Pat Spellman wants Tauranga to be one of New Zealand's first bi-lingual cities.

Last year the Bay of Plenty Times reported Mr Spellman planned to make signs in public places in English and te reo Maori.

Since then, the Flava radio host has lobbied and raised money for the signs - 40-odd sit in his office waiting to be put up, but the idea has come up with its challenges.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Maori Language Week, and 40 years since Dame Whina Cooper marched the 1975 Land March from Te Hpua (in the Far North) to Parliament.


Mr Spellman said progress on the signs had been slower than he would have liked "because there has been more behind the scenes in terms of having to have talked to more people than I thought I would need to".

"I envisioned that it would just be go to the council with a great project, they say 'yes' and then it happens. But it's not that simple," he said. "The dream is still far from becoming a reality but it's still a dream I am content and passionate about pursuing."

The project was about 70 per cent complete. It was hard to say when the project would be finished. "It's just politics now but it will happen. Too many people have invested too much time, energy, love and money into it ...

"I'm hoping at some stage council will buy into the fact that Tauranga is more than just a one-dimensional city in terms of cultural awareness and there is more to offer. Tauranga is far from being as culturally diverse as it can be," he said. "It's more than just being Maori too, there are so many cultures ... in the Bay now that need an identity here.

"Who knows, maybe when I am done putting these signs up maybe I'll work with the Polynesian or the Indian community to enhance their presence," he said. "Nothing I have done is new. This isn't a new concept or a new thing, or dream. It's revised and a new take on something significant but it can happen in more ways than one."