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Roads and Footpaths | Ngā rori

Council maintains around 802km of local roads, 521km are sealed and 281km are unsealed. Roads in the district are managed by Council and State Highway 2 (High Street, Chapel Street & Opaki Road) is managed by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). Council also builds and maintains the footpaths, pavements, bridges, signs, markings and street lights.

You might need permission from Council if you’re planning any kind of activity on public roads.

Roading renewal projects

Roading renewal projects for the next ten years total just over $39 million. Rural roading renewals have been allocated $2.4 million in 2015-16, and inflation adjusted for subsequent years with a total of $26.2 million over the ten years of the plan. Urban renewals have been allocated an average of $800,000 per annum. Based on the work programme that is agreed with NZTA, costs will be covered by 57% NZTA subsidy and the remainder from the Council levying rates on properties in the district.

Minor rural and urban improvement work is scheduled based on a “deficiency database” (a database that records identified problems and risks on roads), starting with $308,000 in 2015-16. This work also attracts a 57% NZTA subsidy and 43% is funded by rates.

We could plan to undertake additional work, however, if it is over and above the agreed NZTA programme this would not be subsidised and would need to be fully funded via rates. We do not believe our ratepayers would support an increase in rates to fund additional work.



We have allocated $300,000 per annum (inflated) for resurfacing of footpaths. This will be funded from depreciation reserves and uses most of the depreciation that is rated for.

Asphaltic concrete (or hotmix) is more expensive than chip seal surfacing but has a better quality finish. We have had complaints about chipseal surfaces and the community has expressed a preference for hotmix, particularly wheelchair and mobility scooter users. We plan to use ‘hotmix’ for 95% of our footpath resurfacing. This will mean a reduction in the amount of resurfacing that we can do each year within budget.

The alternative options are to continue to use chipseal and resurface more of our footpaths each year; or to increase our footpath resurfacing budget to undertake more hotmix resurfacing. We do not believe our ratepayers would support an increase in rates to enable this.

In 2015-16 we installed kerbing and a new footpath on the western side of Colombo Road following requests for increased safety for pedestrians. This cost $174,000 and was be funded by a combination of subsidy, depreciation reserves and loan. The alternative was to leave the western side of Colombo Rd as a grass verge, but this was not desirable for pedestrian safety.


Pedestrian safety improvements were made on Jetty Road at Castlepoint in 2015-16 including a concrete footpath adjacent to the beach frontage at a cost of $60,000. This was funded by general capital reserves. An alternative option, initially requested by Castlepoint ratepayer’s, was a more expensive boardwalk. This option was not supported due to the estimated cost.


We have made an annual provision of $70,000 in the roading programme (from rates and subsidies) for cycling projects. This could increase if additional government funding is made available. This will meet increased demand for safe cycling and has the potential to attract cycling tourists with subsequent economic benefit.

Roadside Planting

We have allowed $10,000 per year for roadside planting in response to an earlier submission asking for native plantings on roadsides. This is planned for the rural area. The plantings will create corridors of native plantings for birds and will enhance the attractiveness of our roadsides. The work will be funded from rates. The alternative is to leave the verges as grassed areas that are sometimes grazed or mown by farmers but are otherwise left as long grass with mowing to the safety margin only. In summer this is a potential fire risk.

Street Lighting

We have upgraded the street lighting in the Masterton urban area with LED technology at a cost of $726,000 over two years.  Although LED installation is more expensive than replacing the current sodium lights, we generate annual savings of $35,000 due to the LED lights being cheaper to run and lasting longer, thus achieving a reduction in electricity and maintenance.

Working in the Wairarapa’s Roads and Reserves

 You will need to contact us if you want things like:

  •  Driveways designed to access our roads
  •  Road closures for events
  •  Excavation works
  •  New roads or rights of ways to be built to the New Zealand standards

Email [email protected] with your request and we can help you start the process.

General Requirements for Working within Road Reserve Area (or Transport Corridor)

Corridor Access Requests (Excavation)

Any excavation or works planned in the road reserve (the transport corridor) will need pre-approval from us before work can start. This might be things like:

  •  Excavate for Utility repairs or installation
  •  Temporarily close a road to traffic for an event
  •  Create a new driveway

Before U Dig can automatically lodge your Corridor Access Requests (CARs) while you submit your enquiries. You can make an application on their website or by contacting them on 0800 248 344.

Council requires a minimum of 15 working days’ notice for applications to be processed.

Corridor Access Requests (Non-Excavation)

Sometimes there will be things that don’t need excavation but still need permission from Council. This is because some sections of the road need to be blocked off to make sure it’s safe. This might be things like:

  • Concerts
  • Building maintenance
  • Cycling events
  • Festivals
  • Fireworks and
  • Parades

Your application for permission can be started by making a request. Charges for Corridor Access Requests (CAR) vary according to the application. You can find our CAR fees on our Fees and Charges page, under Existing Transport.

Council needs a minimum of 5 working days notice for applications to be processed and more than 42 days for Road Closures.

Safety Working on our Roads and Footpaths

All work in the road corridor has to comply with the national code of practice available in the related resources sidebar.

Reporting a Problem

If you see something that needs fixing then please fill in a Fix it Form.

WAP Process

There are 6 stages to the CAR/WAP Process:

  1. Apply
    • To work in road reserves you will need to apply for a Corridor Access Request (CAR). Applications are normally done through BeforeUDig. A Traffic Management Plan (TMP) will be uploaded with your application along with all the supporting documents.
  2. Process
    • After you have applied for a CAR, the information is appraised and processing starts. Approvals are sought and conditions are set relating to the activity.
  3. Review
    • The CAR and work conditions are forwarded to the Corridor Manager for review and approval.
  4. Approve
    • If Council accepts the application, a Works Access Permit is approved. You will get an email to let you know it has been approved. Your approved WAP, TMP and conditions will be attached to this email. 
  5. Completion
    • Once you’ve finished the work, you will need to let us know and complete a Works Completion Notice (A9 Form).
  6. Warranty
    • As part of the conditions for the work, you have to fix any problems found in your completed work for 24 months.
    • Warranty begins after the Practical Completion has been signed off.


Who needs a WAP?

Anyone working within the council’s Transport Corridor, including work on berms and footpaths. State Highways are controlled separately by the NZTA.

Why do I need a WAP?

WAPs are needed for various reasons including: protecting council assets, protecting other utility assets that are located within the councils’ road reserves, improving the safety of motorists, improving the safety of those working in the road reserve and co-ordinating work in the road reserve to reduce conflicts.

What happens if I don't have a WAP?

If you do not have a WAP you will be asked to stop work and restrictions to your future network access may be implemented/enforced.

What information do I need to include with my Corridor Access Request (CAR)?

You will need to include a Traffic Management Plan (TMP), Full scope of Works (A3 Form), consents, plans or photos.

How long does a WAP take?

If all the information in your application is adequate, your WAP will be approved within 15 working days.

Moving Large Loads

Overweight or oversized loads may need a permit or special permissions, Waka Kotahi – NZTA look after this for all roads in NZ.

Overweight Loads

To get permission for an overweight load, download and complete the application form online »

Oversized Loads

To get permission for an oversized load, download and complete the application form online »

Map of Local Routes Where You Can Operate HPMV Trucks on a Permit (PDF, 5MB)

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