When is the next stage of the motorway connection between Auckland and Hamilton estimated for completion, and where will the connection point be? Clyde Johnson, Hunters Corner.

The Waikato Expressway is already well under way. The estimated completion date for the whole expressway, which will run from the top of the Bombay Hills through to just south of Cambridge, is 2019. The expressway will be about 100km long, and will have four lanes with dividers to create two lanes in each direction. The four-lane section now ends near Te Kauwhata. This will be extended to bypass Huntly, Ngaruawahia, Hamilton and Cambridge, and will join up with the existing State Highway 1 south of Cambridge.

On recent trips around the country I've seen vehicles with green flashing lights on them. Can you clarify what the green flashing light on a car means and what it means for traffic on the road? Also are there any guidelines on how many lights may be used on the vehicle? Anne Schell, Auckland.

A green flashing light on a car generally signifies a doctor, nurse or midwife on urgent business. If you see these, you must pull over and allow the vehicle to pass. Apart from headlights and brake lights, both front and rear, which we must all have, there are other lights that may be used on vehicles. red and blue flashing lights are seen on emergency vehicles - police cars, fire engines and ambulances - and may be accompanied by sirens. Flashing blue lights are used by customs officers, fisheries officers and marine reserve officers. These people have the right to stop vehicles. When service vehicles, such as tow trucks and road maintenance vehicles, use flashing yellow lights, they are warning drivers to be careful around them. Oversize vehicles may use flashing yellow lights and pilot vehicles may use flashing yellow and purple lights.


I was wondering if privet is a noxious weed in and around Auckland? Is there a council plan to remove it from their land and parks, and on private land? The pollen causes a huge amount of hay-fever in spring, while the privet is in flower. People are off work, kids are away from school at exam times. This must be costing a fortune in lost productivity. John Meadows, Auckland.

Noxious weeds are now known as plant pests. The two main species of privet, Chinese privet and tree privet, are considered invasive and are no longer able to be sold, propagated, distributed or commercially displayed. The Auckland Council has a programme of plant pest control and removal on public land, including parks, and encourages the removal of privet on school grounds. Both species of privet were declared "national surveillance plant pests" by the former Auckland Regional Council to prevent further spread by human activities, and this classification still holds. Householders are encouraged to remove or control privet growing on their property, but its removal is not mandatory.