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'An Absolute Joke': Seen This Auckland Road Sign Yet?

The bright yellow letters painted on Te Atatū Road spell "bus sotp.". Photo: RNZ / Felix Walton

A spelling mistake at a West Auckland bus stop has been driving locals round the bend.

The bright yellow letters painted on Te Atatū Road spelled "bus sotp."

Pedestrians stopped for pictures with the suburb's latest tourist attraction, and resident Shane Callahan reckoned the letters had a deeper meaning.

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"You know what I think that stands for? 'Stops on Te Atatū Peninsula'," he said.

Callahan had seen pictures on the local Facebook group and had journeyed to see it in person.

"I thought 'oh, someone's done a Photoshop, nobody could be that dumb,' but it's there," he said. "I've seen it myself."

In a statement, Auckland Transport said it was made aware of the mistake on Tuesday and would have the bus stop re-painted at the contractor's expense with no cost to AT or ratepayers. It has since been fixed.

Business owner Gloria Halloran said it was an embarrassment.

"We all went out and had a look, and sure enough it's spelled S-O-T-P," she said.

"We think it's an absolute joke. With the amount of money they spend you'd think they would have a stencil that says 'stop'."

Other residents weren't sure whether to laugh or cry.

"I just think they need to be a bit more onto it, especially here... 'sotp'," one mother said.

"After all the work they've done it's a shame, but it's a bit of fun while it lasts," said a shopper.

"They had to mark out the O and the T and the P... I don't know how this happened," another said.

A local teacher said it was a learning opportunity.

"It's hilarious, they should have gone to school and stayed there," she laughed.

"Make sure you sit your spelling tests at school, don't skip them, and make sure you practice every night... signed every school teacher."

said the mistake needed to be corrected as soon as possible.

"I think they should change it because it'll make them look like idiots," she said.

"To actually spell it wrong like they did... it's so funny. Everyone around here is having a good laugh."

Waitākere Ward Councillor Shane Henderson said as funny as it was, the sign needed to be re-painted to keep the road safe.

"It's got to be very clear what it is. It's really outside of the standards of a modern city," he said.

"I have no idea how they made that mistake in the first place, it's a really weird one."

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