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NZTA rebuffs welcome sign

Featherston’s welcome signs are no closer to being installed due to a lack of support from the New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi [NZTA].

The concrete, stone, timber, and steel signs were installed in 2017 at the northern and southern entrances to the town, but they were taken down in 2020, despite there being full consultation and several site visits from NZTA and the council prior to installation.

South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] recently shared an update that it was hopeful for a positive resource consent outcome from NZTA, but these hopes have since been dashed.

“Unfortunately, despite us being hopeful about the southern sign, NZTA were unable to support the signage location and design for both sites,” a council spokesperson said.

“Their biggest concern was the signs not being frangible — how they would react if it was impacted by a vehicle — either with or without the stone base which formed part of the design.

“We want to thank the Featherston Beautification Group and Featherston Community Board for their continued commitment to brightening up the entrances to Featherston.

“Alongside these groups, we will now have a rethink of options and consider the next steps.”

NZTA environmental planning manager Jenni Fitzgerald said the government transport agency had been working with SWDC since 2019 regarding the two signs proposed within the State Highway Corridor in Featherston.

“So far, the proposed locations for the signs, combined with their solid design, would pose significant safety risks to road users in the event of a crash,” she said.

“It means that NZTA Waka Kotahi cannot support the placement of the signs within the state highway corridor.

“However, we remain open to discussing alternatives,” Fitzgerald said.

At the time of installation, the majority of the project costs were raised by the Featherston Beautification Group, while SWDC contributed a further $7500.

It is understood the signs were damaged in storage.

SWDC has confirmed the signs have since been repaired, are in a good condition, and are being safely stored. -NZLDR
Public Interest Journalism
funded through NZ On Air


  1. Bloody nanny state better remove lampposts trees fencing? Stop treating drivers as children 😒 😤. NZTA HAVE FAILED THEY ARE FULL OF SOCIALISTS PUTTING DRIVERS IN NAPPIES. 😤

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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