LRCA Submits that SH30 Speed Limits be lowered for Community Safety
Update - 1 September 23
Rotoiti first to see new safe speed signs for SH30
Installation of the new safe speed limits for State Highway 30 Tikitere to Whakatāne is now well underway. The new speed limit signs will be first seen at Rotoiti and Rotomā, followed by Tikitere to Rotoehu, then Te Teko, Awakeri and Whakatāne. As the corridor is nearly 80km long, the 200 new signs will be installed over 2-3 weeks, weather permitting.
Many of the Rotoiti signs are already in place. Installation has been delayed following cultural concerns being raised regarding the installation process. The aim is now to complete the Rotoiti section by the 8th September. Old signs which are no longer relevant have been removed.
As each sign is installed, the new speed limit comes into force.
A concerted effort in policing each section will come into full effect when all permanent speed signs are in, and temporary repeaters have been replaced.
Update - 19 July 23
New Speed Limits for SH30 East Rotoiti
We are pleased to FINALLY advise that Waka Kotahi announced on the 19th July that the new speed limits for SH30 will start taking effect from Monday the 14th August. It has been a long journey!
Lower speeds will be implemented through more built up areas like East Rotoiti following wide spread community support.
Due to the SH30 corridor being nearly 80km long it will take 2-3 weeks, weather permitting, to install approximately 200 new signs. Once the new sign is in place, that is the legal and enforceable speed limit.
More information from the Official Announcements are available here:
Update - May 23
New SH30 Speed Limits Approved
While they have not been publicly announced, the new speed limits for SH30 between Whakatane and Tikitere were officially approved and signed off by the Director of Land Transport, Kane Patena, on the 27th March 2023.
The East Rotoiti community will be pleased to see that their request for a speed of 60kph from Moose Lodge to Hongi’s Track has been acknowledged and approved. Thank you all for your supporting submissions!
Particularly pleasing was the support received for the reduction of the speed between Ruato Bay and Gisborne Point down from the recommended retention of 80kph to 60 kph. In their report Waka Kotahi makes specific reference to favourable submissions for the 60kph speed limit from:
* Treaty Partners: Ngāti Pikiao Koeke, (70 people attended their hui), Ngāti Pikiao and Te Whaekura o Ngāti Rongomai
* Key Stake Holders: the Ministry of Education, Whakatane District Council, the Automobile Association and ourselves.
Full detail is available on the following official documents available via the Waka Kotahi Links below:
* The request for the Director of Land Transport’s approval - 10 March 2023
* The Director of Land Transport’s approval - 27 March 2023
THE BIG QUESTION NOW IS WHEN WILL IT BE IMPLEMENTED? WAKA KOTAHI INITIALLY ADVISED THAT IT WAS UNLIKELY THAT THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO IMPLEMENT IT THIS YEAR!
LRCA & NGĀTI PIKIAO ARE STRONGLY REQUESTING PRIORITISED IMPLEMENTATION GIVEN THAT ALL AGREE THAT LIVES ARE AT STAKE AND THAT THEY HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THE SIGNAGE IMPLEMENTATION SINCE OCTOBER 2022!
WAKA KOTAHI ADVISE WE ARE GOING AS FAST AS WE CAN AND THAT THEY LOOK FORWARD TO PROVIDING BETTER NEWS SOON.
Update - March 23
SH30 Speed Review Decisions Imminent
As at April last year we were formally advised that the SH30 speed review was near conclusion and the results which would mostly meet our needs were close to being announced.
We were disturbed to hear that the Road to Zero initiative has been added to those that have been scrapped by the government without the review having been concluded.
We have however been advised by Waka Kotahi that those projects in their final stages of sign off will be concluded and that the SH30 review is currently with the Director of Land Transport for final approval and public announcement due around the 17th April.
Whilst we expect most of the proposed speed changes along the Eastern shore of Rotoiti to be implemented we are disturbed that the 1km section between Ruato Bay & Gisborne Point may be retained at 80kph jeopardising some of the benefits of the reduced speed areas adjoining it and going against Waka Kotahi’s strategy for:
* More consistent speeds without changes over short distances,
* Safe speed limits around Marae,
* Less serious injuries or fatalities from lower speed limits,
* Responding to the submissions of the local community (including Whakatane District Council), for lower consistent speeds in response to this proposal and
* A multitude of other reasons as per Lake Rotoiti Community Association’s submission.
You can read Waka Kotahi’s official response to our request for an update on the status of the speed review here and our letter to the Road to Zero Portfolio Manager requesting the reduction from 80kph to 60kph between Ruato Bay & Gisborne Point here.
Update November 22 - Getting Closer...........
Steady but slow progress has been made on the speed review since we made our final submissions in February 2022. Complying with the new transport rule for setting speed limits introduced in May has hindered progress.
Waka Kotahi advise that:
“Currently we’re finalising the signage design plan – this goes into detail such as the location of every single sign on the state highway, between Tikitere and Whakatane, and what is on it (speed, name etc). This plan includes new signs for the various Marae/Pa alongside SH30. Once the signage design has been completed, it will go out for pricing and an estimated time frame will be supplied by the contractor as to how long it will take to order and install new or update existing signs. We’re also finalising the legal details so the new speeds can be implemented. In terms of timing, we’ll alert you as soon as we have more concrete information.
Pressed further for a delivery timeframe we were advised of the legal difficulties faced in implementing the desired changes:
“Changing speed limits is a legal process and there are numerous steps we need to carefully follow. The SH30 Tikitere to Whakatane speed review consultation took place just as the new Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 was being singed off, and came into effect May 2022. This means we will be implementing new speed limits under the new Rule and we’re working through this process at the moment. We hope this will be done in time for us to announce the corridor decision by Christmas”.
Update May 22 - Progress Soon........
On the 14th March 2022 under the Official Information Act we requested copies of the submissions related to SH30 speed limits along the shoreline of Lake Rotoiti. Our request was refused by Waka Kotahi a month later on the 11th April 2022 because the information “will soon be publicly available”, “in the coming weeks”. They further commented that “We will provide you with an update on or before 5 May 2022 regarding where we are at in the process and, once it is available, will also provide you with a link to the consultation documentation”.
Waka Kotahi have now advised us that they will have a progress update for us by the 1st June.
A copy of their letter declining our request is available here.
Update February 22 - LRCA Submission
Thank you to everyone who has helped with this submission!
Based on a complete review of the safety considerations Lake Rotoiti Community Association Submit that the speed limit of 60kph is applied to the full section of SH30 between 650m East of Curtis Rd and 950m West of Morehu Rd West.
We strongly agree with Waka Kotahi’s proposal to reduce the speed limit to 60kph for the bulk of this section of SH30 to reflect the current roadside warnings, the dangers road users and local communities face along the route and the overall increase in traffic and population density.
We thus also strongly submit that the speed limit for the section between Ruato Bay, (140m east of Lake Okataina Road and 366m west of Te Urumahue Road), and Gisborne Point communities also be reduced to 60kph.
This reduction is needed to mitigate the significant safety risks along this section and to prevent a disastrous flow on effect of this increase in speed on the safety improvements which should be realised when the adjacent sections of SH30 are reduced to 60kph.
Read the full submission here.
Upon receipt of our submission Waka Kotahi have advised us:
“To make the most informed decision, we need to carefully consider the information that we receive, alongside our own safety assessments. Changing speed limits is a legal process and there are numerous steps that we need to carefully follow once formal consultation closes. The next stage is likely to take two to three months and we will be back in touch then”.
Update January 22
Omission in SH30 Proposed Speeds
Waka Kotahi’s SH30 Speed review has adopted most of LRCA’s submission
We are very pleased to advise that Waka Kotahi has proposed that the SH30 speed limit be lowered to 60kph for all but 1km of the 11kms between Moose Lodge to the Eastern end of Hongis track as submitted by LRCA.
But their proposal differs from our submission as follows
They have NOT proposed that the reduced speed of 60kph be introduced for the 1km between Ruato Bay to Gisborne Point, instead proposing that the current 80kph limit be retained.
Click here to see a map of the proposed speed limits
We are very concerned about
* The likelihood of traffic entering Ruato Bay and Gisborne Point continuing at 80kph when they should slow to 60kph.
* The risk that motorists will take the increase speed 80kph sign as a signal that they can overtake where vision is severely restricted and it would be extremely dangerous to do so.
* The risks to all of residents north east of Ruato Bay joining and exiting the highway with extremely limited vision.
* The risk to pedestrians crossing and walking on the highway where there are no footpaths.
When introducing the proposed speed limits Waka Kotahi themselves comment that: “People asked for more consistent and safer speeds to slow down traffic, to discourage drivers from accelerating and decelerating at tight corners and along the straights”.
What you can do to make our roads safer
1. Submit your support for the safer 60kph speed proposed.
2. Submit your request for the reduction of the 80kph speed limit to 60kph between Ruato Bay and Gisborne Point and
3. Provide your comments to us by answering this short Supporters Survey.
Note - submissions must be in by 18 February
LRCA will in turn make our own submission supporting the proposed reduced speed limits and requesting the section between Ruato Bay and Gisborne Point be reduced to 60kph.
Ngā mihi, LRCA
Waka Kotahi's Email Notification of Proposed Speed Limits & Consultation Period
Update December 2021
Waka Kotahi Make Excellent Progress on SH30 Speed Review
We have received advice from Waka Kotahi that since the Engagement report in September, their safety engineers have considered the feedback received and carried out the technical assessment needed to determine the safe and appropriate speeds along the SH30 corridor: what they may be and where they may change from one speed to another.
Once the proposal is finalised, it must be formally approved internally. The team have received approval to proceed to public consultation.
Public consultation is where Waka Kotahi present any proposed speed limits. This consultation period will be 4 weeks and is planned for January-February.
Detailed design (including the nitty gritty, such as foundation details of signposts) will proceed in parallel.
Waka Kotahi are finalising the collateral (such as maps) and will share these when they are available (approx mid January 22).
We look forward to reducing the increasing number of serious accidents on SH30 and safer roads for our community.
LRCA will keep you updated here.
Update October 2021
SH30 Tikitere to Whakatāne speed review – Engagement Summary Report
Waka Kotahi have reviewed all the public feedback and submissions and have now published their summary of the public engagement on safer speed limits for SH30. The Engagement Report and additional background information is available here.
The comments which related specifically to the Rotoiti section of the review were:
Section 8: Rotoiti
“Would it be possible to make a proper pavement to enable us to walk to Hongis Track from Morehu Rd?”
“This just increases driver frustration; this is a main route to get between Whakatāne and Rotorua. Also, this is the safest place to pass if required. Unfortunately, slow drivers don't pull over to allow people doing the speed limit to pass.”
Section 9: Tikitere
“Cars often park on the southern side in the median strip adjacent to the gravel pit, which is unsafe. It isn't wide enough to do this and dangerous for people getting in and out of cars.”
“Could the 80km signs be moved east past Brunswick Drive? Seems strange that they were put before the road as it would make it safer for vehicles coming in and out of Brunswick Drive.”
“The entire stretch from Curtis Road to just past the Hinehopu Golf Club should reduce all the way down to 60 km/h. The current 100 km/h to Ruatō is too fast and dangerous.”
As changing speed limits is a legal process, there are numerous steps to follow when considering changing them.
The next step, which they hope to complete early 2022, is to develop detailed proposed speed limits using technical assessment and feedback from the engagement stage. This step will then be followed by the formal consultation stage, where Waka Kotahi ask the public and stakeholders for any additional information that might have an impact on their final decision.
Update August 2021.
Community engagement on safer speeds for State Highway 30 (SH30) between Tikitere (Rotorua) and Whakatāne closed on 7 July. We’d like to thank everyone who made a submission, attended a drop-in session or shared any concerns they have about this stretch of state highway.
We’re close to completing a review of all the feedback received and preparing a summary. We’ll share the engagement summary report with you as soon as it’s ready.
As changing speed limits is a legal process, there are numerous steps to follow when considering changing them. One of the steps is formal consultation. After we complete the review of the engagement feedback, and if it is recommended to propose new speed limits, we will formally consult on our recommendations. As part of this we will share a detailed proposal and ask if there are any additional factors we need to consider.
Ensuring speed limits are safe and appropriate is one of the best things we can do to prevent people being killed or seriously injured on our roads. However, any changes in speed limits doesn’t mean we can’t make further improvements to the road.
Our priority is to make this state highway safer as soon as possible so that everyone living on and using it can get where they are going safely.
Kylie Ruegg (she/her)
Senior Advisor, Communications and Engagement
Te Waka Kōtuia | Engagement and Partnerships
LRCA submission that SH30 speed limits should be lowered to 60kph from Moose Lodge to Hongi’s Track, to reverse the dramatic increase in serious road accidents, has gained wide support.
Our website has experienced a doubling of traffic and already more than 100 people have registered their support and added their comments backing the submission and reinforcing the need for change.
You can register your support for our submission to LRCA and be kept up to date with the consultation process here or
See NZTA Consultation Process below to convey your support directly to Waka Kotahi NZTA.
LRCA submits that the SH30 speed limits should be lowered to 60kph from Moose Lodge to the Eastern end of Hongi’s Track to mitigate the significant dangers faced by road users. This will reflect the current road signage speed recommendations and the safety needs of the populated areas.
LRCA welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to Rotorua Lakes Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s timely review of Rotorua district speed limits. The accident statistics for SH30 between Tikitere and Hongi’s track show an alarming increase in serious accidents in recent years with 13 serious accidents and 4 deaths in the last 3 and a bit years.
Unlike other main lake side roads in the district the road along the shore of east Rotoiti stands out as an exception which has not had it’s speed limits lowered through it’s dangerous and populated areas to improve safety.
Currently the speed limit for State Highway 30 is 100kph between Moose Lodge and Ruato Bay, 80kph from Ruato Bay to Tapuaeharuru Bay at the eastern end of Rotoiti and then 100kph through Hongi’s Track.
Road users of State Highway 30 between Moose Lodge and Hongi’s Track face numerous road and roadside dangers.
Where there is limited population multiple hazards exist - such as sharp corners, rockfalls, slippery road in icy and wet conditions, unforgiving borders either through large drop offs directly into the lake or into substantial tree trunks. The highway is peppered with signs warning that corners / windy road should be driven at 45kph, 55kph and 65kph, that it is slippery in icy or wet conditions and that drivers should watch out for rockfalls and pedestrians.
The road warning signs in these areas make it clear that driving at 60kph or less is advised and driving at 100kph is dangerous!
In the populated areas, difficult roadside access to the highway, an assortment of sports and community organisations including a junior school, less manoeuvrable vehicles such as large truck & trailer units and vehicles with boats and caravans in tow, and pedestrians and drivers who may not be familiar with highway’s dangers all combine to create a lethal cocktail!
Again 60kph is far more appropriate than the current 80kph to protect the safety of the public who should expect to enjoy the beauty of the lake and its community in safety.
The 2 serious accidents in the last month, one in which a person was killed and another in which a truck and trailer rolled blocking the road for 16hrs, serve to reinforce the need for change.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advise that public engagement on the speed review will start from Wednesday 9 June to 5pm Wednesday 7 July 2021.
NZTA Community engagement opportunities still available.
You can provide your feedback on SH 30 speed limits direct to NZTA by either:
* Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback closes at 5pm, Wednesday 7 July 2021.
The feedback will be used to decide if a speed limit change is the best thing to do to improve road safety, where new speed limits could begin or end, and if any other safety improvements might be needed.
If it is recommended to propose new speed limits, Waka Kotahi will formally consult with the community on their recommendations. As part of this they will share a detailed proposal and ask you if there are any additional factors they need to consider.
"As a teacher for years I have watched our kids run across the road to get to the kura on the main road. Trucks speed through here, cars overtake on the corners, its difficult to turn into our driveway. Its ridiculous and its time for a change. For our kids so they can bike and walk safely”.
"Trucks need to slow down around schools and sports facilities ! This would be a welcomed change to keep our communities and kids safe".
"This is an matter to resolve. As well as the speed limit changes appropriate for the windy sections of the highway, there are issues on straight sections where dangerous overtaking occurs frequently, e.g. the section in front of Te Whakareia Marae at western end of Gisborne Point, where speeding overtaking endangers motorists, motor cyclists and pedestrians. This should have no passing markings given it is a residential area".
"It is of upmost importance that this speed limit be dropped to 60kph as area has become more populated, access to and from properties have very limited visibility, school in area with young children, families are using footpath to walk and access local dairy and reserves plus many towing vehicles some very large accessing boat ramps. There is also an increase of cyclists using highways. Huge trucks use this highway with many far exceeding current speed limit".
“80kph is far too fast on this road to be walking grand kids along state highway 30 lake side area foot paths - 60kph would be much safer and welcomed‘!
“Speed limit needs to come down, i feel it is not even safe for my young children to walk on the footpath beside the road to the dairy at the moment with the speed the trucks/cars are driving this main state highway. also very dangerous for people pulling into driveways etc made worse with boats in summer period”.
“Please lower the speed limit I live at Ruato Bay”.
“We absolutely need the speed limit to be reduced to 60km p/hr. Too many risks and potential tragedies waiting to happen”.
“Protect our children and tamariki and elderly and community”.
“Drop the speed limit to 60 km/h from Moose Lodge to the Hinehopu Golf Club. Ngā mihi”.
“In the last 20 years the speeds that cars reach outside my home in Ruato Bay. I've seen many cars hit the sign in the corner of the bay, the latest being last month. Cars overtaking cars at high speeds. Big truck and trailers reaching high speeds. Its become really dangerous for the residents and visitors who use the rest area as well”.
“Lower speed limit to 60”.
“Need the signs up NOW!! The current speed zone us so dangerous for our koeke, tamariki and mokopuna”.
“It really should be reduced to 80kph from Hongis Track through to Rotoma, and then 60kph through Rotoma. How many more accidents and deaths will it take??”
“I think it should be lowered to 70 or 80 from Hongis track right through to Rotoma & Rotoma decreased to 60”.
“I support a lower speed limit of 60-70 km from Moose Lodge to just beyond Morehu Loop Road to mitigate the dangers faced by road users and residents within this zone”.
“I think State Highway 30 from Hauparu Bay, Lake Rotoiti through to Marathi Rd, Lake Rotoma should be 60 kph. Travelling at the recommended speed is not safe. Speaking personally, Morehu Loop Rd is a problem exiting or entering because of the highway traffic. There is also the issue of traffic noise. At highway speeds, tire and road surface become dominant at making noise. Changing the speed limit to 60 kph will save lives and prevent accidents. Traffic noise will dramatically decrease for all the residents along the route. The benefits outweigh the few extra minutes added to a trip”.
“We would like to see the speed reduced from the Eastern end of Hongi's Track, past Morehu Rd and all the way to Rotoma. As residents of Morehu Rd, it is always dangerous trying to drive into our street, especially from the Rotoma direction when traffic from the opposite direction use that section of SH 30 to overtake at speeds in excess of 100 kpH”.
“Its a dangerous road for my family and young son to try and cross to get to the lake for a swim. 80km is way too fast“.
“We have been very concerned about the speed around the school (across the road from our property)for some years, and believe that the speed limit should be lowered considerably. We are delighted to support LRCA's submission to lower the speed limit”.
“Pulling out on to the highway from our house is terrifying. Trucks come through at night well over the speed limit”.
“Please make the changes to the speed limit asap”
“We support the "No overtaking" as well”.
“This is long overdue...I have had several vehicles end up in my fence from speeding”.
“Please consider reducing this proposed speed limit reduction right until the 70km area of Lake Rotoma. Living in Morehu Road the traffic speeds up as soon as they get out of Hongis track and our neighbours have witnessed many passing over 100km along this part of the road, including trucks and trailers with boats. If this isn't possible please put double yellow lines through both entrances to Morehu Road. Trying to get into our road from Rotoma end is tricky as their is an incline and cars are difficult to see. We have to pull over with little space to park on the edge of the road. It's very dangerous. Thanks”
“STRONGLY support this submission”.
“The road is clearly dangerous, please action the reduced speed for everyone's sake”.
“Its long overdue”.
“I have separately made a submission but i endorse this urgently hoped for change. There are some very dangerous spots between the start of Gisborne Point and Tamatea St especially. The ever increasing number of huge trucks and hotted up cars driven by doughnut doing hoons , all at speeds well over the current 80 kph , is frightening. The scary part is that there are many bends , so to cross the road is not for the faint hearted. Oncoming cars are on top of you in the blink of an eye.Children are at great risk especially crossing the road to go to Emery's store which is situated on a sharp bend’.
“I fully support the 60km/hr restriction. We have tight corners at Hauparu Bay and cars and trucks are driving far too fast in this location. We have had a car fail to take the corner and smash through our roadside gate. NZTA has had to erect huge crash barriers on either side of our property. You cannot safely ride a bike or walk on the road because of the speeding traffic and difficult corners and lack of shoulders’.
“SH 32 between Rotorua and Paengaroa has had road safety improvement's and speed reduction. SH 30 needs the same attention to reduce the injury and loss of life that is occurring”.
“As permanent residents at 1349AState Highway 30 Lake Rotoiti for 22years and as family holiday makers there since 1948, we fully support this submission. A speed radar detector installed outside our gate would instantly prove that no matter what speed restriction exists most traffic exceeds any signs’.
“5 or 7 years ago, without any reference to local ratepayers the signs around Rotoiti were changed overnight from 70 km to 80 km. We believe the accident rate increased almost immediately. The noise and overpowering threat from large vehicles certainly did”.
“Speed limits past schools must be decreased and are planned to take place, let's lead and look after our children”.
“Please reduce the speed limit. My son will soon be biking on these footpaths to Kohanga/Kura and I want him protected as best as we can by reducing the speed limit on the road he will take to kohanga & kura”.
“Lower the speed”
“My father was most recently killed on this stretch of road although by the time I submit this form there may be others . Roads designed for slower cars and trucks with blind corners and poor spacing are now obsolete with the speed limit be the only realistically adjustable factor”.
“Recent ,and previous, Rotoma deaths and injuries show speeds must be reduced on our winding, narrow lakeside roads”.
“Put speed cameras in place”.
“In addition to other submissions on reduction of speed limits around Eastern Lake Rotoiti, I wish to submit my concern at the lack of road edge barriers in a number of places where substantial danger exists if due to speed etc, vehicles were to run off or be forced off the road. Such areas are:
Just past the Moose lodge gates (to the east), where there is a very significant drop, that would almost certainly be fatal if a vehicle left the road.
Around the next hairpin (to the east) down towards Hauparu bay, same outcome.
Between Hauparu and Ruato Bay, where the vertical drop is very close to the winding road, through relatively small trees and foliage, is directly into the lake which is 20+ meters deep, same outcome.
After Ruato bay, to the east, the final section of road before the 80K sign at the beginning of Punawhakareia, where there is the same steep drop off into the lake.
Various sections of SH 30 after Komuhumuhu until Tamatea street (Hinehopu), where the road is close to the lake edge, the most vulnerable being the sharp turn just after (to the east) of Emery store, that is well above the lake.
Running off the road in these areas would have the same outcome as the fatal accident where 2 persons drowned at Lake Rotoma.
In addition to hopefully successful speed reduction submissions of the Lake Rotoiti Community Association, (which I have supported), installation of appropriate roadside barriers is in my view essential to enhance road safety and reduction of fatalities, both pedestrian and motorists. Ideally, these should be between the highway and the footpaths (where they exist), as pedestrians are exceptionally vulnerable due to the proximity of most footpaths to the road. It is common to be seriously buffeted with the wind that speeding trucks create.
I strongly submit that the barriers (in addition to speed reduction measures) I am recommending on this very busy state highway is justifiable under numerous measures:
value of human life and medical care;
cost of vehicle repairs;
cost of road repairs:
cost of salvage of vehicles:
cost of emergency and traffic management services;
interruption due to accidents of traffic flows and inability to attend appointments east and west of Rotoiti, (airport, medical appointments, meetings, picking up school kids etc), commercial and trade services and cost of navigating lengthy diversion around minor roads on north side of lake after serious accidents.
I also contend that barriers are far more justifiable, and likely to be far more cost beneficial than the many kilometres of ‘cheese cutter’ barriers that were installed on various sections of perfectly ‘straight and flat’ state highways in the Waikato, protecting relatively minor road side ditches, compared to the steep drop-offs highlighted above”.
“We have previously, with no success, requested no engine braking signage in Hauparu Bay. This type of signage is in numerous places throughout the Bay of Plenty. With the reduced speed limits engine braking should not be so necessary and we feel the request is reasonable”.