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South Auckland

Connecting South Auckland’s future communities

Over the next 30 years, an additional 120,000 people are expected to live in future communities in Takaanini, Ōpāheke, Drury, Paerata and Pukekohe.

Future communities need well-designed transport. We’re planning for this growth now and creating solutions for public transport, rail, road and walking and cycling paths that will serve future generations.

We’re working together with Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, to engage landowners and the community to progress transport projects that will give people lots of options to move around safely and easily.

Extending public transport connections and offering safe, accessible and low-carbon travel choices is at the heart of our long-term strategic transport network for the south of Auckland [PDF, 2.6 MB] and will help us take action on climate change.

South Auckland Indicative Strategic Transport Network map [PDF, 2.4 MB]

What’s happening now?

1. Projects proceeding to route protection via Notice of Requirement:

We’re well underway with detailed investigations, business cases and preparing planning applications to protect the land needed for these future transport projects:

Drury and Ōpāheke arterial road upgrades including safe, separated walking and cycling paths

In January 2021, Notices of Requirement were lodged with Auckland Council for these projects:

  • State Highway 22 upgrade
  • Jesmond to Waihoehoe West FTN upgrade
  • Waihoehoe Road East upgrade
  • Ōpāheke North-South FTN Arterial
  • Ponga Road and Ōpāheke Road upgrade

You can find out more about the Notices of Requirement (NoR) for these projects in the lodgement documents on the Auckland Council website.

All Auckland Council NoRs(external link)

Mill Road

In January 2020, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency was asked by the Government to deliver Mill Road as part of the NZ Upgrade Programme.

NZ Upgrade Programme(external link)

Between early-2020 and early-2021 significant planning and design work was carried out, along with engagement with landowners and the community and technical investigations to help confirm the preferred route.

In June 2021, the Government announced changes to some NZ Upgrade Programme projects to meet climate change and housing objectives, as well as manage cost increases and debt responsibly following COVID-19.

Read more about the changes to the Mill Road project(external link).

Rail upgrades and new train stations at Drury Central, Drury West and Paerata

As part of the NZ Upgrade Programme, funding is confirmed for three new stations for Drury and Paerata.

NZ Upgrade Programme South Auckland funding information(external link)

Recent landowner and community feedback [PDF, 197 KB], along with technical investigations, has helped us develop the station designs in more detail. The next step is to finalise the locations of the stations.

As the project moves into the next phase, KiwiRail will now be responsible for the design and construction of the three stations. KiwiRail has applied for the Drury Central and Paerata stations to be processed under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 to enable work to start on these stations as soon as possible. Notices of Requirement (designation) will then be lodged to protect the land needed to for the construction of Drury West station.

Construction is expected to start in 2023 and be completed by 2025.

2. Projects under further investigation or proceeding to Detailed Business Cases:

In September last year, some projects were put on hold as a result of budget constraints following the implementation of Auckland Council’s Emergency Budget due to the effect of COVID-19.

Project teams have recently reformed and are now beginning their planning work for the projects outlined below:

Pukekohe Expressway and connections to State Highway 22

We’re proposing a new connection to improve safety and support the future movement of people and goods between the proposed Mill Road Corridor, State Highway 1 and Pukekohe town centre by providing an alternative route to State Highway 22.

Read more about the Pukekohe Expressway and connections to State Highway 22 [PDF, 2.2 MB].

Pukekohe Urban Arterial

We’re proposing some new urban arterials around Pukekohe, including the north-east section, to unlock development within the planned new growth areas and existing urban land around Pukekohe. The project will upgrade the roads around the town centre, allow for improved freight access to the surrounding area and provide increased access and travel choices in and around Pukekohe.

Read more about the Pukekohe Urban Arterial [PDF, 737 KB].

Takaanini – rail crossings and Frequent Transport Network

New Frequent Transit Network (FTN) routes are being considered as part of the indicative network plan that will use existing arterial roads to connect Manukau, Puhinui, Takaanini, Drury and Papakura town centres, and rail stations. They include public transport routes operating services with a minimum frequency of 15 minutes in both directions between 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.

Read more about Frequent Transit Networks being proposed for Takaanini [PDF, 2.7 MB].

As the southern rail network develops and passenger services increase, we need to look at the safety of a number of level crossings that cross the rail line. Options include closing some crossings and providing alternative access such as bridges for others.

Read more about improving safety and connectivity for Takaanini [PDF, 2.5 MB].

Next steps

We’re progressing feasibility studies for some projects that were put on hold in September 2020 following Auckland Council implementing an Emergency Budget as a result of COVID-19.

Detailed investigations and further consultation with project partners, stakeholders, landowners and the community will take place before we begin staged route protection processes across all future urban growth areas and transport projects.

Route protection information

Other transport projects transforming the south

A number of other priority transport projects are already underway to transform the south of Auckland and are expected to be delivered in the next 10 years:

  • Improvements to State Highway 1 between Papakura and Drury South as part of the Papakura to Bombay project (Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency).
  • State Highway 22 Safe Network Programme safety improvements between Drury and Paerata (Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency).
  • Electrification of 19km of track between Papakura and Pukekohe (KiwiRail).


View all publications relating to South Auckland.


Engagement with Manawhenua, transport stakeholders, local boards and the community on the future transport network for the south of Auckland.
May–June 2020
Community consultation on the Mill Road corridor, Pukekohe Expressway and connections to State Highway 22, Pukekohe Urban Arterial, Rail and road upgrades along Ōpāheke Road, Ponga Road and Waihoehoe Road
September 2020
Technical investigations began on all sections of the Mill Road corridor (Redoubt Road, Takaanini, Papakura and Drury) and for rail and road upgrades in and around Drury.
October 2020
Some projects are put on hold temporarily due to the financial impact of COVID-19.
January 2021
Projects within the Drury Arterial Network were lodged for route protection with Auckland Council(external link) (Notice of Requirement).
February–March 2021
Community consultation on new train stations for Drury and Paerata.
June 2021
The Government confirmed funding for three train stations in the Drury area(external link) – Drury Central, Drury West and Paerata, and changes to other Auckland projects as part of the NZ Upgrade Programme(external link).
July 2021
Projects temporarily put on hold in October 2021 re-start.
Design of new train stations at Drury and Paerata is expected to be complete. KiwiRail is responsible for the design and construction of the three stations.
Construction of the new train stations at Drury and Paerata is expected to start in 2023 and be completed by 2025. The intention is to build as much as possible in parallel to the project to electrify between Papakura and Pukekohe.