The Kerikeri woman who took matters into her own hands by altering speed limit signs will not be prosecuted, the Far North District Council says.

Instead the council wants Nicole Roach - who last weekend changed 100km/h signs near a Kapiro Rd black spot to 80km/h - to take part in upcoming consultation about safety on the busy rural road.

The council's acting infrastructure manager, Kathryn Ross, said staff were made aware on Monday that speed limit signs on Kapiro Rd had been changed. A contractor investigated and found that 80km/h stickers had been placed over two 100km/h sign at the Landing Rd end of Kapiro Rd. The stickers were removed.

"Defacing road safety signs is viewed seriously, but rather than report this to the police the council would prefer that the person responsible becomes involved in consultation now being undertaken with community representatives," she said.


Kapiro Rd was the first road to be included in consultation under the new Speed Management Guide involving the Far North District Council, NZ Transport Agency, Automobile Association and central government.

Ms Ross said a range of options needed to be investigated to improve safety on Kapiro Rd, including improved signage and road markings as well as changing driver behaviour.

Ms Roach said residents had been lobbying the council for years without success to get the speed limit lowered.

Following another near-fatal accident outside her home, on August 8, she had 80km/h stickers professionally made on reflective, self-adhesive vinyl, and stuck them on during Saturday night.

She realised she was risking a fine but said it was worthwhile if it got people talking about the problem and prevented even one accident.

Her neighbours across the road had cleaned up after serious crashes 14 times in 20 years, she said.

Improving the road or adding a cycle lane, to allow more space for bikes, children and horse riders, would take a lot of time and money but reducing the speed limit was quick and cost little, she said.

The cause of the latest crash on Kapiro Rd has yet to be determined. Crashes that claimed the lives of motorcyclist John Paton on Anzac Day this year and cyclist Bill Bayliss in 2014 were caused by drink-drivers.


Speed was a factor in a crash just before Christmas 2013 in which a car became airborne and flew over a row of boulders. The driver was trapped and soaked in petrol with his upside-down car wedged against an electric fence.

In November 2015 a 6-year-old girl was one of three people injured when an overtaking ute collided with a turning sprayer.

- Northern Advocate