NZTA, Rotorua come to agreement on te reo Māori signs

The current English 'Welcome to Rotorua' sign.
The current English 'Welcome to Rotorua' sign. Photo credit: Google Maps

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has come to an agreement with the Rotorua Lakes Council regarding Rotorua's wish to tweak its entry sign.

The Rotorua Lakes Council proposed a new sign reading Haere Mai Ki Rotorua, New Zealand's First Bilingual City.

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says NZTA rejected it, but now it's on the same page.

"We've had an assurance that we'll work through the issue - that's good news," he explained.

NZTA originally referred to a 2004 rule and said the sign must be written in English.

Ms Chadwick says this was a misunderstanding applied to speed limit signs, not welcome signs. 

"NZTA will work with us now, and we'll get the welcome signage sorted, so that's great.

"We'll be the first bilingual city with bilingual signage welcoming people."

NZTA said they are working with local councils to incorporate bilingual road signage.

"While the current traffic regulations wouldn't permit the combined speed limit/welcome sign proposed for Rotorua in its current form, we are working with Rotorua Lakes Council to develop and trial a bilingual entrance sign which will help to promote Rotorua as a bilingual city."

It is not yet known when the new signs will be introduced.


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