Western Link Road ,Kapiti Coast, New Zealand


Kapiti Coast District Council, New Zealand Transport Agency

Western Link Road was the forerunner to the Roads of National Significance (RONS).  The proposed motorway design had met significant local opposition, increasing budget estimates and was in danger of stalling.

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Common Ground was initially commissioned by KCDC (the local territorial partner in the project) to take a fresh look at the proposed design in light of changes to land use and policy in the Kapiti Coast.  After a comprehensive review, Common Ground identified significant improvement and was subsequently requested by NZTA to lead the full design of the 7km designation as a major new internal movement corridor – the Western Link Road (WLR). We chose Opus International (the original consultants) as our partners in the project.


Under Common Ground’s leadership the wide road reserve was transformed into a full multi-modal corridor with extensive pedestrian, cycling and bridal paths.  Key intersections were transformed into major urban parks, while any bridges became major statements.  The low-impact engineering approach also dramatically reduced impacts on the local networks and provided higher levels of resilience in time of crisis (flood).


The strategic framework developed for the WLR corridor exceeded the expectations of Council, community and interest groups – ensuring the State Highway could function more effectively without significant upgrade and delivering a roading network capable of absorbing and responding to future growth demands. Furthermore, the cost of the project was significantly lower (20%) than the conventional engineering-led approach and demonstrated an extraordinary increase in the level of wider economic benefit to the district (BC’s x10 from original to nearly 20:1).


The open and transparent design approach with all stakeholders, and a successful community consultation process resulted in the Resource Consent application being unopposed. Common Ground co-authored with Opus the scheme Assessment report (SAR) required for NZTA funding.

  • Land Use Assessment
  • Urban Design
  • Design Direction
  • Strategic Planning
  • Masterplanning
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Feasibilities
  • Landscape Design
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Community Consultation
  • Project Management

Project Value:

$NZ 130M (2009)
Value of Services Provided:

$NZ 950,000

Added Value:

  • Benefits of distributed network design
  • Maximized land use outcomes for local Council and community
  • Significant budget savings
  • New roading design strategy for Kapiti Coast
  • Multi-modal corridor
  • Full detailed design and costing for the 7km arterial road
  • Innovative low-impact environmental engineering
  • Bridge design
  • Integrated land use and infrastructure benefit analysis
  • Open and transparent design approach with high levels of community consultation
  • Demonstrated value-uplift to surrounding environments