Speed limit review 2022

Submissions closed on 05 December 2022, 04:30 PM

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We are required to review all speed limits in the district under the government’s Road to Zero National Road Safety Strategy. To do this, we are undertaking a road catchment-based rolling review of speed limits. Our initial focus is on high-benefit roads where better speed management will reduce serious injury and fatal crashes and areas that have high growth.

This time round we are reviewing the Bay of Islands-Kerikeri area east of State Highway 10. This encompasses Kerikeri, Ōpua, Paihia, Waitangi, Haruru, and Whangaroa. This review does not include Russell which will be included in the next catchment. You can read about all the proposed changes in the Statement of Proposal(PDF, 4MB).

Why are we doing this?

We need to ensure we all get to our destination safely. Better speed management is one way of making our roads safer. Other ways of improving safety include better engineering, safer cars and improving driver education. Government and council are working on these other options as well, but they take time (and are costly), and we need to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on our roads now.

Speed is a factor in 30% of all fatal and serious injury crashes in Far North. Speed limits on many of our roads were set when limits were restricted to 50 km/h in urban areas, 100 km/h in most other places and 70 km/h on a few semi-urban roads. As a result, our speed limits do not always match the road environment. In some cases, we have 100 km/h speed limits on narrow, unsealed roads with one-lane bridges and poor visibility on corners. Our district has also grown, and traffic volumes have changed. 

The Bay of Islands and Kerikeri area is growing rapidly with new subdivisions, commercial areas and schools. Our speed limits need to keep pace with this change to ensure road user safety. Slower speed limits in our urban areas make those areas better places to live in.  

How can I have a say?

Your views on the proposed new speed limits are important to us, but we need your feedback by 4:30pm, Monday 5 December 2022. 

Share your feedback on the proposed new speed limits 

We will be hosting drop-in sessions for those who want to discuss the proposed changes, share their feedback, and learn more in person.

If the online survey doesn't work for you, you can also:

  • Email your submission to submissions@fndc.govt.nz
  • Drop-off a written submission at any council service centre or library
  • Post your submission to: Far North District Council, Private Bag 752, Kaikohe 0440
  • Share your feedback orally, just let us know by email to submissions@fndc.govt.nz

Council is required to review speed limits across the district as part of the national Road to Zero Road Safety Strategy. This Strategy focusses on five key areas to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes in New Zealand, of which speed management is one. Other focus areas include improved infrastructure, safer vehicles, driver education and enforcement. The Road to Zero Strategy requires us to set speed limits that better match the road environment to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes.

The Setting of Speed Limits Rule (2022) came into force on 19 May 2022. The new rule creates a new focus on speed management and promotes a regionwide approach to setting safe and appropriate speed on both the local and State Highway network. There are a number of changes to how we review and set new speed limits, including:

  • A National Speed Limit Register (NSLR)
  • Speed Management Plans
  • New rules for setting speed limits around schools
  • Speed Limit Areas

The National Speed Limits Register (NSLR) is now the legal instrument for enforcing speed limits in New Zealand. The register supersedes the revoked Speed Limit Bylaw and provides the up-to-date speed limits for all road in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The new Setting of Speed Limits Rule 2022 requires that the following speed limits are set around schools:

  • 30kph around all urban schools, and rural schools where students actively use the road to access the school, for example, where school bus drop-off does not occur off-road, or students walk along or cross the road to access the school.
  • 60kph or less around rural schools where there is no active use of the road environment by student pedestrians.

The Speed Limit Review process is managed by the Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA) as a regional project, covering Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara Districts.

Each Council manages the consultation process for roads in their District according to that Council’s established consultation processes and systems.

Who is the NTA?

The Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA) is a collaboration between local government and Waka Kotahi (NZTA) to deliver joined up services for roading and transportation in Northland. Members of the alliance include Far North District Council, Kaipara and Whangarei District Councils and Northland Regional Council. Waka Kotahi (NZTA) is also part of the Alliance but is not part of the Shared Services Business Unit component of the Alliance. 

We have prioritised the areas that we are undertaking speed limit reviews based on evidence-based risk profiles. The risk profile indicates areas where a speed limit or management review will provide the greatest road safety benefits by reducing the number and severity of fatal and serious injury crashes.

In addition to risk assessments, we have also considered feedback received from the community, police and other key stakeholders.

Yes, you can. We will record the feedback you provide and consider it when that area is reviewed. We would however prefer that you focus on the areas currently under review.

Yes. We are required to review speed limits on all roads in the district. We are now also required to produce a Regional Speed Management Plan. The plan is expected to review all speed limits in the region that have not yet been reviewed. We plan to consult on the Regional Plan in late 2023.

We will upload submissions received to our website once the submission period has closed.