The mayor of Kāpiti has told a vandal who keeps removing the macron from the region’s welcome signs to "get a life".
Mayor K Gurunathan talked to 1 NEWS next to one of the vandalised signs, which have had the macron removed from the ā in Kāpiti four times in two years.
The signs are at either end of the region at Paekākāriki and Ōtaki.
"I think this is an annoyance, it shows you the intolerance, misunderstanding and lack of education in this area," he said.
"The experts are the Māori Language Commission are the experts, and they've endorsed the local iwi's pronunciation and translating that into spelling, it needs the macron," Mayor Gurunathan says.
He says the perpetrator is "fighting a losing battle" and should "give up".
When asked if the repeated removals of the Māori macron was tantamount to racism, the mayor said: "Out of ignorance comes racism."
Mayor Gurunathan believes the cost of installing a security camera to try and catch the vandal would be too high for an issue that is more of "an annoyance".
He has a final message to the person or persons involved: "Get a life!"
In Kāpiti the macron - a horizontal line above some letters to indicate a longer sound - was adopted by the council in 2010.