December 11, 2023

SH1 closures: South Waikato highway closes for road rebuilding for two weeks in November

Part of SH1 will close for roadworks.

A State Highway 1 section between Putāruru and Taupō is set to temporarily close in November for road rebuilding.

The works are part of Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency’s summer state highway road renewals programme and are set to kick off on November 13 near Ōruanui (south of Ātiamuri), taking approximately two weeks to complete.

Liam Ryan, Waikato Journey Manager at Waka Kotahi, said the works would be complex.

“This [SH1] section [near Ōruanui] is narrow and with the size of the machinery required to do the work there is simply no room for both machinery and road users at the same time,” Ryan says.

There will be day-time road closures in place on five separate days across the 12-day construction period.

On these days, SH1 will be closed between Tirohanga Road and Ōruanui Road between 7am and 6pm. Access will be maintained for residents living within the closure.

Ryan said the Atiamui works also tied in with others happening in the area.

“It’s a busy time on SH1, with several other rebuilds taking place over coming months, along with several sets of safety improvements taking place near Ātiamuri and Wairakei.”

He said road users could expect delays as temporary traffic management like stop/go and reduced speed limits would be in place.

“People who are making a longer journey along SH1 may wish to consider using SH41 and SH32 around the western side of Lake Taupō as a way to avoid the delays at the worksites.”

Ryan said Waka Kotahi acknowledged that these works were disruptive.

“We are trying to balance disruption to road users with efficiency and safety to complete our work. We ask that road users respect any instructions from road crews … and feel free to give them a smile when you get a chance.”

While the road closure was in place, Waka Kotahi would also undertake other maintenance work including sign cleaning, drainage clearing and pothole repairs.

Waka Kotahi advised all motorists to plan ahead, delay travel where possible or avoid the area. Should there be a significant period of poor weather the closures may be postponed.

Road users are advised to check the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner ( on the day of travel to confirm the status of the state highway network before setting out for their destination.

Access for emergency services would be maintained at all times, through all work sites.


Light vehicles (including buses) – Detour from SH1 via Tirohanga Road, Forest Road, Ōruanui Road, back to SH1 and vice versa. Vehicles travelling south from Tokoroa to a destination around Turangi or further south are encouraged to take SH32 as an alternate detour.

Heavy Vehicles – Southbound traffic on SH1 will be detoured LEFT onto SH30 at Ātiamuri, then right onto SH5, then back onto SH1 where the detour will end, and vice versa. Expect delays on SH5 near Wairakei due to similar road rebuilding taking place.

Road closed

● November 13, from 7am to 6pm

● November 16-17, from 7am to 6pm

● November 18, from 7am to 12pm

● November 20-21, from 7am to 6pm

● November 23, from 7am to 12pm

Road open, under traffic management

● November 14-15, from 6am to 6pm

● November 18-19, from 12pm to 6pm

● November 19, from 6am to 6pm

● November 22, from 6am to 6pm

● November 23, from 12pm to 6pm

● November 24 from 6am to 6pm

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