National | Roadworks

Green light for reo traffic signs

David Taui (Te Arawa) has been given the green light for the first Māori language road signs.

Te Ao Mārama talked to Taui, the owner of a traffic management company, about trialing the signs 'Taihoa' (Wait) and 'Haere' (Go) for the first time earlier this month.

Today Waka Kotahi, the NZ Transport Agency legally approved the signs at a hui in Tauranga, and topped it off by taking Dave and his wife Mel to lunch.

Waka Kotahi will now register the signs as a legal device in the Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management.

"It was an absolutely wonderful result for Māori, just to get our Māori signage off the ground ... hopefully, one day we'll have Māori signage throughout our motu," Taui says.

He designed the signs because he wanted to use te reo Māori in his work environment, and to educate people who'd see the signs, about the language.

The 'pouwhenua' feature handles that were specially carved and panels in the shape of a 'whare' or house for the words Taihoa and Haere.

Taui calls them 'The Twin Signs of manual traffic control', after his twin mokopuna, Pouwhenua o Te Mana and Pouwhenua o Taika Taui.

If you're driving in the Bay of Plenty and see the signs, give Dave and his crew a toot!