By Sarla Donovan

Little River group wants to keep a sign asking drivers to slow down - but the New Zealand Transport Agency say it needs to go.

The sign was paid for by community group Love Little River as part of its campaign to make the township's main road safer.

Now the speed limit will be lowered from 70km/h to 60km/h, it's time it went, said NZTA senior traffic and safety engineer David Scarlett.

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"We had an agreement with the Love Little River group that the sign would be removed once we came to the end of the speed limit review. Now the speed limit will be changing on August 25, as part of that, we'd like that sign removed. We don't normally allow that sort of signage on the highway."

Mr Scarlett said the sign wasn't legal. NZTA had let it remain as a gesture of good faith.

"We wanted to let the community know that we're working with them to resolve the issue of the speed limit. Our normal policy is that only official signs be in the highway reserve."

He hoped the group would remove the sign by August 25. Taking it down as a legal measure would be a "last port of call," Mr Scarlett said.

Love Little River want the sign to stay until the limit is dropped to 50km, "as was the community's wish."