Mangaweka to Utiku Deviation, State Highway 1

Engineering Work (eg road, bridge, sawmill, dam)


Here where the road blends back into the landscape, modern engineering skills have removed the last major impediment (and irritation) to the long distance road user.

The road south of Taihape was notorious with its 10 kilometres of narrow winding road which was also slip prone.

Constructed through steep mud and sandstone formations and with major earthworks, the Mangaweka to Utiku deviation (staged construction 1972-1980) changed one of State Highway 1’s most harzardous sections into a modern highway, also reducing travel times.

Design: Ministry of Works and Development
Contractors: Stage 1 Taylor & Culley Ltd
Stages 2 & 3: Kaipara Excavators
Toetoe Bridge – Easton Steel/H Bullock

Heritage recognition
IPENZ “Engineering to 1990” project

This item of New Zealand’s engineering heritage was recognised as part of the IPENZ “Engineering to 1990” project which the Institution organised to help celebrate the country’s sesquicentenary in 1990. A plaque was unveiled to mark the significance of this road realignment as part of the development of the nation.


No Attachments


South of Taihape, State Highway 1 between Mangaweka and Utiku.

Wanganui / Manawatu

Access Info
The IPENZ heritage plaque is located at a rest stop on the east side of the highway.

Nature of Engineering
Infrastructure (incl. Road, water, ports)


IPENZ Engineering to 1990 plaque

(Click image to enlarge )

Lat: -39.767863 Long: 175.800299