Orange Roughy


Great to experience the new Hobsonville Deviation motorway opened a week ago and connecting the end of the Northwestern Motorway at Hobsonville Road to the Upper Harbour Bridge and the Greenhithe Deviation Motorway.
It makes for a better run from the west to the North Shore.
But what’s with the orange?

This burnt orange look dominates the landscape and up close looks like some sort of paint on special has been thrown on the motorway walls.

The noise walls are between 2 and 4 metres high, are made of wood painted the distinctive orange and sit on top of landscaped earth mounds.

Out of the corner of your eye, you think it’s the sign of more road construction, orange cones or the fluro-jackets of road construction workers.

The NZTA explained during development these are noise walls:
“Timber walls painted a burnt orange colour will minimise noise from the motorway on surrounding businesses and residences. Landscaping will include native trees and plants.”

This was an outcome from the old Waitakere Council which had a policy of adding an artistic approach to construction projects involving local artists.
600m of the 3km of big orange walls has murals depicting tyre tracks by artist Jeff Thomson. The ‘tyre tracks’ were formed with coloured jigsawn ‘treads’ added to the wall. This corrugated effect is mirrored on the walls of the Trig Road and Squadron Drive bridges.

All very nice but the orange is distracting, loud and may not be as fashionable in a few years time.
One nice feature is the dedicated 3.5 metre wide pedestrian and cycle path built on the Upper Harbour Bridge and up to the Tauhinu Road Bridge. This path provides a safer route for cyclists, who previously have travelled alongside cars on the bridge.

There’s more commissioned art there. Sinton Windows created by Waitakere artist John Radford in partnership with the former Waitakere City Council incorporates some of the salvaged windows from the now demolished Sinton House in Sinton Road. It sits in Clarks Lane alongside the pedestrian and cyclist bridge. Radford has done some wonderful work around Auckland acknowledging the loss of the city’s heritage including the TIP sculptures in Ponsonby’s Western Park.




  1. Travis says:

    I like it….once the plants on the bank grow there will be some nice contrasting colours…

  2. Patrick says:

    I don’t mind the colour, it’s the motorway’s unique feature

  3. richard says:

    I dispute the cycle path provides a safer route for cyclists. I used the old road bridge since it was built in 1976? without incident despite the lane being rather narrow northbound. Within three weeks of its opening I had four potentially serious incidents on the path!!

    Two of the hazards have now been removed since the final alignment was finished. One is worth mentioning, in the first week a car sailing through the Compulsory Stop at Tauhinu Road nearly clobbered me as I went to enter the lane. I complained to the Police and they had a field day issuing tickets one day. Transit’s answer was to replace the STOP with a GIVE WAY despite their admitting they had made it STOP because of the bad design of the lanes.!! The mind boggles.

    The configuration of the lane is a nonsense, half pedestrian and half cyclist so cyclists have to illegally use the pedestrian side northbound because the closing speed of cyclist on the bridge can be 60kph plus. The bike lane is only wide enough for single direction travel and there should be either 1.5m extra width or another lane for westbound travel.

    The dividing fence motorway/cycle-way is too high and causes a sight line problem on the causeway bend.

    You mention the hideous orange sound barriers which are an eyesore. They are more than that near Monterey Museum! When one enters the cycle lane northbound from the motorway over-bridge the immediate grade goes up slightly the suddenly drops down and without trying you are doing say 35 - 40kph when you come to a sharp left bend with the barrier on your immediate left. Sight round the bend is almost nil and then immediately when clearing the bend there are two bollards to stop vehicles!!!

    Knowing the hazards helps but sooner or later there is going to be a serious head on collision on this lane, probably involving cyclists, pedestrians (and their dog) The emergency services will have their access blocked by the aforesaid dividing fence.

    This is only a précis of the design and construction faults with this path. One wonders where the designers get their qualifications!

  4. Edward says:

    I like it.Its something different.

  5. George D says:

    I love it. Such things are a great feature of Melbourne motorways. People will get used to it

  6. Carl says:

    Id get use to it, here when the re-did at the freeways, each on / off ramp was a different colour, some had murals (which i thought was really awesome) and some have tiles and random patterns.

    its better than everything being just grey I guess.

  7. Mike F says:

    I believe orange is the wrong colour for these walls. We all should associate orange with roadworks or some sort of hazard and obviously be alert.
    One of the requirements of working on the road is to wear orange (yellow for STMS),to use a orange flashing light,orange road cones and have signage being orange so the public quickly identifies the hazard.
    The issue I see is the motorist having seen so much orange might disassociate any real hazard identified in the standard orange colour. Hopefully I’m wrong.

  8. BoB says:

    I like them. A bit of character, rather than more dullness.

  9. Anthony says:

    I like it, it would make the drive interesting…

  10. Andy says:

    Just judging from the photos, it just makes me think that something is being constructed behind it. Don’t get me wrong, I love colour and change but I wonder how many people will ask “What’s being built over there?”. (Especially if there are signs like that orange one in the first photo.)

  11. Antz says:

    I noticed that the motorway lightings are different too…..

  12. Travis says:

    I think that they are the same ones that have been installed along state highway 22 into pukekohe…

  13. Karl says:

    Inspiration from Melbourne?

  14. Bryan says:

    The sound screens on the Greenhithe side have been camouflaged with stencilled tree silhouttes, so they merge with the bush plantings.

    But why does the fence at Monterey Park extend halfway along the causeway (where there are no houses to “protect”), obscuring the million dollar view of the upper harbour?

  15. KarlHansen says:

    It’s UGLY (and will hopefully disappear in a few years). Also, the noise walls look amazingly shoddy up close, like a construction hoarding. Not sure what is underneath, but they seem to be just wood panels nailed down.

  16. Kiran says:

    I like it. people complain all the time, at least they made it interesting instead of just leaving it looking like a normal wooden wall.

  17. richard says:

    Karl, the ugly wall alongside the shared path by Monterey does look a bit like a construction hoarding.

    It seems to be massively over designed. When under construction i was surprised to hear what it was when I asked one of the contractors. They drove huge piles into the mud strong enough to support Queens Wharf and then hung plywood panels on to framework between the piles.

    Then……when finished they sprayed the huge screen with the grotesque orange paint and I queried with a painter if it was an undercoat and couldn’t believe it when he said it was the top coat.

    Incidentally when cycling at Hobsonville today saw a motorist go the wrong way round one of the new round-a-bouts!!@£?”?!!

  18. I love it - orange and green are complimentary colours. We need to see more colour in Auckland and this, along with Te Wero Island : is a great start to achieving a vibrant city.

  19. Alanna says:

    Having lived in this area for 24 years I am disappointed with the choice of orange for the walls on the motorway. Would have been better to do what Northshore have done with the trees painted on.


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