Fresh, wet, white paint covering lanes on Auckland's Southern Motorway has been cleaned up and the busy highway flowing freely after it was clogged for hours this morning.

Motorists faced 10 km-long queues after paint was splattered over several lanes for around 200m heading south near the Mt Wellington off-ramp just before 10am.

Two right lanes were blocked as contractors moved in to clean up the spill with massive traffic jams stretching back 10km to Newmarket.


SH1 SOUTHERN MWY, SOUTHBOUND - DELAYS - FINAL UPDATE 12:40PM Clean-up is now complete and all southbound lanes are now available again. Delays through the Greenlane to Penrose areas are quickly easing. ------ UPDATE 12:15PM Clean-up of the two right lanes is now complete with two lanes south now available again, while 1 lane (prior to the exit to Mt Wgtn Hwy) is now closed as clean-up continues. Delays are from Gillies Ave. Please continue to avoid this section of the Southern Mwy until the scene can be fully cleared to allow congestion along this route to ease. ------ 15 JAN 11:15AM Contractors have had to close the two right southbound lanes on the Southern Mwy just prior to the South Eastern Hwy off-ramp to clean-up a paint spill - leaving only one lane available south plus the off-ramp lane. Traffic heading south is becoming congested from Greenlane. Please avoid this route if possible or allow extra time for delays. ^TP

Posted by NZ Transport Agency - Auckland & Northland on Sunday, 14 January 2018

The New Zealand Transport Agency had warned drivers heading south on SH1 to consider taking SH16 and SH20 to avoid the area altogether.


It also advised motorists they may want to consider washing their vehicle to get rid of the unintended paintwork if they drove through before cordons were put in place.

The agency said there were now two lanes open for traffic to use with one lane before the exit to the Mt Wellington Highway still closed.

For the past two hours there has been just one lane open for traffic to use on a section of Auckland's busiest highway.

Cameras showed vehicles down to a snail's pace from Newmarket as they filed into the single lane left open to pass by the clean-up operation.

Just before 12.40pm NZTA said the mop up was finished with delays from Greenlane to Penrose starting to ease.

Meanwhile, drivers using SH29 over the Kaimai Range in the Bay of Plenty were urged to take extra care and slow down due to an oil spill on the road which had led to a spate of crashes.

The highway is down to one lane each way while contractors cleaned up the oil that had created a 300m slick.

The spill happened after a ute and car crashed just around 10.10am near the summit on the Matamata side of the range.

The slippery surface has led to three minor crashes on the highway.