Tagging of bus stop artwork a ‘criminal act’
Mural targeted by vandals
Porirua mayor Nick Leggett is annoyed about tagging that ruined a community mural in Titahi Bay. ‘‘It’s a criminal act,’’ he said. The mural in Main Rd by Plimmerton artist Xoe Hall was part of the ‘‘bus stop boutique’’ series funded by Porirua City Council.
The newly painted mural was damaged by graffiti on the weekend of April 11 and 12.
The mural featured in a story on Hall in the April 7 edition of Kapi-Mana News.
‘‘Naturally, like many residents, I’d like to find the people who did it,’’ Leggett said.
‘‘It’s really annoying, because people felt really positive towards what the mural did for the community. It’s just pathetic and immature behaviour.’’
Leggett said Porirua did not have a problem with taggers, but with individuals who got out of control with a spray can.
Council graffiti reduction coordinator Richard WithefordSmith said he was appalled by what had happened.
‘‘It is terrible how one person can ruin something that was so positive,’’ Witheford-Smith said.
‘‘It’s a shame that her lovely artwork, which was brightening up the neighbourhood, has been damaged like this.
‘‘I share the concerns raised by people in the community and while the art has been cleaned, it is damaged.’’
The graffiti reduction team was able to salvage most of the mural.
‘‘ We will talk to Xoe about repairing it back to the way it was.’’
Hall is a popular street artist whose work has appeared on bridges, street corners and at bus stops. The Titahi Bay mural took her three days to complete.
The council’s graffiti reduction section has commissioned various artists to complete a series of murals around Porirua in an attempt to reduce graffiti and brighten the community.
In the meantime, WithefordSmith is urging the public to keep an eye out for anyone vandalising property around the community.
He said if anyone saw anything suspicious they should call the police immediately.
‘‘We all lose out because of the actions of a few.
‘‘ We will put it to the police, but it will need help from the community. We need people to say tagging is not acceptable.’’
Senior Constable Simon Bygate of Porirua police said the tagging was probably done by someone who thought they were bigger than their boots.
Bygate said the comment ‘‘F... off! I own Titahi Bay!’’ was ‘‘really idiotic’’.
He said police were investigating and believed some- one in the area would know who did it. ‘‘If they do, they should tell the police.’’
Bygate said if the offender was over 17 they would face charges of wilful damage and would have to pay reparation costs for the mural to be returned to how it was.
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Graffiti on a Titahi Bay bus stop mural is being investigated by police.