Yellow stickers attached to the front of unoccupied cyclone-damaged homes in Te Tai Rāwhiti have been mysteriously disappearing.
Yellow-stickered homes are unliveable, and only local councils have the authority to remove the stickers and allow people to move back in once repairs are up to scratch.
Te Karaka resident Dominique Baker said the sticker on her home vanished sometime in the last fortnight.
"I had several people look into it and it wasn't the council guys," she said.
"No one knows who did it."
She said the council told her it might have blown away in the wind.
"I don't think so, the tape holding it was still there and it was taped up quite well.
"It seems ridiculous."
A post on a local Facebook page showed two other people were in the same boat. Gisborne District Council said it had heard stickers had been removed.
Building service manager Ian Petty said only the council could attach and remove the stickers, and it had not been removing them.
"Council put them there, and they're meant to stay until council removes them," he said.
"Unofficial removal of the placards does not alter the building's status."
Those who broke that rule faced a $5000 fine, Petty said.
Yellow stickers could only be removed, and people could only move back in, if the property met a six-step checklist ensuring its safety.
That included working wastewater and drinking water, safe electrics and gas, dry framing, and adequate ventilation under the house that was not compromised by silt.