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Council orders down signs

By Jake Beleski

[email protected]

Two Greytown businesses have had their Christmas spirit dampened after being told to remove signage because it did not tie-in with the historic town’s look.

Greytown Dental and Osborne Group — an accounting and tax counsel firm — recently had to remove their signs from their second-storey location at The Hub on Greytown’s Main St.

The signs for both businesses had been in place for around six months, but have now been taken down.

The council says the process was “a bit tense” at times, but maintain the outcome is the right one for both the building and the town.

Osborne Group’s director, Jason Osborne, said it was an unforeseen issue.

“I was unaware of the regulations so we had to try and work with the council and be reasonable about it.

“At the end of the day we had to oblige.”

There was nothing offensive about the signs — which only displayed the company names — but they were still told they needed to be removed before Christmas.

“We haven’t yet got a replacement sign to go up, so we will be going through the Christmas and New Year period without a sign.”

The company was unaware of the regulations around some of Greytown’s buildings, he said.

“When the consent for the new building was originally done, one of the things they had to comply with was keeping the look of the frame of the building, and we weren’t aware of that.

“The sign didn’t fit in with what people perceive is the look of Greytown — I suppose it was along similar lines to the Warehouse pop-up shop.”

He thought there may have been some leniency given the company was unaware of the regulations, but it was not to be.

“I thought there might be a bit of discretion given the location of the sign being above eye-level, and the fact that we only came into town in the last six months.

“To have to remove it seems like an unnecessary kick in the guts, but we’ll look at putting up a new sign that hopefully pleases everybody.”

Greytown Dental’s co-director, Sony Paul, was unsure how the company was left unaware of the regulations.

They were hoping to get another sign in place, but that would be up to the council, he said.

“We did request another one but the council only wants one sign facing the main street.

“It’s just an issue of perception for us because it’s been there for six months and now it’s gone, but it’s not too much of a hassle.”

Greytown Dental still have their sign over the side-entrance.

Murray Buchanan, group manager of planning and environment at South Wairarapa District Council, said discussions around the signs had been positive.

“They hadn’t applied for a consent for the signage and they were not fully compliant signs when they initially put them up.

“We engaged with them in discussions and came to an alternate sign placement and design, which is far more fitting to the building and the town.”

A complaint had been made from a member of the public, but that was not what started the process, he said.

“One of my staff lives in Greytown and had observed it.

“There was a public complaint as well if I recall correctly, but we had begun the process anyway.”

The businesses had been cooperative, and it had not been a fraught process, he said.

“It got a bit tense here and there because their views are not our views sometimes, but we got there in the end and personally I think the solution is reasonably good.
“It’s been a good outcome as far as we’re concerned.”


  1. Perhaps the “council” could get onto the dumps that litter the main street and try and tidy up the old dilapidated hovels. This new building looks as though it will stand the test of time and without a blue line around the top will look very bland

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