Three signs in Albert Town, Otago, have prompted an outburst on social media and most of the comments were not positive.

Members of the Albert Town Community Association officially unveiled the signs indicating the town's boundaries a week ago and since then posts on Facebook sites have criticised the text, colour, design, and the location of the boards.

Wanaka resident Arna Craig said she posted a photo of the signs on her personal feed and received a huge reaction from her contacts.

"It blew up! I had 72 comments on my post of various opinions. Some people liked it and some loathed it. I would say at least 90% loathed it.''


Ms Craig said she would have liked more community engagement on the signs before they were erected.

"We live in an environment where the council laws are quite particular about the aesthetics of things, maintaining the beauty and not disrupting our environment with eyesores whether it is a home, a fence, or whatever, and yet something like that can be erected without earlier community discussion.''

Two of the signs are on SH6, one on the right-hand side of the road near the junction with Aubrey Rd, the other on the Hawea side of the Clutha Bridge, and the third before the Aubrey and Gunn Rd roundabout.

ATCA's new chairman Jim Cowie said the project had cost just over $10,000, taken three years to get all the approvals and resource consent, and the design and the manufacture "was the easy part''.

He said the design was based around the Albert Town community association letterhead which stressed the "iconic'' nature of the river, the colour of the countryside, and the poplar trees endemic to the area.

He said there had since been "a bit of a debate'' about Albert Town being one word on the signs but as they were made of plate steel they "were not about to change it in a hurry''.

The sign has also been criticised for not including the word "to'' after "Welcome'' and before "Albert Town''.

Mr Cowie said the committee of 10 saw a model of the sign and not having the word "to'' was not seen as a big issue.

Former ATCA chairman and local historian Bruce Hebbard was the driving force behind the signs and said "copies of the design were published in the ODT over a year ago, and we didn't receive any comments whatsoever at that time.''

He said NZTA and Opus placed restrictions on where they could erect the signs, the size of the lettering on the signs and the size of the signs themselves, which resulted in Albert Town being one word.

"But having said that, my grandfather was born in Albert Town in 1886 and he died in 1973, and he always said he didn't mind if it was one word or two, so long as it had two Ts in it.''

Mr Hebbard said most of the people he had spoken to around Albert Town who had seen the signs had been "reasonably happy with what was done''.

He said he was not bothered about the comments on Facebook.

"They talk about the social network but I think they could rename it the antisocial network sometimes,'' Mr Hebbard said.