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Manukau supports mural as legitimate art

Media Release
10 May 2006

Manukau supports mural as legitimate art

A mural which sparked controversy because of its description as graffiti art, now has the support of its strongest critic, Manukau City Councillor Dick Quax.

As the chairman of the Community Safety Committee, Cr Quax has been critical of the term graffiti art, given to the 4m high and 45m long mural proposed for the TelstraClear Events Centre.

“I am very mindful of the fact that Manukau City Council is promoting a local bill before Parliament which tries to come to grips with tagging as a major social problem for our city,” he says.

“Graffiti is synonymous with tagging, and on that basis, I was concerned that the TelstraClear Pacific Trust was promoting a graffiti mural.

“However, having now seen the design for the mural and talked through the implications, I am confident that the mural does not encourage tagging in any way and will be a piece of art which will look spectacular in the events centre.”

Today, representatives of the Trust, Manukau Beautification Trust and Cr Quax met to discuss the mural and the implications of describing it as graffiti art.

Mr Noel Robinson, Chairman of the TelstraClear Pacific Trust, and Rev Mark Beale, Chairman of Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust, confirmed their support of Manukau City Council’s zero tolerance of tagging vandalism.

“It comes down to language,” says Rev Beale. “Graffiti art is a legitimate art form but tagging is vandalism and should be condemned.

“The Manukau Beautification Trust is very supportive of a mural which involves imagination, planning and beautifies the community.

“But as a trust that sees the very worst of tagging, we are vehemently opposed to people who make their mark on other people’s property, just for fun.”

Mr Robinson also endorsed Manukau City Council’s stance against tagging.

“The mural planned for the events centre honours the heroes of Manukau and encourages youth in the city to contribute in a positive way,” he says.

“In the context of this mural, graffiti art is contemporary and will appeal to a wide range of audiences, young and old.”

The mural will be unveiled in mid June.

ENDS

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