It is a victory for Te Ranga School, sort of.

The rural school is located on Te Matai Rd in a 100km/h speed limit zone.

The school has long called for a lower speed limit and in 2016 threatened to install its own signs if Western Bay of Plenty District Council failed to take on board the school's concerns.

On Thursday, the council voted in favour of funding four large signs to remind motorists to slow down at peak school times.


Mayor Garry Webber said despite promises from some councillors the speed limit would be lowered, the council was being delayed by the New Zealand Transport Agency, which was in the process of a speed review of the region's highways.

That legal process meant the council was unable to lower the speed limit until the review was completed, which was not expected to be soon.

However, the council recognised Te Ranga School's plight and voted to help amend the situation as soon as possible.

"We've agreed with the school and we will be placing large signs on both sides of the road at both ends of the school. These are not the traditional school zone signs," Webber said.

The four signs will be 1.2m wide by 2m tall and cost a total of $14,000.

Webber said some schools already had reduced speed limit signs in their area "but drivers tend to get a little blase".

"That's why we are going for very big signage to get their attention. This is a road where you can get to Rotorua and there is a lot of logging trucks using it."

The signs are expected to take between four and six weeks to be created and installed.


"Because they are so big, they've got to be able to withstand wind and all sorts of things."

The transport agency is identifying roads where reviewing speed limits could make a big difference in preventing deaths and serious injuries, and where communities are calling for change.

Among the roads where speed limit reviews are taking place is State Highway 2 between Katikati and Bethlehem. Western Bay of Plenty District Council put its annual speed limit review on hold earlier this year pending the outcome of the review.

''We are planning to review the speed limit between Katikati and Bethlehem over the next few months,'' the transport agency's acting director of regional relationships Ross I'Anson said.

''We have spoken with schools, local authorities and transport stakeholders to get their initial thoughts about safe and appropriate speeds for this section of state highway. The next step will be formal public consultation.''

Consultation has also recently closed on the transport agency's Road to Zero: A New Road Safety Strategy for New Zealand.

One of the "immediate actions" listed in the proposed strategy is introducing a new approach for tackling unsafe speeds, including speeds around schools.

Earlier this month the school's plight featured on TVNZ's consumer affairs show Fair Go.

Te Ranga School principal Brendan Wilson declined to comment.