The city centres location on the coastal edge is one of its greatest assets that can be better leveraged.  However, State Highway 44 (or St Aubyn and Molesworth streets) provides a heavy freight route to Port Taranaki and separates the city centre from the coast.  This impacts ease of movement between the city and coast and limits building development potential on the street edge.

It will become a people-friendly boulevard that fosters street life and easy movement between the city centre and the coast, and will provide the foundation for new activity and development that engages with the street edge, taking advantage of water views and accommodating business and enterprise that creates value from the coastal aspect and proximity. 

Port and freight traffic will be re-routed to State Highway 45 in the short to medium term to accommodate physical changes to the street design. In the medium to long-term, other options will consider transferring more freight to rail and developing a much larger ring road around the city.  A wider footpath on the southern side of Molesworth Street will allow sleeved redevelopment opportunities on the Centre City shopping centre side.  Additional space from the reduction of traffic will create space for a separated cycleway and more street tree planting.

Associated aspects of this project also include: 

  • intersection upgrades at Queen, Egmont, Liardet and Gover streets with State Highway 44, along with traffic-calming to permit safe and convenient access for pedestrians and cyclists between the city centre and the coast;
  • a new pedestrian crossing at street level on Molesworth Street connecting Puke Ariki as the key city centre public space with the coast; 
  • streetscape upgrades including lighting, planting, footpath widening and bi-directional separated cycle lanes along Molesworth Street; and
  • the upgrade of Morley Street as a link between State Highway 45 and the port to accommodate port traffic, including a signalised intersection at Vivian and Morley Street, and modification to the intersection of Morley and St Aubyn streets to allow for larger vehicle turning. 


Impact compass

Coastal Boulevard

Click to see a bigger image

Working together

  • Waka Kotahi, Kiwi Rail, freight operators
  • Taranaki Regional Council
  • Port Taranaki
  • New Zealand Heavy Haulage Association
  • Fitzroy Engineering

Next steps

Step 1

Engage with Waka Kotahi, Kiwi Rail, freight operators and Port Taranaki to investigate the feasibility of route changes and the increase of rail freight. 

Step 3 

Include the removal of state highway status in the Integrated Transport Plan, seeking recommendations on the likelihood, conditions, timing, costs and benefits of doing so. 

Step 2

Identify and work through quick-win opportunities on St Aubyn / Molesworth streets to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists especially at crossings. These could be temporary or transitional while waiting on State Highway 44 to be reclassified to local road status (north of Morley Street intersection).

Step 4

Following designation changes and re-routing, complete St Aubyn Street / Molesworth Street Upgrade.