Exclusive: Map shows unsafe road speed limits across New Zealand

Newshub can reveal the Government is planning to slow Kiwi motorists down.

We've obtained a map showing all the roads Waka Kotahi has identified as having an unsafe speed limit - and it's basically the entire State Highway network outside of Auckland city.

But the Transport Minister says he's only planning on reducing the speeds on a fraction of the roads.

New Zealand's highways to hell could get even more hellish.

Newshub has exclusively obtained a map showing which roads Waka Kotahi has identified as too fast.

"I get the readout of the men, women and children who are killed on our roads every single week and it's an absolute tragedy," said Transport Minister Michael Wood.

All the red squiggles on the map are the roads in New Zealand that have unsafe speed limits - it's basically the entire State Highway network.

The only long stretches of safe speed roads are the little green bits - the brand new roads of national significance such as Transmission Gully north of Wellington, the Waikato Expressway between Hamilton and Auckland and the eastern corridor south of Tauranga.

The Napier-Taupō road is also green - that's because it's recently had its speed reduced to 80km/h.

The roads Waka Kotahi has identified as too fast.
The roads Waka Kotahi has identified as too fast. Photo credit: Newshub

Paul Callister relocates cars. He drives around New Zealand all day every day. He says it now takes him an extra hour to drive the Napier-Taupō road and it costs him to go slower.

"Waka Kotahi, they're not road people, they're not car people. They're graduates who look at computers," the iDrive managing director told Newshub.

"Worried about fatigue of my drivers, have to pay more, not happy."

Down south it's a similar picture - red as far as the eye can see, with stretches of green near the main centres of Dunedin and Christchurch and up the east coast.

There are smaller sections peppered across the country which have had safety measures like median barriers and rumble strips installed - the rest are classified as having unsafe speed limits.

"The Government's clearly got a plan. They want to slow down all State Highways to 80km/h and the Government needs to be upfront and honest with New Zealanders about what their plan is," National's transport spokesperson Simeon Brown said.

"Where we put safer speed limits on roads where there is a high level of risk we do see a reduction in deaths and serious injuries," Wood countered.

And the public is divided too.

"If it's reduced down to 90km/h, I'd be keen for that, just to keep the road toll down," one person told Newshub.

"I'm not convinced that people would drive slower because everyone speeds," another said.

Jenna Lynch analysis

This is an impossible political equation - there simply is not enough money to make all our roads safe overnight.

The Government will want to be seen to take a pragmatic approach and has told Waka Kotahi to focus on the most dangerous 10-20 percent.

But now this information is at their fingertips, the decision is either put the brakes on Kiwi roadies and slow nearly the entire network to 80km/h until our dilapidated roads are fixed - or let 80-90 percent remain unsafe and put Kiwi lives at risk.