Safer driving speeds are a step closer to improving some of Rotorua's dangerous roads after Rotorua Lakes Council officers reported back to the council with its recommended changes.

If the council accepts the strategy, policy and finance committee's recommendations, then more than 20 roads will have their speed limits changed, with six roads including Spencer Rd, Waiotapu Loop Rd and Turner Rd seeing a drastic 40km/h reduction, going from 100km/h to 60km/h.

The council's infrastructure capital programme manager, Peter Dine, said in the meeting the "common sense" recommendations had taken into account various factors such as the actual speeds driven, the roads' conditions, and public feedback.

Hamurana Rd was discussed at length during deliberations after Rotorua Lakes Community Board chairman Phill Thomass said people he had talked to supported a 60km/h speed limit through Wilson's Bay, including the proposed 80km/h stretch of road between Te Waerenga Rd and Wilson's Bay.


Council officers had recommended speeds of either 60 or 80km/h for different parts of Hamurana Rd, acknowleding New Zealand Transport Agency's submission of eventually phasing out all 70km/h limits.

Thomass said he was "very disappointed" about the agency not supporting a uniform speed limit.

"It was a very simple solution for Hamurana Rd, to make it 70 km/h from one end to the other. Going between 80 and 60km/h makes it difficult.

Council chief executive Geoff Williams responded by saying it might make sense for drivers to travel through different speed limits.

"The argument is one to be cautious on, that it doesn't make sense to transverse through different speed limits.

"The problem with that is if the road and its conditions are naturally amenable to different speeds, then the speed limit should logically follow."

Councillor Tania Tapsell said she was "quite happy" with the recommendation as it stood but warned the committee a blanket 60km/h limit would increase the risk of overtaking, given she drove the road every day, she said.

Hamurana & Awahou Ratepayers & Residents Association president Jerry Douglas said the proposed changes were "a long time coming".


"I'm all in favour of it. Very much so because it is a fairly heavily used road. There are accidents waiting to happen."

Waiotapu Tavern duty manager Sandy Nicholls was happy with the proposed speed limit change on Waiotapu Look Rd. Photo / Stephen Parker
Waiotapu Tavern duty manager Sandy Nicholls was happy with the proposed speed limit change on Waiotapu Look Rd. Photo / Stephen Parker

On Waiotapu Loop Rd, where a proposed 60km/h speed limit would replace the current 100km/h, Waiotapu Tavern duty manager Sandy Nicholls said the change "would make a huge difference".

"A lot of tourists are coming out slowly onto a 100km/h road. There's been so many accidents outside the tavern. We've been lucky nobody's been killed."

Resident Jen Bridson said it was "awesome" to hear of the proposed 50km/h limit along Vaughan Rd, which is currently 70km/h.

"We are really happy that we went to the council. It's cool that the system works - citizens can go to the council and the council hears them. It'll be heaps safer for the community."

The committee carried the motion unanimously after councillor Mark Gould moved it and Rotorua Rural Community Board chairwoman Shirley Trumper seconded it.

The full council will look at the recommendations at its next meeting on June 28.

Recommended changes:
Manawahe Rd (State Highway 30 to Pongakawa Valley Rd): from 100km/h to 80km/h
Pongakawa Valley Rd (Manawahe Rd to Kennedy Bay): from 100km/h to 80km/h
Pongakawa Valley Rd (Kennedy Bay to Otautu Bay): from 100km/h to 60km/h
Western Rd (State Highway 5 to Brake Rd): from 100km/h to 60km/h
Western Rd (Brake Rd to current 50km/h limit): from 70km/h to 50km/h
Brake Rd: 70km/h to 60km/h
Oakland Pl: from 70km/h to 50km/h
Pioneer Rd: from 70km/h to 50km/h
Mohi Cres: from 70km/h to 50km/h
Tarawera Rd (Forest Pl to Landing): from 100km/h to 80km/h
Spencer Rd (current 100km/h sections): from 100km/h to 60km/h
Spencer Rd (Tarawera Rd to 50km/h limit): from 100km/h to 80km/h
Brunswick Drive (State Highway 30 to end, including side roads): from 70km/h to 50km/h
Okareka Loop Rd (Blue Lake to Okareka Village and Tarawera Rd to Village): from 100km/h to 80km/h
Millar Rd (Steep St to end): from 100km/h to 60km/h
Waiotapu Loop Rd (State Highway 5 to State Highway 5): 100km/h to 60km/h
Unnamed road to Wastewater Treatment Plant (State Highway 30A to Treatment Plant): from 70km/h to 40km/h
Vaughan Rd (current 70km/h section): from 70km/h to 50km/h
Hamurana Rd (State Highway 36 to Fryer Rd): from 80km/h to 80km/h
Hamurana Rd (Fryer Rd to Te Waerenga Rd): from 70km/h to 60km/h
Hamurana Rd (Te Waerenga Rd to Wilson's Bay): from 100km/h to 80km/h
Hamurana Rd (Wilson's Bay section): from 70km/h to 60km/h
Hamurana Rd (Wilson's Bay to Marama Point): from 100km/h to 80km/h
Hamurana Rd (Marama Point to State Highway 33): from 70km/h to 60km/h
Kaska Rd: from 80km/h to 60km/h
Turner Rd: from 100km/h to 60km/h
Te Waerenga Rd (0m to 350m): 100km/h to 60km/h
Fryer Rd including Braymore Pl: from 70km/h to 60km/h
Paradise Valley Rd: from 100km/h to 80km/h
Endean Rd: from 100km/h to 80km/h
Te Miri Rd: from 100km/h to 80km/h
Te Manu Rd: from 100km/h to 80km/h.