Simeon Brown told a Bay of Plenty meeting on transport infrastructure that “we all speak English, they should all be English” when asked for his opinion on New Zealand’s Waka Kotah transport agency’s proposal to introduce bilingual signage.
“I think it’s going to make the signs more confusing,” he said, telling the transit agency to just “do its job.”
The transport agency announced last week that the He Tohu Huarahi Māori bilingual road sign program was going out to public consultation. If successful, this will see destination signs, public and active transport signs, pedestrian and cycle signs, general advice and warning signs, and motorway and expressway signs replaced with bilingual versions.
“They should spend their money on potholes. Do not invent new signs. How about not spending money on nice people, just do your job,” Brown said.
A spokesman for the transport agency said the program was taking a “low key” approach and existing signs would only be replaced with bilingual ones when they needed to be replaced due to damage or wear and tear.
“We identified international precedents and studied the safety implications of bilingual signage. Many countries use bilingual signage, and research shows that bilingual signage has not led to an increase in the number of people killed or seriously injured where it has been measured.”
He said the use of te reo Māori on road signs would contribute to a country where te reo Māori is visible at a community level and the mana of te reo Māori is affirmed and recognised.
The rollout will begin with signs that need to be replaced, especially in the hard-hit areas where signs were damaged during the cyclone and new signs are needed.
Source link – https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/road-signs-should-all-be-english-national