Safer speeds proposed for SH6 between Blenheim and Nelson

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 15, 2019

Map of proposed speed changes

The NZ Transport Agency is reviewing speed limits on State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson in an effort to save lives and reduce the incidence of serious crashes along the high-risk road.

In the 10 years between 2009 and 2018, 20 people lost their lives and 92 were seriously injured in crashes on this stretch of highway. Nineteen of the deaths were on 100km/h stretches of road.

“We‘ve been speaking with local people, councils, businesses, and other organisations about how we can make this road safer and some people told us that speeds along this route feel too high to be safe,” says NZTA director regional relationships Jim Harland.

“There are numerous communities and schools on State Highway 6, it‘s popular with cyclists, busy with freight and commuters, and there are school children and others crossing the road in 100km/hour environments.

“We are investigating other improvements such as safety barriers, but one of the immediate actions we can take right now to prevent people from dying or being seriously injured is to reduce speed limits, so they are safe and right for the road.”

The NZTA is now formally asking for public submissions about proposals to change the speed limits on SH6 between Blenheim and Nelson.

“We are proposing to reduce speeds along the route, and we would like people to tell us if there are any other factors we should consider before we make a decision,” says Harland.

Formal consultation for this speed review is open from Tuesday 15 October until 5pm 12 November 2019, with a decision expected in the following months.

The Blenheim to Nelson speed review is one of three happening across the top of the South Island, with reviews of SH60 between Upper Takaka and Takaka and SH6 between Hope and Wakefield starting in coming weeks.

How to have your say:

Find out more information and make a formal submission at 

Pick up a submission form at your local council office or library or call 0800 44 44 49 and the NZTA will send you one.


Estimated extra travel times


Extra travel time if new speeds are adopted

SH6 Blenheim to Nelson

9 minutes extra

Blenheim to Woodbourne

36 seconds

Renwick to Havelock

4 minutes

Through Havelock

3 seconds

Havelock to Pelorus

1 minute 14 seconds

Pelorus to Rai Valley

30 seconds

Rai Valley to Collins Valley

1 minute

Through Collins Valley

23 seconds

Whangamoa to Atawhai

26 seconds

Atawhai to Nelson

41 seconds