Time to lose the rusty love locks

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

A walker along the Welling­ton water­front will find many items of artis­tic merit but be­tween the Len Lye in­stal­la­tion and the ‘‘lean­ing man’’ there is a sight that should be an em­bar­rass­ment to the city.

For sev­eral years, the rail­ings on the bridge over the la­goon en­trance have been streaked with un­sightly rust be­cause the coun­cil’s water­front op­er­a­tions re­fuses to re­move the ugly and rust­ing col­lec­tion of so called ‘‘love locks’’, other pad­locks, bi­cy­cle locks and at least one car steer­ing wheel lock.

When at­tempt­ing to ex­cuse his de­part­ment’s in­ac­tion, the water­front op­er­a­tions man­ager claimed that there was ‘‘a cer­tain charm’’ about this un­sightly mess; al­though he was un­able or un­will­ing to ex­plain what he found charm­ing about the old steer­ing wheel lock hang­ing off the rail­ings.

Like dec­la­ra­tions of love or lust (and other mes­sages) graf­fi­tied on the walls of pub­lic build­ings or carved into trees in pub­lic places, these locks are de­fac­ing and dam­ag­ing pub­lic prop­erty. And, like graf­fiti, if you tol­er­ate the prac­tice you en­cour­age it.

The now ac­cepted prac­tice of re­mov­ing graf­fiti as soon as it ap­pears should also be ap­plied to the var­i­ous locks on the la­goon bridge rail­ings.

CHRIS CHAP­MAN Kel­burn

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