Monday, January 10, 2011

Mayor tackles Auckland graffiti

Auckland mayor Len Brown has announced a coordinated attack on graffiti.
The council plans to consolidate a number of contracts and unite communities to help stamp out graffiti, in a bid to get Auckland looking good for the Rugby World Cup later this year.
"Auckland's pride is on the line, tagging is all about an affront to the pride of our community," he said today.
The mayor's initiative includes giving power back to the people, by uniting anti tagging trusts, private contractors and getting offenders working in their own community. 
The work is also supported by volunteers who act locally and undertake regular "paint-outs" in their neighbourhoods.
Brown acknowledged the work people are already doing in that area.
"It is now time to unite and take the message across Auckland that we will not put up with graffiti vandalism," he said.
Over $5 million is already spent every year on cleaning up tagging, which one expert says just covers up the problem.  
"There's a downturn in visible tagging because everybody's out there early in the morning but not a downturn in the incidents of tagging," Iris Donoghue of Waitakere Tag Out Trust told ONE News.
More money and less talk is needed, she said.
"It's definitely a challenge, absolutely a challenge, as soon as there's a feature around graffiti they all get out there and try to get their name up in lights."
Brown said the plan would include a three-pronged approach focusing on eradication, enforcement and education.
He said 95% of taggers are under the age of 15 and he wants them to turn their attention to doing something more productive.
"It's about getting a hold of these youngsters now before it gets worse for them and doing everything to wrap support and encouragement and a bit of love around them," he said.
The plan comes as work continues on cleaning up one of central Auckland's worst graffiti eyesores, the Yates Building in Albert Street.

Taken from: TVNZ

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