Lack of macrons on signs for Māori place names

There's a common mistake on our road signs Māori language experts say should be fixed.

We're leaving out the macrons, the small dash above a vowel that tells you how to pronounce a word.

As Māori language week draws to a close, authorities are being asked to up their game.

Māori language expert Precious Clark said "there's a reason why we have macrons in the Māori language and it's because they change the meaning of the word."

The macron also tells you to double the length of the sound.

"Inconsistent is a kind response. [It's] probably ignorance or laziness."

Some local councils, like Taupō, have introduced them on their roads.

But on state highways, controlled by the Transport Agency, they don't normally appear.

Macrons are now used by most government departments and Auckland Transport says its considering adding them, as their road signs wear out.

As for motorway signs, the Transport Agency allows macrons if a special application is made and the geographic board agrees with it.