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Council puts speed review into neutral

NZTA has proposed to drop the state highway speed limit to 80kmh through Wairarapa. PHOTO/FILE

South Wairarapa District Council’s speed review is on hold until Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency [NZTA] confirms its decision on Wairarapa’s state highway speed limit.

Although NZTA could not confirm when a decision would be made on State Highway 2, South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen said an announcement was imminent and was expected “in the next four weeks”.

NZTA consulted on its proposal last year to drop the state highway speed limit to 80kmh through Wairarapa.

A spokesperson said the organisation was still working on its review of speed limits between Masterton and Featherston and did not yet have a specific date for a decision.

“We are also working towards construction of safety upgrades between Masterton and Carterton as part of our plan to make SH2 through the Wairarapa safer for everyone who uses it,” the NZTA spokesperson said.

NZTA’s speed review was discussed at Wednesday’s Greytown Community Board meeting by councillor Alistair Plimmer, who said the council’s own review was “stuck” until NZTA made a decision.


South Wairarapa was working with Carterton on the review as their roading network was linked in places, Plimmer said.

The purpose of South Wairarapa’s speed review is to make sure all roads in the district have appropriate speed limits for their condition and purpose.

“As you can appreciate, we have 270km of unsealed roads, and the speed limit is 100kmh. Now, that’s just ridiculous,” Plimmer said.

“We’re sort of stuck because we’re waiting on Waka Kotahi to see what they are going to do on SH2.”

He said the Greytown Community Board’s submission to NZTA’s speed review objected to the speed limit being lowered to 80kmh.

“We said that makes no sense at all. It makes our feeder roads even less viable as a speed,” Plimmer said.

He said if NZTA dropped the state highway limit to 80kmh, then “by the time you get out to the coast, you’d probably be going 5kmh, and you might as well walk”.

He said any speed limit changes in the district would need to go through a thorough consultation process, but work on the review could not continue until NZTA had made a decision.

“The committee wants to move on this speed limit review, but our hands are tied. There’s nothing we can do until we get certainty from what they are proposing.” – NZLDR

  • Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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