A Board of Inquiry has granted consent for the Puhoi to
Warkworth motorway north of Auckland, known as the "holiday
The New Zealand Transport Agency acting highway manager Steve
Mutton said the draft decision from the Board of Inquiry was
welcomed by NZTA.
"The draft decision is great news and an exciting and
important step towards improving transport connections
between Auckland and Northland and the rest of the upper
North Island," Mr Mutton said.
The first stage of the project involves constructing a 18.5km
four-lane motorway from the Johnstone's Hill tunnels on State
Highway 1 north of Auckland to a roundabout north of
Ramps to and from Auckland are planned near Puhoi.
NZTA will provide feedback to the Environmental Protection
Authority (EPA) within 20 working days.
Construction could start between 2016 and 2019, subject to
the Board's final decision in September, Mr Mutton said.
It is estimated the motorway will take five years to build.
"While it's important to remember that the final decision is
yet to be made, we are encouraged by the draft decision,
which has followed an extremely rigorous fact-finding
process," Mr Mutton said.
"Whangarei to Auckland is one of New Zealand's key transport
routes, and investigations on how to continue improving and
securing this corridor are ongoing, including for the
Wellsford to Warkworth section."
Motorway won't help Northland - Greens
Green Party transport spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter said the
motorway extension was a waste of money.
"The project is actually in the Auckland Region and will only
encourage more long distance commuting by car, worsening
Other road projects would make more of a difference to
Northland, such as maintenance and safety upgrades to SH1
north of Puhoi, she said.