The Transport Minister is promising a decision soon on whether to make almost 100 types of traffic signs bilingual.

Waka Kotahi / New Zealand Transport Agency embarked on getting the signs changed last year as part of its He Tohu Huarahi Māori bilingual programme.

The aim is to place te reo Māori at the top of the sign and the English underneath – for instance, a green sign with white lettering that reads “Te Ara Puaki” at the top, and below that, “Expressway”.

The bilingual push began under the previous government, and the coalition government has moved ahead with reducing the use of Māori words in agency names and documents since it came to power in October.

A rule change on the road signs sits with Transport Minister Simeon Brown.

“A decision is currently with me on whether to proceed with a package of 94 bilingual traffic signs as part of He Tohu Huarahi Māori traffic signs programme,” he said in a statement.

“At the moment I am progressing with the coalition government’s 100-day plan and am yet to give this proposal consideration.

“I will make a decision on its future in the coming weeks.”

Waka Kotahi ran a six-week consultation process in mid-2023.

The 94 signs are grouped by destination signs, motorway and expressway advisory signs and others, covering such things as speed limits and bus stop signs.

“Kura / school” signs had already gone up – enabled by a 2022 rule change – and public consultation over these found 90% of respondents in favour of them, said the agency.

rnz.co.nz

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