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Historic bill will help fight tagging in Manukau

Media Release
17 April 2008

Historic bill will help fight tagging in Manukau

Manukau city now has the tools to clamp down on illegal graffiti and taggers in the city.

The council’s local Control of Graffiti Bill was passed into law last night, creating legislative history; it is believed to be the first time a criminal law promoted by a local authority has been passed by Parliament.

Manukau mayor Len Brown says, “It’s been five years in the making and I am just ecstatic at the news. Today is a proud day for Manukau. It hasn’t been easy but we remained committed and persistent and now our efforts have paid off.”

Mr Brown says support for the Manukau Bill came from throughout New Zealand.

“Not just from the people of Manukau but from other communities, businesses, school children and councils across the country who are all sick and tired of the damage done to their property and their community by these troublemakers.

“This is a milestone for Manukau and I want to acknowledge my predecessor Sir Barry Curtis and Manurewa MP George Hawkins for their vision and drive in getting this Bill through. Our strategy to reduce graffiti in the city by 95 per cent will be strengthened by this legislation and for this Manukau thanks them.”

“I’d also like to record my thanks for the fantastic effort made by past and present councillors and staff, everyone from school children to volunteer supporters of Manukau Beautification Trust has been behind this drive to tackle tagging in our communities.

The Bill, now the Manukau City Council (Control of Graffiti) Act 2008, is expected to be approved by the Governor General almost immediately to allow it to come into force as early as next week. Section 6 of the new Act, which requires spray cans on sale in shops to be stored securely, will come into force three months later to give business owners time to prepare for the transition.

The council’s Act aims to minimise graffiti in the city by penalising offenders and providing the Police and council with the necessary powers to control the problem. It bans the sale of spray cans in Manukau to any person under 18. It also provides the council with the power to remove graffiti on private property if it is visible from a public place.

Mr Brown says that not only does Manukau now have the legislative tools to deal with graffiti in the city, council’s advocacy on the issue has also helped change the policy direction of the Government, which is now promoting its own national control of graffiti legislation.

The Government’s nationwide Summary Offences (Tagging and Graffiti Vandalism) Bill has passed its first reading in Parliament and is now being considered by the Law and Order Select Committee. The Government’s Bill draws heavily on concepts contained within in the Manukau Act and the council is encouraging the Government to adopt all the measures contained in the Manukau Act.

The council will work with Counties Manukau Police on the enforcement of its new legislation.


© Scoop Media

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