Otaki artist’s P protest spreads

Kapiti Observer - - CONVERSATIONS - KRIS BOULT

‘‘We need to help our young peo­ple and help them to make bet­ter choices.’’

A man on a mis­sion to rid the coun­try of metham­phetamine by cross­ing Ps out on street signs is glad his cause has fi­nally reached Taranaki.

Otaki artist Ho­hepa Thomp­son has been us­ing red tape to cross out the let­ter P on street and pub­lic signs across the coun­try in the hope of rais­ing aware­ness about the dan­gers of the drug.

On Tues­day the Puke Ariki sign in down­town New Ply­mouth was given the same P treat­ment.

‘‘I’ve seen it and I know who did it, but I don’t want to iden­tify who it was,’’ Thomp­son said.

‘‘But it was good to see peo­ple tak­ing a stand in New Ply­mouth and stand­ing up for the cause.’’

‘‘P is be­com­ing the new so­cial norm in New Zealand and ev­ery­one knows some­one who’s on it,’’ Thomp­son said.

‘‘We need to help our young peo­ple and help them to make bet­ter choices.’’

Thomp­son started his cam­paign on Au­gust 23 by cross­ing out Ps all across the Kapiti Coast and the move­ment has spread across the coun­try.

‘‘It got off to a bit of a slow start but this has steadily taken off,’’ Thomp­son said.

‘‘We’ve opened up a can of worms but it’s a good can of worms we’ve opened.’’

The P-less signs are just the start, with Thomp­son en­cour­ag­ing ev­ery­one to take the Ps out of ev­ery­thing un­til the cam­paign ends on Septem­ber 23.

Thomp­son said he was cur­rently work­ing through phase two of the project which cen­tres around ed­u­ca­tion and talk­ing with peo­ple in depth about how best to tackle the prob­lem.

He is cur­rently work­ing with se­nior Mon­grel Mob mem­ber Den­nis Makalio and has also at­tracted sup­port from All Black Dane Coles.

‘‘This isn’t just the gov­ern­ment’s prob­lem - the gov­ern­ment need to lead it but we all need to take a stand.’’

Thomp­son is per­haps best known as the man be­hind the Hori brand based in Otaki which has seen him cre­ate an edgy cloth­ing line and art­work.

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