A te reo sign for the Carterton public toilets, which mysteriously popped up last year. PHOTO/FILE

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

Those entering Carterton will soon be greeted in both English and Te Reo Maori after the Carterton District Council voted to implement bilingual signage throughout the district at a meeting on Wednesday.

The Carterton district has five signed entry points – SH2 Taratahi, Te Kopi Bridge, Longbush Road, Ponatahi Road, and SH2 Waiohine – all in a range of styles and starting to show signs of ageing.

Councillors agreed to work with Hurunui o Rangi Marae in Gladstone to develop the translation and design of the new signage.

Policy and strategy chairwoman Ruth Carter said it would be “fantastic”, and an important step forward in the valued partnership with iwi.

“The new signs will be part of our continued journey with Hurunui o Rangi Marae and we will be working with them to get the right signage across the Carterton district.

“It’s not just about translating existing signs into Te Reo Maori but about recognising the cultural names within the district.”

Replacing the signage would also make for a more consistent design scheme across the district.

“By implementing bilingual signage, it gives us the opportunity to get a consistent look throughout our district while acknowledging the importance of the town’s cultural heritage,” Carter said.

She said most signs could be adjusted without too much work being done to them.

Planning and regulatory manager Dave Gittings said the work could be carried out “over a period of time” so it wasn’t a big cost all at once to ratepayers.

The council would also consider potential future uses of the design, such as the idea of a walkway from Gladstone Reserve to Dakins Rd.

Information boards could be placed alongside the walkway providing historical information in both languages.

A start date is yet to be confirmed for the new signage.