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The Gauntlet: Issue #42

Newsletter #42 - 6 July 2017

In this week’s issue, we cover our presentation to Warkworth Area Liaison Group and the Warkworth Spatial Plan presentation at Warkworth Town Hall.


Thank you to our readers for providing useful intelligence on what’s going on and where. An important source of data for traffic growth projections is population movements. Census data is only useful for a short window in high growth areas so other sources are helpful.

We know that the occupancy of holiday homes on the Mahurangi Peninsula has increased markedly as tradespeople look for accommodation close to construction sites. Long term rentals are more desirable. The weekday traffic on Sandspit Road is noticeably higher than Matakana Road weekend traffic now.

There has been a spike in Snells Beach Primary School enrolments this year. An extra fifty 5-11 year old pupils have added to the rolls. The site has the ability to increase a capacity of 500 pupils. Their school zone ends at the Sandspit Road/Mahurangi East Road intersection.

Mahurangi College and Warkworth Primary School rolls are bursting. There are suggestions of adding more class rooms at the school to allow for a doubling of the roll to 900 pupils.

Our sources tell us that 500 families will move into the area so parents can work on the Puhoi to Warkworth Motorway. The schools have received many inquiries from parents interested in enrolling their children.


We’ve been following the number of houses under construction in the area. Concrete deliveries have a 2-4 week wait, which means that framing deliveries have been a mad rush to deliver and erect before the next forecasted storm. Heavily laden trucks making tight turns are not good for the state of our roads.

Our team presented to Warkworth Area Liaison Group last week. Together with One Warkworth’s research, we showed how much the growth will accelerate.

The Unitary Plan pushed forward growth in the area twice over the past two years. On top of that, One Warkworth factored in the amount of potential ‘in-fill’ of existing urban zoned properties that could be developed.

Remember, for every person thinking of moving into the area, many will compare living in Warkworth with neighbouring areas. NZTA predict that Sandspit Road traffic will double within a decade, meaning that the population on Mahurangi Peninsula could double.

Taking this population growth into account and the NZTA projections, we’ve tried to chart the effect on traffic at the Hill Street intersection. Remember, the intersection is already at capacity so squeezing more traffic into a bottleneck only generates queues. This area is shaded in red in the chart below.

As you can see, the NZTA’s 2026 revised projections are noticeably out of sync with our predictions and the upward growth curve of the 2009, 2014, and 2016 data. When the intersection upgrade is complete in 2022-2023, its capacity needs to be more than 70,000 vehicles per day by the time that the Sandspit Link is built after 2030.

We have seen the process for the investigation and design phase for the upgrade of the intersection and it doesn’t make fixing Hill Street any earlier seem possible.


As part of our presentation, we put forward two short term ‘band aids’ to deal with the problem area on Sandspit Road between Matakana Road and the State Highway 1 traffic lights. A description appeared in the Mahurangi Matters here:

In the first option, the Sandspit Road pedestrian crossing is moved to the traffic lights and new traffic signals control Sandspit Road and Elizabeth Street traffic. Kowhai Park also has an additional entrance on State Highway 1 and limited southern exit.

In the second option, Sandspit Road has an additional lane between Matakana Road and Elizabeth Street, allowing two lanes access to the three lanes at the traffic lights.


Members of our team are also working with an independent group of local experts on a potential spatial plan for Warkworth. A spatial plan is a set of guiding principles laying out amenity and infrastructure – both social and network. A description of the proposal and maps can be viewed here:

It is important that a community-led initiative identifies what they want to live in. Do we want to live in another satellite town of fifty-shades-of-beige, tilt-slab, cookie-cutter, terraced townhouses constrained by inadequate roading or do we want to retain a unique sense of place consistent with our heritage and environs?

Please get involved by visiting the link above and sharing your thoughts and ideas.


Thank you for subscribing and thank you to donors and volunteers who have got our campaign into full swing. Please contact us if you would like to donate, volunteer, or have any suggestions.

To make a donation, our bank account details are:

Account Name: “FixHillStreetNow Action Group” Bank Account Number: 12-3095-0042062-00.

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