A Hawke's Bay roading contractor had a bad day, but for eight months the Haumoana community just shrugged at the sign they put up and said to itself "them's the breaks".

The sign on Clifton Rd read "please no engine breaks" – (in this context "no engine brakes" is the correct way of spelling it).

But when an eagle-eyed local spotted the mistake on the road sign last week, Hastings District Council was surprised to find that it wasn't a recent installation.

In fact, the sign was installed in October 2019, a spokeswoman said.

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"This is the first time it's been noticed with incorrect spelling," she said.

The sign has now been removed due to the mistake and will be fixed within a week at the contractor's cost.