Whakatu Arterial Link Project

The Whakatu Arterial Link will provide a very important connection between the growing fields of Hastings, the production facilities of our district and the routes out of the region to our customers across New Zealand and the world. It will also move large vehicles from the residential streets in and around the Whakatu residential area, making the streets safer for our people.

The 3.5 kilometre  route will start at State Highway 2 (near the Napier Rd intersection) and head across the fields through Whakatu to Pakowhai Rd (at the entrance to Pakowhai Country Park).

It is the largest road project in Hawke’s Bay since the construction of the Napier-Hastings Expressway in 2002.

The Whakatu Arterial Link includes three large roundabouts (one at each end and one at Whakatu) and a 47m long bridge over the Karamu Stream at the Pakowhai end.

Since its inception in 2012 Council has carried an enquiry by design community consultation process, particularly with the residents and business owners of Whakatu and iwi, which has led to the route that is about to be constructed.

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For the decision and conditions (Notice of Requirement) click here

For an overview of the project click here.

Background Documents

Part A:

Part B:

Part C:

Part D:



For more information about the Notice of Requirement process or making a submission contact Stella Morgan, Consultant Planner, Opus International Consultants on phone (06) 833 5100.

Further information

Why is this road needed?

In 2012, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council adopted the Heretaunga Plains Transportation Study. The study looked at transportation needs based on current land use and future growth. A key part of this was considering the transportation impacts of the Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy, another joint planning exercise by the three councils.

The Heretaunga Plains Transportation Study identified the Whakatu Arterial project as the highest priority transportation project for the region. 

The objectives of the road are to enhance and improve the safety and efficiency of the transport network of the district and region so as to:

  • Improve accessibility for individuals and businesses and support economic growth and productivity
  • Provide convenient, efficient and safe access for freight movements to and from the Whakatu Industrial Area
  • Promote the use of the Hawke’s Bay Expressway for the road transport of freight and vehicles between the Whakatu Industrial Area and the Port of Napier
  • Provide convenient, efficient and safe access between Havelock North and the Napier/Hastings Airport and Napier’s north-western employment and residential areas; and
  • Enhance the safety of the Whakatu residential area by reducing freight movements through it

Why has this route been chosen? Are there better alternatives?

In 2012 Council facilitated a community-driven process of Enquiry by Design. The Enquiry by Design Working Group consisted of 15 community members representing a broad range of interests supported by Council staff and consultants.

The Group considered a range of options for connecting State Highway 2 to Pakowhai Road against a number of criteria including impacts on landowners, cultural, social and environmental effects, and costs.

The Group participated in a series of eight facilitated workshops that ultimately reduced 8 initial route options identified by the Working Group down to 4 route options to be tested with a multi-criteria analysis. After the multi-criteria analysis process, one preferred option was adopted by the Hastings District Council.

What are the benefits of the new road?

The New Zealand Government assesses the economic efficiency of proposed roading projects in New Zealand to help determine which projects should be funded and when. Normally a benefit cost ratio (BCR) is used. BCR’s take into account construction costs, safety and traffic benefits, land use impacts, economic growth, and a range of other factors and are ranked in the following categories:  

  • BCR values of 1 - 2 = low economic efficiency
  • BCR values of 2 - 4 = medium economic efficiency
  • BCR values of 4+ = high economic efficiency 

The Whakatu Arterial Link has a BCR of 5.5. This shows that the road is considered to be a high economic efficiency project, and in fact is well above the threshold limit for this category.

Whakatu is one of region’s key business and employment nodes. The improved transportation connections provided by the Whakatu Arterial Link will enhance productivity and growth

Intersections in the Whakatu area that are currently inefficient and present safety concerns will be significantly improved, including the intersections at Napier Road and State Highway 2, Pilcher Road and State Highway 2, Ruahapia Road and Pakowhai Road and Farndon Road and Pakowhai Road

The current road network promotes the use of State Highway 2 as the primary freight route between Whakatu and the Port of Napier. This means that heavy commercial traffic is directed through residential areas. The Whakatu Arterial Link will provide a more efficient and safer alternative route utilising the Hawke’s Bay Expressway, and directing traffic away from residential areas.

The Whakatu Arterial Link will provide a more efficient route between Havelock North and the Napier/Hastings Airport and Napier’s north-western employment and residential areas using the Hawke’s Bay Expressway

What will it cost?

Total construction cost is estimated at $20.17 million. The Government funding share of this cost is $14.27 million, meaning that Hasting District Council share of the cost is $5.9 million. This represents a significant investment of national funding in Hawke’s Bay. 

What about environmental effects?

The Hastings District Council requires approvals under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to construct the Whakatu Arterial Link. As part of that process, the environmental effects of the road have been assessed through a series of technical assessments, including ecological, noise, cultural, productive land use, natural hazards and archaeological effects. These effects must be appropriately managed in order for the RMA approvals to be given.

What happens next?

On June 30, 2014 the Hastings District Council lodged a Notice of Requirement to construct, operate and maintain the Whakatu Arterial Link. The Notice of Requirement application was publicly notified under the Resource Management Act 1991 on 19 July 2014. Any person may make a submission, and request to speak to their submission at a hearing that will be run by an independent commissioner. The commissioner, after considering all submissions and weighing up all information, will make a decision to confirm or reject the notice of requirement. If the designation is confirmed, the commissioner can impose conditions to address any effects of the new road.

If there are no delays in the process, the Hastings District Council hopes to commence construction of the Whakatu Arterial in mid-2015.

For more information about the Whakatu Arterial  project, please contact Transport Engineer, Tony Mills, on phone (06) 871 5000 or email tonyjm@hdc.govt.nz