Roadworks are a common occurrence all along the quake-damaged State Highway 1 in north Canterbury and Marlborough.
The work sites are all manned by stop-go workers who realise the stress and frustration it can cause travellers to have to hold up their journey.
Road workers like Mike Begley say they're making a concerted effort to take that pain away from motorists.
"No one wants to be stopped at a stop-go sign for 20 minutes," Mr Begley says. "If we can have a yarn with the first driver, or if we can give them a smile or a wave, the nicer you can be, the smoother people's day goes."
Madison Wade left her barista job in June to become a stop-go worker, and she hasn't looked back.
"I just figured being outside would be the one for me, and I enjoy it more than being inside and serving customers with money and all that."
NCTIR, who is managing the road repairs, says it has had people from all kinds of backgrounds take up road working. Journeys manager Tresca Forrester says having a positive attitude is a must.
"They are the public face of the company," she says. "We're all drivers so we all know how frustrating it can be to be stopped in roadworks, and, on this road, multiple sets of roadworks.
"So a wave or a smile goes a really long way."