Speed Review

The Roading and Traffic Bylaw 2022 came into effect on 1 July 2022

Learn more at icc.govt.nz/bylaws


🚗 From 23 January 2023, variable speed limits are being introduced outside Ōtātara, Southland Girls, James Hargest Senior and Salford schools. 

🚸 Speeds will be reduced to 30km/h during pick-up and drop-off times, all part of Waka Kotahi’s Road to Zero strategy. Read more.

The below table shows when the various changes are expected to come in to effect:


Date To be changed Notes
1 July 2022 City Centre Streets, South City Shopping Centre, Windsor Shopping Centre Learn more (30/06/2022)
17 October 2022 Sealed and Unsealed Rural Roads Learn more (11/10/2022)
23 January 2023 Ōtātara, Southland Girls, James Hargest Senior and Salford schools during pick-up and drop-off times Learn more (23/01/2023)
January 2023–June 2024 Variable Speed School Zones Phased approach– based on higher risk first.
TBC Te Puawai Subdivision and Inverurie expansions Speed limits will be implemented at the time the roads are vested.


National Speed Limit Register

Search speed limits by address, road, location, speed limit record number, or click on the map at the NZTA Waka Kotahi  National Speed Limit Register.



Following the public hearings on 22 March 2022, Council deliberated on the Speed Review and Traffic and Roading Bylaw on 5 April 2022 and adopted at the full Council Meeting on 24 May 2022 the following decisions:

  • The adoption of the Speed principles to guide future decisions on speeds, with the intent to reduce the speed in the city to 40km/h at term.
  • The reduction of the variable speed limits/signs outside of the main and side roads of designated schools to 30km/h for urban schools and 60km/h for rural schools.
  • The reduction of the speed around Windsor and South City shopping centres and the roads consulted on for the CBD to 30km/h (with Esk street reduced to 10km/h).
  • The reduction of the speeds for gravel and narrow rural roads as consulted on, with the exceptions of Brown Rd (gravel section) and Awarua Bay Rd (from Tiwai Road) with the adopted speed of 40km/h instead of the proposed 60km/h.
  • The change on Don street from a one-way to a two-way street after completion of the works on site.
  • The addition of a vehicle crossing standard, to be updated on Council’s website.
  • The repeal of the clause for Oreti Beach as Council does have existing powers to close any road if safety is a concern.

Why is the Invercargill City Council reducing the speeds on the roading network?

Speed is an issue which is being addressed at a national level as part of the Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) “Road to Zero” Road Safety Strategy. This strategy identifies areas for improved infrastructure investment and speed management – A Regional Speed Management Plan will be required by 2024. Our consultation is aligned with, but is separate to the national Waka Kotahi NZTA consultation you may have seen adverts about. Here in Invercargill, Council receives frequent service requests about speed limits and traffic calming. Reducing speed can help to make the roads safer. In urban areas reducing speeds can help reduce accidents involving people walking and cycling. On rural roads, reducing speed limits creates a safer environment, which will result in fewer motor vehicle deaths and serious injuries. It also has a secondary benefit of reducing dust suppression requirements.


Consultation Document

The Speed Review consultation, which informed the proposed changes, ran from 6 February 2022 to 7 March 2022. The consultation document is an accessible source of information regarding the coming speed limit changes and other traffic amendments, and provides more exact details on which roads and areas will be impacted by the new bylaw. You can find it in the link below:



Map of Deaths and Serious Injuries in Invercargill 2017–2021

This map displays the location of the deaths and serious injuries that have occurred over the five year window.  During this time, there were 87 DSI crashes, which resulted in nine fatalities, 96 people suffering serious injuries and 30 people suffering minor injuries.

Locations of serious incidents from the last five years


Other relevant Documents


Frequently Asked Questions: Roading and Traffic Bylaw 2022

Why are most of the speed limits being reduced?

Road to Zero 2020-2030, New Zealand’s Road Safety Strategy sets New Zealand on path to a vision where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. Speed limits are one of the five key focus areas of Road to Zero. Speed is a direct factor to the outcome of most crashes and the main cause in 12% of fatal and serious crashes. The proposed limits are in line with best practice modelling. There are a small number of speed limits that are proposed to increase, however the vast majority are proposed to reduce.


Why is Council reducing the rural speeds now but not the urban speeds?

Council is reducing some urban speed limits now and plans to reduce the speed on most urban roads to 40km/h in the future.  Proposed changes to speed limits are being made sooner for rural roads as the risk is higher. The higher the speed, the bigger the crash. Currently Invercargill City Council is looking to reduce the higher speeds because this is where the higher rates of deaths and serious injury reductions are found.


What is the reasoning behind reducing the speed from 50km to 40km in urban roading areas?

The human body is vulnerable and not built to withstand impact forces greater than 30km/h.  To have a space where people feel safe to walk, cycle or even play within roading areas, we need to reduce the risk of serious injury / death. Reducing the speed also decreases the stopping distance required, meaning more chance of stopping for a child or a family pet. If the roading reserve is to become a safer place for our whanau, we need to reduce the risk of them being involved in a death or serious injury accident.


What is the intent behind the CBD, South City and Winsor shopping centres being reduced to 30km/h?

These are areas where we have more people and have a high level of foot traffic. Council is looking to make these more pedestrian focused and friendly. The 30km/h limit makes it easier to share the same space and reduces the potential harm if there was to be an accident.Why is Council reducing some sealed roads from 100km to 60km?

The sealed roads which are being reduced from 100km/h to 60km/h are high crash roads, poorly aligned roads or ones that have seen a significant growth in the number of new subdivisions or number of properties and the way traffic use them have changed.


Why are we not engineering up all roads and keeping the speed limits the same?

Road to Zero outlines that even if all road users followed the road rules, fatalities would only fall by approximately 50% and injuries by 30%. This is why reducing the severity of crashes (when they occur) by reducing speeds is important. Council has limited funds for road improvements and therefore invests these funds in high risk or high impact areas. To bring many of the roads up to a safer standard would be expensive and would need further funding from either central government or rates.


Where is the evidence that the community supports these speed reductions?

These reductions have been made in alignment with Waka Kotahi NZTA’s national strategy. Council often receives complaints, especially in areas of rural roads that speeds are too high. Many rural roads have become more densely populated since their current speed limits were set and many roads and vehicle crossings now have many more turning movements which increases the crash risk. Council will take into account the feedback from the community as part of this consultation in making its decision.


How often does Council expect to close access to Oreti Beach with the amendment in the Bylaw?

The beach will only be closed in extraordinary circumstances and is anticipated to be infrequent.  Council always had the ability to close roads if there is a danger to the public. The amendment to the Bylaw provides clarity on the circumstances when this might happen. The intent is to maintain access to the beach as much as possible, however if storm surges or other inclement weather occurrences mean a build-up of sand that would cause vehicles to get stuck or damaged, we need to think of everyone’s safety and close access. Once the contractors have had time to clean up and the danger is sorted, access will be restored as a priority.


Will the police enforce the changes?

Once Council’s new speed limits are approved and implemented, the police will be able to enforce them.


Frequently Asked Questions: School Zones

What time of the day is the school speed limit imposed?

Times will vary depending on individual school drop off and pick up times.


Do school zones include kindergartens / early childhood?

No, currently Invercargill City Council is aligning with Waka Kotahi NZTA’s Road to Zero Strategy which focuses on schools.


Will the school zones be permanent speed or variable speed?

Invercargill City Council is proposing variable speed zones outside of the schools. This means the speed will be reduced only during drop off and pick up times. These will generally be in the form of digital signs that illuminate the required reduced speed during the applicable school times and then will remain blank outside of these.


Are speed limits on all roads that are adjacent to schools to be reduced?

No, Invercargill City Council will be working with each school independently to determine which entry is the primary entry.


Will the variable speed signs create confusion around other road rules, such as you must drive past a school bus at no greater speed than 20km/h?

The 20km/h while passing a school bus limit has been a concern for some time. The variable speed signs would not override the existing road rules around school buses therefore the 20km/h driving while passing a school bus limit will remain. Continued education and compliance will need to take place in this area.


Why are there different speeds for rural schools versus urban schools?

The Invercargill City Council District Plan designates what is considered rural and what is urban. The national standard sets limits of a maximum of 60km/h for rural schools and 30km/h for new urban school speed limits.  Council has applied standards across the district, however is happy to hear feedback if you would like to propose something different.