The speed limit on most residential streets in fast-growing Mangawhai is set to drop to 40km/h.
The exceptions will be arterial roads, where the limit will remain at 50km/h, and busy shopping streets where the new limit will be 30km/h.
Along with the Far North and Whangārei district councils, Kaipara is reviewing its speed limits as part of a national strategy to bring down New Zealand's road toll.
Last Thursday councillors passed the first tranche of speed limit changes, which apply to 75 roads in the Mangawhai-Hakaru and Kaiwaka-Oruawharo Rd areas.
In general, the new limits are 80km/h for sealed rural roads and 60km/h for unsealed rural roads, down from the current 100km/h.
The standard limit for urban roads remains at 50km/h but many residential streets in Mangawhai will have a new top speed of 40km/h. The new limit in busy shopping areas, in Mangawhai Village, for example, will be 30km/h.
A date has yet to be set for the new speed limits to come into force. Signs will need to be replaced and the council's speed limits bylaw will have to be updated.
A total of 86 submissions were received when the changes were notified late last year. Oral submissions were heard on March 25.
Most submissions backed lower speeds, with some residents calling for even greater reductions, though some said lower limits wouldn't work without proper enforcement or complained that reducing speed limits was an exercise in revenue collection.
The original 60km/h proposal for Molesworth Dr — the arterial route linking Mangawhai Village and Mangawhai Heads — was dropped to 50km/h after submitters raised concerns about speeds past the new Mangawhai Central development, as well as the need to make people feel safe as they walked or cycled between the two ends of the settlement.
The Automobile Association made an extensive submission which, among other things, said there were ''far too many'' speed limit changes proposed, with limited consistency.
Urban streets were variously 30, 40 and 50km/h while urban arterial routes were variously 30, 40, 50 and 60km/h.
''Motorists will not be able to keep up with the rapid number of changes and the inconsistency,'' the AA said.
That was partly addressed by reducing the 60km/h limit on Molesworth Dr in the final version of the plan.
The AA said a default 40km/h limit was not justified on urban streets, and while 30km/h might be suitable for city CBDs the organisation did not believe Mangawhai constituted a major shopping precinct.
The AA also wanted consideration given to improving safety by road upgrades, for example by building a roundabout at the ''inherently unsafe'' junction of Molesworth Dr, Moir St and the shopping centre car park entrance.
In its submission Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency pointed out that the current speed limit in Mangawhai was not enforceable because the sign at the start of the 50km/h zone did not meet legal requirements.
The entrance sign gave the town's name as ''Magical Mangawhai'' above the speed limit, but the speed had to be at the top, with the town's official name below (though a phrase such as 'welcome to' is permitted).
In response, the council said signs would be updated to meet design standards as part of the speed review process.