7yo girl's passionate letter prompts NZTA to change its signage

NZ 31/07/2018

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) plans to change its "line men" signs with "line crew" signs after receiving a letter from a seven-year-old girl. 

Zoe Carew, from Wellington, wrote to NZTA asking why the signs say "men" when woman can be line workers too. 

In the letter, she asked NZTA to change the signs to be more inclusive of women who might want to work in the field. 

"Why does the sign say "LINEMEN" when the people working on the lines may be men or women? I think that this sign is wrong and unfair. Do you agree?" the girl wrote in the letter posted to Twitter by her mother Caitlin Carew.

The girl said she noticed the "line men" signs while she was in the car with her father driving to Eastbourne, a suburb of Lower Hutt.  

"I don't really want to be a line-worker when I grow up because there are so many more exciting things I would like to do, but some girls might want to learn to be linewomen," she said. 

NZTA responded to the girl, with chief executive Fergus Gammie commending her for taking action "where you think something unfair should be fixed". 

The agency said it liked her idea of changing the signs to "line-workers" but that would require the size of the signs to be increased. Therefore, NZTA suggested changing the signs to read "line crew" instead, without having to change the size of the signs. 

"The new signs will replace the old ones when they need replacement due to wear and tear," NZTA said in the letter, adding that it "may take some time". 

Zoe was invited by NZTA to have a photo taken with Mr Gammie when the new sign designs are ready in a few months.