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STOP tagging our communities: Mahuta

Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Local Government
Minister of Youth Affairs

15 February 2008 Media Statement

STOP tagging our communities: Mahuta

“Central government is committed to supporting local government and their communities to tackle tagging,” said Minister of Local Government and Youth Affairs Nanaia Mahuta.

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Justice Minister Annette King today announced the development of a national strategy, called STOP (Stop Tagging Our Place) which will provide the foundation for a consistent, nation-wide approach to reduce tagging and graffiti vandalism.

Nanaia Mahuta said the Labour-led government was committed to working with communities to find solutions to tagging and vandalism.

“Far too often we drive around our communities and see the blatant disregard taggers have for property and some streets look like a real mess,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“Those who tag are a part of a community, but sadly they don’t think, so the solutions have to come from the community.

“Young people need to be engaged as members of the community, so they have a sense of belonging and pride, about where they live and how they can contribute to the life of the community.”

“Tagging is not a new problem, but the extent of damage and the distress caused to parts of the community has been getting worse in recent years, and this is something that needs to be addressed at all levels - in the home, on the streets, in schools and communities,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

The government has introduced a Bill to;

- Create a specific offence for tagging
- Prohibit the sale of spray-paint cans to people under 18 years; and
- Require retailers to ensure the secure storage of spray-paint cans.
- Increase the fine for tagging.

“The government is ensuring the law does what is necessary to support communities, the police and local government. STOP tagging our place aims to work alongside councils and the community to ge rid of such destructive behaviour,” said Nanaia Mahuta.


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