Council and volunteers winning war on graffiti

14 June 2016

The ongoing campaign to get rid of tagging and other graffiti vandalism from the Capital City appears to be achieving great results, according to the findings of an independent audit.

Newtown School students painting Carrara Park substation.

Newtown School students create a mural on graffiti-prone Carrara Park substation.

The audit surveyed 60 sites around the city and more than half were free of any visible graffiti. 

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the findings should be welcomed by Wellingtonians.

The results of the audit will be presented to the Wellington City Council’s Community, Sport and Recreation Committee tomorrow (Wednesday 15 June).

“Steady work by Council staff, contractors, and a growing band of volunteers over the past few years is making obvious improvements to the appearance of the CBD and suburbs,” she says. “There is less graffiti on our walls and that makes people feel safer.” 

Mayor Wade-Brown says the Council spends about $600,000 a year on dealing with graffiti.

The committee’s Chair, Councillor Paul Eagle, says some 31 of the sites were rated ‘A’ – indicating that no graffiti was visible – this was up from 24 sites rated ‘A’ last year.

There were no ‘D’ results – indicating extensive and intrusive graffiti – this year.

Cr Eagle says hard work by the Council’s Graffiti Programme Adviser, Hine Sullivan, and volunteer groups including Blank It Out and Keep Newtown Clean have been at the centre of the improvements.

He says Council’s ‘Stop Tags’ database, and cooperation with the Police, is also proving highly valuable.

The Council and its contractors are also being paid by utility companies and the likes of parking building owners to paint over tags and other graffiti.

Tomorrow’s meeting will also be briefed on a graffiti project involving Rongotai College geography students. The assignment investigates the urban pattern of graffiti vandalism in Wellington, including:  

  • Where graffiti occurs
  • Why it is being done
  • The effects on residents/businesses
  • How it affects house prices
  • The connection with other crime.