Auckland street signs: Blue gives way to green

By Mathew Dearnaley

Agency blames contractor for mistake, but Super City heading for one colour

Signs have been changed on Shelly Beach Rd. Photo / Natalie Slade
Signs have been changed on Shelly Beach Rd. Photo / Natalie Slade

We're not seeing things - there has been an outbreak of green street signs before a decision is made on whether to ditch the traditional blue of three Super City "legacy" councils.

Auckland Transport last week blamed a contractor for swapping two blue signs to green at a Glendowie intersection, and promised to reinstate them within days.

Asked if the error was confined to the intersection of Navarre Rd with West Tamaki Rd, a spokesman said "we are checking on that".

But yesterday, after being told that the Herald had discovered more greenery peppered around Herne Bay, Ponsonby and One Tree Hill, the council body's spokesman said that about 180 unapproved signs had been installed by the same contractor.

He said finding out exactly where they were - among about 132,000 signs spread around the Super City - would cost money which would be better spent on other activities.

They would not be replaced, at a cost of about $180 each, unless there was a demand from local communities.

The spokesman said that until Auckland Transport decided mid-next year whether to adopt green or blue as its standard throughout the region, its policy would be to replace like colour with like when signs were damaged or worn.

"It is unfortunate that some green signs have gone up, and these signs will be replaced only if there is a demand from the local community for this to happen," he said.

Neither did Auckland Transport intend consulting the public over a preferred colour.

That is despite a call last week from Orakei Local Board leaders, whose territory includes the Glendowie intersection, for them to be consulted.

Auckland Transport says about 63 per cent of the Super City's streets signs are already green, which was the official colour of the former Waitakere City, North Shore City, Manukau City and Rodney District.

Blue was the colour of signs in the former Auckland City, and the Papakura and Franklin districts.

Once Auckland Transport decides which colour to adopt, it expects to take several years to switch over in the course of normal maintenance, as replacing 132,000 signs would cost more than $23 million.

The Herald yesterday found two green signs pointing to streets off Shelly Beach Rd in Herne Bay, and one on Pompallier Tce in Ponsonby, next to a blue sign pointing to John St.

At the Glendowie intersection, which has two green signs and an old blue one sharing the same pole, blue is likely to be back by the weekend.

- NZ Herald

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