Vandals have caused $15,000 of damage to road signs on State Highway 2 - an act the New Zealand Transport Agency said was destructive and costly.
Wellington operations manager Mark Owen said road crews were working to get the smashed signs between Featherston and Greytown repaired. The vandalism was saddening, Mr Owen said.
"Firstly, it's the taxpayer who ultimately bears the cost, and that's money that could be better spent improving the roads and making them safer," he said. "Secondly, these signs all serve a purpose, and that's often to provide safety for road users; eg, alerting motorists about schoolchildren crossing the road.
"Knocking down the signs is not only destructive and costly, but it also puts children and other members of the public potentially at risk."
The agency estimated the signs would cost about $15,000 to replace.
Most of the smaller damaged signs had been removed by yesterday morning, although some were still on the roadside and had been marked with road cones. Some of the signs' poles stuck out at various angles, while other signs with concrete bases were completely dislodged and left on the roadside.
The "Greytown" sign fixed on a white picket fence had been knocked down and the fence smashed through.
Masterton police Senior Sergeant Warwick Burr said the 14 signs were knocked down overnight on Friday.
Mr Burr said marks left on the posts suggested the damage was caused by a red or brown-coloured vehicle.
Anyone with information about the vandalism is urged to contact the Masterton police.