A Far North road sign which blocked views for drivers has been unbolted from it's poles and removed by concerned locals.

West Coast Rd residents have long believed the large sign advising motorists that they were leaving the school safety zone on the intersection with Sweetwater Rd at Lake Ngātu, was dangerous. On Monday they did something about it.

No one was too keen to be identified, but a number of people carefully "deconstructed' the sign, leaving the poles which supported it, and left it nearby in the hope the Far North District Council would re-erect it in a safer place.

The road without the sign when it was photographed by Google in January 2013. Photo / Google
The road without the sign when it was photographed by Google in January 2013. Photo / Google

The council's general manager infrastructure and asset management, Andy Finch, said staff were investigating, and would ensure any replacement sign did not obstruct the view of approaching traffic.


The sign, on the western boundary of the Paparore School grounds, has been blamed by locals for a number of collisions, including two in four days over the last week. One of those, on Friday, resulted in three people being injured.

The problem was that the sign obscured traffic from the right as drivers turned from Sweetwater Rd on to West Coast Rd. The intersection was governed by a Give Way sign, which meant most drivers did not stop before pulling out.

One of those involved in removing the sign said a Stop sign on Sweetwater Rd might fix the problem, given drivers would have a clear view to the right if they stopped on the white line before turning on to West Coast Rd, but Stop signs were not always complied with.

He was one of a number of people who had had close calls after turning left on to West Coast Rd, believing there was no approaching traffic from the right but suddenly finding another vehicle, which he had not seen, right behind him.

"I look right before I turn, but it makes you feel bad when you realise too late that you should have waited a second or two," he said.

"You flick your eyes to the right, don't see anything and turn. A lot of people who know the road well have had close calls, and there have been a number of accidents."

The sign only needed to be moved a few metres, to the other side of Sweetwater Rd.

Meanwhile, there had been no element of civil disobedience or vandalism in removing the sign, he said. It had been unbolted very carefully, and was now resting against a nearby power pole where drivers could see it.