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Speed comes down … Tickets go up

There has been a sharp increase in the number of drivers caught speeding in Wairarapa.

A 21 per cent increase in the number caught on high-speed roads between December 2022 and December 2023 comes after a 56 per cent drop in the number caught speeding between 2019 and 2022.

In the year since speed limit reductions came into effect, 143 tickets were issued on high-speed roads.

Data obtained through an Official Information Act [OIA] request suggests there had been a downward trend of speedsters on some Wairarapa roads.

The 21 per cent increase between the ends of 2022 and 2023 coincides with the introduction of blanket speed reductions across the region.

Roads previously designated to have 100kmh speed limits were reduced to 70 or 80kmh – depending on where roadworks were in place.

Only three issued infringements in 2023 were for people speeding on a 100kmh speed limit road.

The Times-Age initially asked for speeding infringements issued on SH2 between Featherston and Masterton. However, director of road policing Superintendent Steve Greally said, “Due to the way police report traffic offences, infringements between given sections of a particular road cannot be isolated”.

“However, I can provide you with data based on the localities State Highway 2 passes through to give the best estimate of speeding offences in the requested area,” he said.

The data received is for high-speed roads and excludes those travelling through townships.

At three areas of high-speed road in Clareville, Carterton, and Dalefield, there were no speeding infringement notices issued between 2019 and 2022, but 94 were issued in 2023 where the driver was travelling at a speed of 100kmh or less. These sections of road were marked as 80kmh.

The data did not provide information on drivers travelling greater than 50kmh over the speed limit because this information is kept with the courts.

Current speeding legislation states that if the speed is more than 40kmh over the limit, the driver can get a 28-day licence suspension, while if the speed is more than 50kmh over the limit, the driver could also be charged with careless, dangerous or reckless driving.

There was also an upward trend of tickets issued to people travelling on a 70kmh stretch of road in Clareville where they were driving at or below 100kmh.

Tickets issued on this stretch of road were, at most, three per year between 2019 and the beginning of 2022 – this jumped up to a total of 16 from the start of 2022 to the end of 2023.

The total price of tickets issued on these high-speed roads, inclusive of SH2 between Featherston and Masterton, came to $20,010 compared to 2022’s $13,550.

“Section 141 of the Land Transport Act 1998 sets out the requirement for police to pay all money received in respect of infringement fees into a Crown Bank Account,” Greally said.

“Police do not retain any portion of any fees paid.”

Greally said the total figure of fees from infringements is not the total amount paid as it is not inclusive of things like non-payment or appeals.

The highest speeding band before being referred to the courts is between 46 and 50kmh over the sign-posted speed limit and comes with a $630 fee.

The lowest infringement fee is $30 for travelling between 1 and 10kmh over the speed limit.

The new coalition government promised during its election campaign that it would remove the blanket speed limit reductions across the country. However, there has been no confirmation of when the roads will return to 100kmh.


  1. Maybe if the speed-obsessed NZTA had not lowered the speed limit on SH2, there wouldn’t be as many speeders? Maybe we simply don’t agree with NZTA, and would like them to take a long walk off a short pier? Frankly I am sick and tired of NZTA lowering speed limits, removing passing lanes, sticking roundabouts all over the place. If they were to do their freakin’ job and fix the roads, instead of worrying about bilingual road signs and the like, then the road toll would come down all by itself.

  2. Put the road speeds back to there old limits and concentrate on road repairs. NZTA running the road limits as a nanny state only annoyed everyday road users who kept within the speed limits and drove to the conditions. Hoons and boy racers increased because of the last governments SOCIALISM AGENDA. In force the laws we have in a democracy.

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