Wisdom of Maori road safety signage questioned

THE wisdom of having road safety signs solely in Maori was questioned at the Regional Transport Committee meeting — but the meeting was told English translation had been added later.

Graeme Thomson said he supported the use of te reo but felt this was not the right place. People needed to understand a sign and know what it was about.

If signs were needed to prevent accidents and it was that important, they should be kept simple so that 100 percent of people could recognise them immediately.

“I do think te reo should be used but for a safety signage on roads . . . I would ask the question.’

It was another thing to read — another distraction.

Council lifelines director David Wilson said the signs were put up for Maori Language Week.

This district had one of the highest percentages of Maori speakers in the country. The council had a policy that all of its signs should be bilingual.

These were information signs, were not stop or other safety signs. English translations had been added.

Where both languages could not be fitted, English ones were put up.

Malcolm MacLean said it was important that signs were kept down to very few words because it was a distraction.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said the district had a large percentage of Maori speakers and the signs were well received.

Tairawhiti Roads general manager Dave Hadfield said 20 signs were erected.

THE wisdom of having road safety signs solely in Maori was questioned at the Regional Transport Committee meeting — but the meeting was told English translation had been added later.

Graeme Thomson said he supported the use of te reo but felt this was not the right place. People needed to understand a sign and know what it was about.

If signs were needed to prevent accidents and it was that important, they should be kept simple so that 100 percent of people could recognise them immediately.

“I do think te reo should be used but for a safety signage on roads . . . I would ask the question.’

It was another thing to read — another distraction.

Council lifelines director David Wilson said the signs were put up for Maori Language Week.

This district had one of the highest percentages of Maori speakers in the country. The council had a policy that all of its signs should be bilingual.

These were information signs, were not stop or other safety signs. English translations had been added.

Where both languages could not be fitted, English ones were put up.

Malcolm MacLean said it was important that signs were kept down to very few words because it was a distraction.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said the district had a large percentage of Maori speakers and the signs were well received.

Tairawhiti Roads general manager Dave Hadfield said 20 signs were erected.

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Manu Caddie - 1 month ago
I know it annoys some people, but there is a growing proportion of the population who have Te Reo as their first language again. New Zealand law recognises the right of Maori to communicate in the language that is their birthright and Te Reo shouldn't be secondary to English just because more people still speak the latter. So we need more, not less, signs solely in Te Reo - especially safety signs in public places - both to ensure those with Te Reo as their first language aren't disadvantaged or discriminated against, and to honour and promote the one language that belongs only here.

Tikei Pere - 29 days ago
It's wonderful to see the signs in Te Reo here in Gizzy. Rightly so in a city which has the largest percentage of speakers in New Zealand. Although one can understand some people's reticence, should we not make an effort to know their meaning? I have. Well done Gisborne!!

Tamatoa Audouin, Tahiti - 28 days ago
Tahiti dreams of monolingual signs in Reo Tahiti and Aotearoa people question Maori-only signs when it's an official language?
Why don't they question English-only signs for safety reasons too? WTH!