Highway Infrastructure:  Waterview Connection, Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth, Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway, Te Ara o Te Ata – Mt Messenger Bypass, Te Ahu a Turanga – Manawatū Tararua Highway, and O Mahurangi – Penlink

Engaged through collaborative alliances and design-construction contracts, the Tonkin + Taylor ecology team has actively participated in shaping New Zealand’s highway infrastructure over the past 13 years. Throughout these projects, our ecology team has remained committed to upholding the strategic environmental and sustainability objectives of Waka Kotahi.

Through Te Ahu a Turanga – Manawatū Alliance, our team had a pivotal role in providing ecological advice during the design, resource consent, and initial construction phases of the project. Notable ecological accomplishments include the formulation of ecologically sensitive alignment designs, effectively circumventing the loss of important ecosystems through a host of innovative design features. We developed a comprehensive biodiversity offset package and played a role in the environmentally conscious design of elements like retaining walls, culverts, and other features.

In our involvement during the consenting phase, the team undertook extensive ecological field investigations, spanning the entire alignment. Our assessments comprehensively evaluated the ecological significance of various terrestrial, wetland, and freshwater ecosystems. The biodiversity offset initiative encompasses an impressive expanse of 45.6 hectares dedicated to native revegetation, alongside 48.3 hectares reserved for bush retirement and 28 kilometres of stream riparian restoration. To further enhance conservation efforts, an expansive area spanning 300 hectares is designated for intensive mammalian pest control.

We have also been heavily involved many aspects of the SH3 Te Ara o Te Ata – Mt Messenger Bypass project (northern Taranaki) and have been the main provider of the ecology services on the project since 2017 (and ongoing). This has included leading ecology aspects during the multi-criteria analysis (MCA) options assessment, route selection, consenting and Hearing stages, and now the extensive construction support phase.

Due to the high ecological values of the project area, our Ecology team are ensuring At Risk and Threatened species such as North Island Brown Kiwi, long-tailed bats, native lizards, birds, invertebrates and aquatic fauna are safeguarded during project construction. We also developed a comprehensive ecological offset and compensation package for the project, involving pest management over an area of 3,650 ha in perpetuity, planting of high value forest types, restoration of all stream margins, secondary scrub areas and enhancement of steep cut faces to promote natural regeneration and ecological succession.

This is the largest ecological mitigation/compensation package to date in New Zealand and alongside our other partners of Te Ara o Te Ata – Mt Messenger Alliance, we are proud to contribute to this project of national significance and the long-term environmental benefits it will bring to the area.

Through our partnership with Te Ahu a Turanga – Manawatū Alliance and Te Ara o Te Ata – Mt Messenger Alliance, our ecology team has proven its dedication to steering infrastructure projects towards sustainable and ecologically sensitive outcomes. Our collaborative approach, enriched by a diverse array of ecological expertise, exemplifies our commitment to advancing environmentally conscious infrastructure development.


  • High-level ecological assessments to support a business case
  • Ecological input into multi-criteria analysis (MCA) options assessments
  • Detailed ecological values assessment across the territorial, freshwater and marine ecosystems
  • Preparation of detailed ecological impact assessments
  • Provision of technical evidence and attendance at council and environment court hearings
  • Integration into engineering design teams to provide sustainable and ecologically sensitive designs
  • Preparation of ecological restoration plans to support positive biodiversity outcomes
  • Development and implementation of biodiversity offset or compensation packages
  • Construction phase services support, managing a wide range of ecological constraints related to native flora and fauna.


  • Waka Kotahi, Te Ahu a Turanea – Manawatū Alliance


  • Waterview Connection: 2010-2017
  • Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth: 2016 – 2023 
  • Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway: 2017 – 2023
  •  Te Ara o Te Ata – Mt Messenger Bypass: 2017 – 2028 (construction ongoing)
  • Te Ahu a Turanga – Manawatū Tararua Highway: 2019 – 2025 (construction ongoing)
  • O Mahurangi – Penlink: 2022 – 2026 (construction ongoing)

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