Historic, culturally-significant areas combined with closeness to major faults and difficult soil conditions – just some of the design challenges in delivering safer, shorter trips to Wellington.

As the capital of New Zealand, Wellington needs safe, efficient and reliable access. That’s the purpose of the Wellington Northern Corridor, a long-awaited upgrade of SH1 north of Wellington. The Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway is an essential section of this corridor, passing through both urban and rural areas.

The expressway provides significant benefits for local Kāpiti Coast travellers, enhancing community connectivity. It’s a lifeline link to the capital and will help support Wellington’s growth.

The 18km, four-lane expressway includes 17 bridges along the alignment. Nine are single span, six are multi-span and two are footbridges across the expressway. The largest structure on the project is the 182m, five-span Waikanae River Bridge.

As lead consultants for design management, engineering design, consenting and consultation, we’ve worked with the alliance team to find a suitable balance between unique environmental requirements and cost-effective construction solutions.

There’s been a wide range of interesting design challenges, including historic and culturally-significant areas, significant wetlands, soft peat deposits, liquefiable soils, a varied topography and being near to major faults. To all these, we’ve responded with innovative solutions to help Wellington locals, the Kāpiti Coast community, commuters and visitors travel safely around the region.


  • 2016 Harmony Award for the Alliance team’s contribution to a local community project for Porirua Islamic Centre
  • 2015 Sandy Cormack Award for the best technical paper on innovative foundation solution for bridge piers
  • 2015 NZTA GEM Award – Teaming Up from Concept to Construction
  • 2014 Site Safe NZ, Construction Health and Safety Awards, AWF Group Safety Innovation Award for Large Businesses for the Alliance’s health and safety awareness and engagement programme
  • 2017 Supreme Concrete Award to M2PP Expressway Project
  • 2017 Concrete Infrastructure Award to M2PP Expressway Project
  • 2017 Concrete Landscape Award Commendation to Te Kakakura Retaining Wall of M2PP Expressway Project


Photography by Mark Coote


Four-lane expressway




Project value

See how the expressway took shape.

Our Team Says

Our engineers love new ideas, embrace new technologies and are not afraid to take on the challenge of pushing the boundaries. Innovation happens when the client, designers and constructors collaborate to put existing concepts together in a new way.

Jamil Khan

Technical Director, Wellington Structural

Our Client Says

The collaborative design-construct approach and attention to safety in design by the M2PP Team has delivered exceptional innovation by ensuring that the design was optimised not only for the high seismic forces but for the team’s ability to construct these large scale piles and pier columns in a manner that yielded significant savings.

Tony Coulman

Principal Project Manager, NZ Transport Agency.

Our People

Doug Stirrat

Technical Director - Civil Engineering

Email Doug Stirrat
Jamil Khan

Technical Director - Structural Engineering

View on LinkedIn
Email Jamil Khan