and twice the machine is either broken or the line is massive. Then you get stuck behind first time users who then have to get out of line and go back and get their rego number.

    who ever though of this system needs a bullet right between the eyes.

    you actually don’t even save anytime on your journey anymore.

  2. Philip Lloyd says:

    1. Re- The coin operated toll machines for the privilege of driving through the
    tunnel on Highway 1 bypassing Orewa: I sincerely hope that the person who
    thought of this idea actually has to use it himself!

    2. (Fuller version)

    Re- The coin operated toll machines for the tunnel on Highway 1 bypassing
    Orewa: I very rarely travel from Auckland up to Whangarei but when I do, I prefer to just ring the 0800 number and put the $4 charge on my visa account, however I now find they are charging an extra $3.70 for the convenience of doing this! I therefore decided to call in at the coin operated toll machines at the service station. Apart from an extra fee of $0.40 for the privilege of using their machine, I had to wait in a cue for over 35 minutes as just six people struggled to follow the instructions to simply pay a $4 fee for a return trip through the tunnel! If you touch the screen for more than an instant, multiple letters appear on the screen and you have to start again. I saw coins being rejected, problems with non acceptance of credit cards and a LOT of very frustrated people.
    I cringe to think what overseas travellers would say about this inefficient, antiquated, so called “modern” electronic system. The time I used the machine was not even a peak user time. I hate to think what the waiting time would be over the holiday period. I sincerely hope that the person who thought of this idea actually has to use it himself! It would be far quicker to have gone through Orewa.

  3. Matt says:

    Philip, why not pay online? You obviously have a credit card which you’re prepared to use for this purpose, and you clearly have internet access.

    I’ve always paid the toll online. On one business trip I returned to the office, paid the toll, and submitted my expense claim for mileage and the toll before the end of the day.


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