What might seem like a bit of light-hearted holiday fun for some is potentially posing a deadly risk to visitors at Karikari Peninsula.
A number of civil defence emergency signs have been disappearing from throughout the peninsula during the school holiday, and residents say they've had enough.
Karikari Peninsula First Response Group convener Tony Gillespie said he was dismayed by the missing signs and potential consequences of their absence.
"It doesn't seem to matter where they are - outside the community hall or in more-remote locations on Inland Rd, they are being stolen at an alarming rate," he said.
"In the event of a tsunami or other emergency, people would have to rely on local knowledge to find their safe location which is dangerous.
"Thankfully, the signs were here at the last tsunami event earlier this year, which assisted hundreds of people, some in caravans, to the local hall and to other safety areas around the peninsula.
"It proved to us the signs work well and as a result, people knew what to do and where to go."
A variety of safety signs are scattered around Karikari Peninsula, with the tsunami signs sporting a "nice curvy wave" proving the most popular sign for thieves.
New Zealand Civil Defence donated some 15 signs upon request from the The Karikari Peninsula First Response Group a few years ago.
Mr Gillespie said a scare while on an overseas holiday had convinced him of the importance of emergency signage in Karikari Peninsula.
"My wife and I were on holiday in Niue a few years ago when the island was hit by a storm surge," he said.
"It created a huge amount of damage, but thanks to the emergency signs, tourists knew exactly what to do and where to go to stay safe.
"If it weren't for the signs, people wouldn't have had a clue what to do, so I knew it would be a good thing for visitors here too.
"NZ Civil Defence can't keep replacing these signs, they're not a bottomless pit and these signs aren't cheap.
"I'm not happy about this and unfortunately, we can't find anyone who will talk about it.
"If you have seen the signs in someone's garage or home, please do the right thing by returning them or reporting it to the police, it's that simple."