Free Kits Help Residents Clean Up Graffiti

8 June 2009

Wellington City residents driven to distraction by unwanted drawings on their fences, or tormented by tags on their walls can now do something about it, thanks to the Council's new free graffiti removal kits.

The kits, which contain graffiti removal spray, gloves, protective glasses, instructions, and vouchers for free Resene test pots and discount on some Resene paints, are available from Karori, Johnsonville, Newtown, Kilbirnie, Miramar and Tawa libraries and the City Service Centre from today.

The Council's Social Portfolio Leader, Councillor Ngaire Best, says the kits are a valuable new addition to an array of tools in the fight against graffiti vandalism. "Now Wellingtonians can quickly and easily deal with tagging on their property. Taggers want their tag up for everyone to see, so removing it quickly is a big deterrent."

"Quick removal helps spread the message that our communities don't want graffiti, and that we're proud of our neighbourhood and city."

A graffiti 'flying squad', established in 2007, will continue to paint out graffiti on residential properties where either the owners can't do it themselves or the graffiti won't come off with the spray provided in the kit. The squad's main focus is on graffiti in public spaces.

Funding for the kits came from the Ministry of Justice's graffiti vandalism contestable fund. Resene's sponsorship is similar to arrangements it has made with other local authorities.

As part of the three-year programme the Council will also be investigating how murals and other initiatives can deter taggers in some locations, and will develop a database tracking locations and different tags, which will also be used by other organisations including the police, Telecom, Wellington Electricity and KiwiRail to monitor and deal with graffiti around the city.

Cr Best says the aim is to eventually have people sending in pictures of graffiti from around Wellington. "Reporting and removing graffiti is something everyone can take ownership of."

The Council wants people to report graffiti on Council property (such as signage, playgrounds and buildings) by calling (04) 499 4444, and staff can also advise callers what to do if the graffiti is on other organisations' property. Anyone who sees vandalism in progress should call the police.

More information about graffiti vandalism and how to deal with it is available on the Projects section of this website.