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Local graffiti control bill to go ahead

Local graffiti control bill to go ahead

Manukau City Council is to go ahead with the presentation to Parliament of its Local Bill to allow greater controls and a stronger stand against graffiti vandalism and tagging. Local bills only appliy to a designated area, in this case Manukau City.

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says the recent announcement by Justice Minister Phil Goff of plans for new government legislation to crack down on graffiti nationwide is welcome. "We support it but we will continue with the process of presenting our Bill."

The Manukau City Council (Control of Graffiti) Bill is to be presented to Parliament by Manurewa MP George Hawkins.

The Council has a zero tolerance policy under which all reported tagging is painted out. Sir Barry says, "Tagging is nasty, and it's destructive vandalism. It costs a fortune to remove and ruins the look and feel of neighbourhoods wherever it appears. It harms community spirit and often attracts other forms of crime.

"We can't let the problem get worse. It already costs around a million dollars a year to remove tags in Manukau City. But the plague is equally bad in other cities such as Waitakere and Auckland City and taggers have run amok beside the region's rail corridors."

The Bill aims to minimise the graffiti and tagging problem by penalising offenders and give Police the necessary powers to take stronger action. It will include a number of new measures including regulating the sale and display of spray paint; giving the Council powers to remove graffiti; and allowing the Police to question and arrest suspected offenders.

Copies of the Bill can be obtained from local libraries, the Citizen and Customer Centre, Kotuku House, Manukau City Centre, and from the Council website www.manukau.govt.nz.


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