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What you need to know

In the event of a crash, regardless of its cause, the speed of impact is the most important factor influencing whether people survive. Speed management is about matching the speed limit to the design, use, form and function of the road, and the risk posed to the road user.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is the responsible road controlling authority (RCA) for state highways and local councils are RCAs for local roads.

From 19 May 2022, there will be a new framework for setting speed limits across New Zealand using speed management plans. It replaces the current complicated, fragmented, and time-consuming process with one that takes a more proactive, coordinated and transparent approach.

The new framework, established by a new Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 (new Speed Rule), will mean that it’ll be easier for RCAs to set safe and appropriate speeds, alongside considering safety infrastructure and safety cameras, and keep road users safer.

Speed limits around schools (including kura) are also changing, based on the risk profile of schools and the roads around them. Schools will be divided into two categories with the speed limit set to 30km/h or 40 km/h for Category one, and up to 60km/h for Category two. These limits must be in place by the end of 2027.

The work to date

Apr 2022

Cabinet approval

Jul 2021

Publicly consulted on a new draft Setting of Speed Limits Rule 2021

Between April and June 2021, the Ministry of Transport and Waka Kotahi publicly consulted on a new draft Setting of Speed Limits Rule 2021. This rule will give effect to the new regulatory framework for speed management and will mandate safer speed limits around schools.

More information
Nov 2019–Apr 2022

Legislation being drafted

Implementing the Tackling Unsafe Speeds programme requires changes to the Land Transport Act 1998, the Land Transport Management Act 2003 and the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017. 

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Nov 2019

Programme agreed

Cabinet agreed to the proposed Tackling Unsafe Speeds programme, which will include a framework to improve how councils and Waka Kotahi plan for, consult on and implement speed management changes. It will also mean lowering speed limits around schools and a new approach to safety cameras.

More information and related documents
Jul 2019–Aug 2019

Road to Zero strategy consultation

The Government agreed to consult on the new Road to Zero road safety strategy and initial set of actions. One of the initial actions is to introduce a new approach to tackling unsafe speeds.

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Mar 2019–May 2019

Stakeholder consultation

We undertook targeted consultation on the Tackling Unsafe Speeds proposals with key transport stakeholders including local government.

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Sep 2018–Nov 2018

Speed Reference Group met

We held workshops with the Speed Reference Group to develop the Tackling Unsafe Speeds proposals. This group was one of the 5 reference groups we worked with as part of developing the Road to Zero road safety strategy.

More information and related documents
Apr 2018

Local Government Road Safety Summit held

The Associate Minister of Transport held a 1-day Local Government Road Safety Summit in Wellington for more than 100 senior local government representatives from across New Zealand.

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