Matiatia summer traffic trial Matiatia summer traffic trial

Auckland Transport (AT) and the Waiheke Local Board are currently trialling a new way to manage traffic at Matiatia ferry terminal over the busy summer season to help reduce congestion and improve safety for everyone who uses the area.

Project status: Consultation - feedback closed 21 April 2020.
Project zone: Central

Project overview

Matiatia is the gateway to Waiheke Island and is the major transport interchange on the island with over 20 ferry services arriving daily. Peak travel affects the ferry services from mid-December to late February when visitor numbers swell. The island’s popularity has surged over the past few years and now it has over a million visitors per year.

The demand for transport increases over summer and this results in congestion at Matiatia due to the demand for buses, pre-booked tours and taxis. The increased amount of traffic makes it unsafe for all those using the area.

The keyhole area has been problematic for many years. Auckland Transport has worked with the Waiheke Local Board and the Waiheke Transport Forum to look for a temporary solution. 

We began trialling a new layout on 8 December 2019 which will be in place until 13 April 2020.

The trial changes have been made to create more room for buses to manoeuver and make the area safer for pedestrians and taxi passengers so that they are no longer forced to navigate around moving vehicles. Please refer to the map of the “current trial layout” to learn about the changes we are trialling.

Objectives of trial layout

Make pedestrians safer

We have created a dedicated taxi/shuttle stand in the car park. This new area was created to reduce congestion in the keyhole but also to ensure taxi passengers use the footpath instead of having to walk in between buses and cross the road in front of moving vehicles.

Create more space for buses

We set out to make it safer and easier for buses to manoeuvre by providing them sole access past the turnaround. We have ensured the previous drop off point remains the same.


  • 2 December 2019 – construction of the new public pick-up/taxi/pre-booked shuttle stand
  • 8 December 2019 – traffic trial starts
  • 17 March 2020 – consultation begins on trial
  • 21 April 2020 – consultation closes on trial
  • 31 May 2019 – traffic trial finishes.

Project details

The trial started 8 December 2019, with the objective to improve safety and relieve congestion at Matiatia during the peak summer season. The trial includes the following changes:

  • Space available to public buses has been increased so we can optimise the new network timetable. Three buses are able to utilise the space.
  • Only buses are able to operate out of the seaward keyhole area. This helps to reduce congestion and increase safety, as buses are now able to safely manoeuvre through this area. The seaward keyhole area also includes a space for mobility drop-off and 2 loading zones. The original drop-off zone remains.
  • A larger public pick-up zone has been built within the lower car park. The previous drop-off zone remains.
  • Pre-booked taxis/shuttles/tours have been removed from the seaward keyhole area and a dedicated P15 area has been created in the lower carpark.
  • Tour buses now depart from the keyhole, as they did previously. Their space has been allocated across from the ferry terminal. Tour guides from the Waiheke Hop-on Hop-off Explorer bus now meet their passengers and walk them over to their departure point opposite the public bus area.

Map showing the trial layout at Matiatia.
Map showing the trial layout at Matiatia.

Public consultation

This consultation was carried out to help understand the community’s experience with the trial and how we can continue improving the traffic layout at Mātiatia.

We sought public feedback from Tuesday 17 March 2020 until Wednesday 22 April 2020 and received 324 submissions.

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who took the time to provide their feedback on the trial layout. All of the comments received have been carefully considered and investigated.

Community feedback is important to us at Auckland Transport and the Waiheke Local Board.
Since the trial period ended on 31 May 2020, we have worked closely with the Waiheke Local Board to discuss the community feedback and possible next steps.

Download the December public feedback report - Matiatia traffic layout trial (PDF 1.2MB, 31 pages).

Consultation outcomes

We have listened and are making changes as a result of your feedback. We have evaluated the needs of the various users of the area and the need to keep people safe, the decision has been made by the Local Board to keep the trial layout in place with some requested improvements as outlined below. This decision is only an interim measure until the longer-term plan for Mātiatia is decided upon.

At the local board’s August meeting, they informed us that their preference is as follows:

  • Small passenger service vehicles (taxis) remain in the lower carpark at the dedicated raised platform created for the 2019/20 summer trial.
  • Retain the current layout of both the inner and outer keyhole, as implemented during the trial.
  • As previously recommended, AT undertakes various improvements in the lower carpark area such as removing the temporary fencing and replace with proper fencing, install an acceptable passenger shelter on the platform, and review and upgrade the wayfinding directional signage and road markings.
  • Both sides of the raised platform of the taxi stand are made available for waiting taxis.
  • Remove the temporary fencing (to restrict vehicle access into the lower part of the carpark) to enhance visibility from the terminal building for the taxis.
  • AT to address many of the present safety concerns and congestion issues around use of the keyhole area and align with AT’s facilitation of a transformational shift to public transport.
  • It is not intended to unfairly disadvantage one group of commercial operators over another, and several improvements are planned to support provision and management of good outcomes for the operators not able to return to the keyhole
  • Retention of the keyhole for buses and the turnaround area for pick-up and drop-off achieves the primary aim of improving manageable traffic flow and increasing overall safety within the busiest areas around the Mātiatia terminal.

The following improvements will be ready for the summer rush: Additional CCTV cameras have been installed and connected to AT’s traffic monitoring systems to enable enforcement of regulation breaches at Mātiatia; New directional signage has been ordered and will be installed to better direct travellers to the taxi rank and two shelters will be installed on the taxi rank island for those waiting for taxis.

As part of the improvements, AT will also make some changes to parking at Mātiatia:

  • The 7-day maximum period of parking in the unsealed area will be changed to a maximum period of 24 hours.
  • 18 of the P30 spaces will become mobility permit holders exempt.
  • Part of the area previously reserved for bus parking will return 14 spaces to paid parking.
  • The new areas of parking where the car rentals were previously located will become paid parking, limited to 24 hours.
  • Activation of pay and display in the Harbourmaster’s carpark.

Other possible changes to address concerns identified in the feedback considered by AT and the Waiheke Local Board have not found wider support. As a result, it is intended to broadly continue with the new layout, with the above improvements, while the wider Mātiatia Plan transport outcomes are developed.

Next steps

Working with the community to create a long-term solution for the traffic layout at Mātiatia is important to Auckland Transport and the Waiheke Local Board.

In recent months, as part of the wider Mātiatia Plan, Auckland Transport has been working with the Waiheke Local Board, Auckland Council, Direction Mātiatia and Ngāti Paoa representatives to prepare a set of landside transport improvements for Mātiatia.

The improvements are designed to provide better safety, stormwater management and look to address congestion issues at Mātiatia. Consultation around these improvements is due to happen shortly following initial stakeholder feedback on the early proposal. You can expect to hear from us soon.

Please note that feedback from the Mātiatia summer traffic trial has been considered and will be incorporated into the development of a preferred option.

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport