TRM Signs update – Spot the difference:
The tired “Welcome” sign was removed by TDC (Taupo District Council) who promised to remove the old council logo and refresh. After they removed it we waited for them for many months and had to replace it ourselves with the more sensational eye-catching “Welcome to Turangi” sign below…
Note it does not even advertise the motel… it is all PR for Turangi. Regardless of TRM’s good intentions, TDC (Taupo District Council) planning department goon squad fined us $750 for the “directional” signage – TURN LEFT & TURN RIGHT – at the base of the sign?
They claimed it could get confused with NZTA (New Zealand Transport Authority) road signs…
Seriously, I ask you… Have you ever seen any other road signs featuring a raft going over rapids or a giant brown trout?
Anyway they persisted and we refused to pay.
A compromise was eventually reached when a retrospective resource consent was granted (cost $1500!) they withdrew their fine.
Previously they had already fined TRM $300 for the sign as we had not applied for a resource consent to refresh an existing sign which TDC had removed… Only in Turangi… That proved it was a clear case of victimisation and abuse of authority by Taupo Council’s “Compliance” goon squad. Such a shame as there are some fine people in Taupo Council being let down by such stupidity.
For TRM it was worth all the stress as the advertising promotion that RNZ (Rafting NZ) and TRM received through front page headlines and interviews on Radio NZ was priceless.
So we left it for a few months to let them cool down and replaced the directional signage with advertising instead – as follows – read the line at the bottom of the sign:
Now we are anxiously waiting for Taupo Council Compliance goon squad to fine us for such profanity on a road sign.
The term – “Home of the Woolly Bugger” – is in common use for a traditional fly at all tackle shops – i.e. it features on TRM lucky hats that have proven their worth on the Tongariro river for the last 14 years.
Also on right is another delightful sketch of the elderly frail owners using the same “woolly Bugger” terminology. What was remarkable is that the artist – Bryony Walters, was a cartoonist who had not stayed here at TRM before. She borrowed the term and characters from TRM website. Her talent was inherited from her father – JAK – who was the Evening Stanard’s cartoonist for 40 years. She brought it out with her friend Jane Auld as a Christmas present for SWMBO in 2007. Wonderful inmates…
So everyone in Turangi should thank Taupo District Council for all the nationwide publicity their good squad unintentionally provided. We could never have been able to afford an interview on Radio NZ in prime time or front page in the local paper and in other regional papers displaying the best tourist attributes of this region – trout fishing and rafting. Now, several months later, we still have people commenting about our signs war and exclaiming in disbelief what a bunch of twits the Council compliance team are…
We could not have organised it better. So many thanks Taupo Council.