A landmark on State Highway 4 has come down after 25 years of welcoming people to Taumarunui.

The King Tawhiao sign at the northern entrance to the town just before Ongarue River bridge was taken down on Monday and will be replaced with a new one at the end of the week.

Ruapehu District Council property team leader Rebecca Van Orden said that the sign was removed "very gently and with considerable care and respect.

"Local iwi performed a karakia before the sign was removed, watched by a supportive group of around 30 people," she said.


"The old sign will now be wrapped and put in storage until it can be given over to the care of the Kingitanga."

Work on putting up the new sign was due to start today and it should be in place by the end of the week.

It is to be unveiled by King Tuheitia on May 15, though this date has yet to be confirmed.