Why we're working towards safer speeds

The Government has identified speed management as a key priority to address road safety across the country.

The Road to Zero strategy from Waka Kotahi/NZTA and the Ministry of Transport includes having every council in New Zealand review the appropriate speeds on their local roads.

Speed is the key factor in deaths and serious injuries – no matter what the cause of an accident is, it’s speed that determines whether or not you’ll walk away from it.

NPDC’s goal is to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40% by 2030. 

However, bringing in safer speeds is only one part of NPDC’s efforts to reduce on-road death and serious injury. We’re also investing $64.4m in infrastructure improvements and $4m on education up to 2031 (shared costs between NPDC and Waka Kotahi). We’ll also continue to support the police on enforcement.

Waka Kotahi Road to Zero

What we’re proposing

Click on the link below to see our proposed approach to setting safer speed limits in alignment with the rest of New Zealand.

Safer Speeds


How the roll-out would work

We propose to bring in the safer speed limits over a 10-year period:

  • 2022-24 – variable or permanent safer speeds outside all urban and rural schools; safer speeds installed on 50% of rural roads.
  • 2024-27 – safer speeds on remaining 50% of rural roads and on 15% of urban roads.
  • 2027-30 – on the remaining 85% of urban roads.


Phase one – 2022-24

All urban schools in New Plymouth District that are on local roads would have a speed reduction to 30km/h; if they are on a key arterial road this would be a variable speed limit (only operating at drop-off and pick-up times). There would be some infrastructure improvements to support this speed reduction outside some schools.

All rural schools would have a speed reduction to 60km/h.

We would prioritise rural roads subject to the road risk, crash history, current average travel speeds, connection to rural schools, or lead to a key destination such as Pukeiti or the North Egmont Visitor Centre. These roads would see a reduced speed to either 80km/h or 60km/h depending on the nature of the road, e.g. width, how winding it is, etc. We would work area by area, with a ‘cluster’ of roads having their speeds reduced.

Phase one would also include roads around Taranaki Base Hospital. We would bring in a 40km/h zone along David, Doone and Lorna streets and all their connecting roads. This would be an opportunity for the community to see a safer speed area in action on local residential streets.

Infrastructure improvements to roads outside some schools, to enhance users’ safety, would be made during phase one.


Phase two 2024-2027

Additional infrastructure improvements to support speed reductions at schools would be prioritised.

We would also complete the safer speeds installation on the remaining rural roads and start on residential urban roads, including introducing lower speeds in our most vulnerable road user areas, e.g. the Westown, Fitzroy and Waitara CBDs.


Phase three – 2027-30

This phase would see the completion of safer speeds implemented in our residential areas and community CBDs.