KiwiRail has been accused of "flouting the rules" after it removed earthquake-prone building notices from Wellington Railway Station without city council approval.
The two organisations have been in a stoush over the building's seismic status after it was deemed earthquake prone in 2014.
The council insists it remains so, but KiwiRail has challenged that in the course of the dispute and, based on advice from independent engineers, went as far as to take earthquake-prone building signs down at the station.
Regional council Sustainable Transport Committee Deputy Chair Daran Ponter said it looked like KiwiRail flouted the rules.
"It's terribly concerning that a large corporate Government-owned organisation can effectively flip the bird to the city council and remove the signs that are put in place precisely to warn and preserve public safety.
"KiwiRail should not be ripping off signs that actually give people that notice because they've got some alternative view about the safety of their building."
The advice KiwiRail received following 2015 strengthening work put the lowest elements of the building at 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the New Building Standard.
KiwiRail Capital Projects & Asset Development Chief Operating Officer David Gordon did not accept it had flouted the rules by removing the signs.
"We believe we were acting professionally and in accordance with the advice we had and we no longer had an earthquake-prone building."
The council was not aware the signs had been removed, Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said.
"We don't have the resources or staff to go around town checking the status of signs on 600 earthquake prone buildings", he said.
The council maintains KiwiRail has never provided evidence the building is no longer earthquake prone, although it still considers the station safe for day-to-day use.
National's Transport spokesman Chris Bishop said the situation was a mess and was concerned KiwiRail decided to remove the notices.
"Wellingtonians want KiwiRail and the city council to be on the same page. It's not a good situation when you have different organisations saying different things, particularly when it comes to matters of public safety."
New notices installed on Monday put the building at just 20 per cent of the New Building Code with up to 30,000 commuters moving in and out of it during peak times.
KiwiRail has strengthened the building several times including after the Seddon and Kaikoura earthquakes, but the council maintains there's still outstanding work to bring it up to scratch.
KiwiRail is now undertaking a seismic reassessment of the building following new earthquake legislation that came into force in 2017.
It's hoped the reassessment will settle the matter, Gordon said.
"I would hope it proves it isn't [earthquake prone] but if it is not the case, I would hope it would be very clear as to what you actually have to do to make it compliant in the timeframe."
The deadline for completing seismic work is March 2024, according to Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment records.
Mayor Justin Lester said he was confident KiwiRail took the strengthening of its assets seriously and put the safety of Wellingtonians first.
"If it's shown they are not putting safety first, only then will it give cause for concern."
The Minister for State Owned Enterprises was unavailable for comment.