Tag­gers hit church

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By KA­T­RINA LINTONBON

Tag­gers in Mata­mata are stoop­ing to new lows – they are now plas­ter­ing their graf­fiti on church build­ings and cars.

There were a num­ber of tag­ging cases re­ported to Mata­mata Po­lice last week.

Bed­ford Park, a num­ber of Mata­mata busi­ness premises and a car parked in Broad­way have been some of the lat­est tar­gets of tag­gers. A res­i­dent, who did not wish to be named, had her car tagged in broad day­light in Broad­way last Thurs­day.

‘‘I re­ally hope this doesn’t hap­pen to any­one else. I can’t be­lieve they could be so bla­tant,’’ she said.

Mata­mata Union Parish min­is­ter Rev­erend Me­tui Ta­funa said tag­ging is­sues were noth­ing new at his church – it had been on­go­ing since Septem­ber. But he was hor­ri­fied when he went to work one morn­ing and found some­one had tagged build­ing.

‘‘I don’t usu­ally get an­gry but

the church this time I was re­ally, mad,’’ Mr Ta­funa said.

‘‘I can’t un­der­stand why any­one would want to do that.’’

The tag­ging has since been painted over by Mr Ta­funa and mem­bers of his con­gre­ga­tion.

‘‘It re­ally hurts me to see our church de­faced in that way.’’

Mr Ta­funa ap­proached for­mer school teacher Wil­liam Mur­ray to try and come up with a so­lu­tion.

re­ally

Mr Mur­ray said he had an idea of who the cul­prits were but un­til they were caught in the act noth­ing could be done.

What Mr Ta­funa and Mr Mur­ray were hop­ing for was help from mem­bers of the pub­lic who may have seen or heard some­thing.

‘‘This is an ap­peal to our neigh­bours. If you see any­thing please call the po­lice.’’ Mr Mur­ray said the sad­dest thing was that Mata­mata youths who tag, re­lated more to African-Amer­i­can cul­ture than they did to their own.

‘‘Our kids need to be re­minded of our own tikanga (cul­ture and pro­to­cols) and we need to be car­ing for oth­ers and their prop­erty,’’ he said.

‘‘We do not live in Amer­ica.’’

Van­dal­ism: The front gate posts at Bed­ford Park were the tar­get of tag­gers.

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