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HB Regional Transport Committee oppose SH5 speed reduction


The Hawke’s Bay Regional Transport Committee today discussed the decision to reduce the speed limit from 100km to 80km on a 76km stretch of State Highway 5 between Napier and Taupō.

The Committee opposes the speed reduction, and requests Waka Kotahi undertake a review of its decision.

We believe that the decision was predetermined, and didn’t not fully take into account the thousands of submissions against the proposal.

We as leaders demand a fair share of crown investment. We need to be true to the whole of system approach, and need to look broader than safety and to the wider impacts on the community. We agree there are issues on our State Highway 5, but that these issues will not be solved solely through a reduction in speed.

Auckland gets the holiday highways and a $16B light rail project, Wellington (nearly) gets Transmission Gully, Waikato has the bypass, Bay of Plenty has the Eastern Arterial, Manawatu gets a gorge replacement. We get nothing but a speed reduction.

State Highway 5 is a lifeline for the region and our transport system. It is as important to us as the Auckland Harbour Bridge is to Auckland. It is vital to our competitiveness as a region, not least for the Port of Napier.

We find there is a lack of strategic management of SH5, and the focus has been solely through the speed lens, without taking adequate consideration of the flow on and broader social and economic effects.

We appreciate that Waka Kotahi is in a difficult position here. It is under direction from the Government to reduce death and serious injuries without adequate resource backing from the Crown and that is where the battle lies.

The question we are discussing is not about safety but about method. If this is meant to be a whole of system approach, then this approach is lacking. We as a region deserve better. We are demanding a commitment to investment in the corridor that will enable the 100km to be reinstated without safety concerns for our communities, or lives being put at risk.





That the Regional Transport Committee:

  1. Receives and considers the “Position on Waka Kotahi SH5 Speed Limit Decision” staff report.



  1. Agrees that the decisions to be made are not significant under the criteria contained in Council’s adopted Significance and Engagement Policy, and that the Committee can exercise its discretion and make decisions on this issue without conferring directly with the community or persons likely to have an interest in the decision.
  2. Submits the following position statement to Waka Kotahi in relation to the decision to lower the speed limit for the 76 km stretch of State Highway 5 (SH5) between Eskdale and Rangitaiki from 100km/hr to 80km/hr effective 18 February 2022.

3.1.          The Hawke’s Bay Regional Transport Committee (HBRTC) opposes the decision to reduce the speed limit on a permanent or long term basis, and:

3.1.1.          formally requests that Waka Kotahi presents the detailed technical report underlying its decision to lower the speed limit, including details of the process undertaken and criteria for analysis of submissions, to the HBRTC, as soon as possible {prior to 18 February 2022} and prior to the next scheduled HBRTC meeting on 11 March 2022

3.1.2.          Formally requests that Waka Kotahi undertakes a review of its 17 December 2021 decision, including with reference to a 90 km/hr option.

3.2.          The HBRTC advises that, should Waka Kotaki fail or refuse to undertake the review formally requested in 3.1.2 above, the HBRTC will pursue legal options to challenge the decision (and seek to have it set aside).

3.3.          The HBRTC formally requests that Waka Kotahi commits to a State Highway 5 Programme Business Case for road corridor improvements of sufficient scale, nature and extent to enable the current 100 km/h speed limit to be retained or reinstated for the 90 km stretch of SH5 between Eskdale and Rangitaiki, with that programme Business Case (including funding) to be confirmed by 30 June 2022.

3.4.          The HBRTC continues to support the safe system approach including the education and enforcement success of the ‘Stay Alive on 5’ programme.

3.5.          The HBRTC Chair will write to the Minister of Transport on the Committee’s behalf, recording the position of the Committee and the regional concern for an equitable level of investment in the critically important State Highway 5 corridor over the short, medium and longer term.


Stewart abstained



3 February 2022

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