Porirua City Graffiti Reduction · In 2016/17 Graffiti Reduction produced less of our own art...

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Annual Report 2016/17 Porirua City Graffiti Reduction 46

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  • Annual Report 2016/17

    Porirua City Graffiti Reduction


  • Annual Report 2016/17Porirua City Graffiti Reduction

    Porirua City Council Graffiti Reduction is a highly successful initiative, using proven strategies aimed at reducing graffiti in Porirua in the long-term.This report outlines the strategies and projects we’ve used over the 2016/17 year.


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    Educational projectsThe Porirua “Tag Free Kiwi” education programme A team of teacher/artists are contracted each year to present Porirua’s own version of the New Zealand Police ‘Tag Free Kiwi’ programme at a number of schools in Porirua. The programme involves making part of the school beautiful using art, or in some cases a garden, created with the kids on the programme. As well as keeping our school environments tag free, the children experience being part of a meaningful public art project that they’re proud of.

    Sometimes we’re able to include other council initiatives into the mural themes, such as waste minimisation, litter reduction and harbour health, as a way of sharing these messages.

    2016/17 participants Porirua College Alternative School Corinna School Porirua School Ngāti Toa School Holy Family School Postgate School

    Opposite page, from top: Holy Family School project karakia, Ngāti Toa School mural renewal karakia and Papakowhai school project. Above from left: Postgate School and Corinna School projects.


  • Annual Report 2016/17Porirua City Graffiti Reduction

    Waitangirua Action GroupThe Waitangirua Action Group (WAG) has been operating for over a decade under the guidance of the Porirua Healthy Safer City Trust (PHSCT). They began as a group of dedicated, unemployed women from Waitangirua with a desire to improve life for themselves and their mokopuna.

    WAG provides a commercial paint out service for many of the City’s walkways, some public spaces and residential properties and this year have added some commercial businesses to their paying customer base. They also work with young people convicted of tagging, providing supervision for community service and attend family group conferences and court.

    WAG provides valuable intelligence and social connections that if used carefully, can also result in reduced tagging.

    In March 2016, the WAG team were featured on Seven Sharp and did Porirua proud! It’s well worth a look: tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/meet-graffiti-grannies-cleaning-up-streets-porirua

    Historically WAG has been funded entirely by the Graffiti Reduction budget and this contract is the biggest part of the graffiti budget. This year they’ve secured small contracts with two commercial businesses in Porirua.

    Other new work taken on by WAG in recent years has been to add litter picking to the graffiti clean ups of the street to street walkways for the Council’s roading department.

    We continue to keep in close contact with how their work is going by regular catch ups and use of Stop Tags data base. Our goal for 2017/18 is to continue to get the most effective outcomes for the city from this unique community contracting team. We will endeavour to help them stay economically viable by looking for opportunities for them to reduce their business costs and increase contract values with parties other than Council.

    The WAG team: Karina Ratima and Jay Marsen, keeping porirua beautiful.


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    Community empowerment ‘Adopt a Spot’ project Over the last five years a number of small community groups have come together around a shared goal of keeping a public space tidy near their homes. This is a great way to help with reducing graffiti in neighbourhoods and for neighbours to get to know each other. Under the programme, each active group is eligible for one-off funding to do some kind of beautification project in their community and a small ongoing grant for an annual group event.

    In 2016/17 one new group formed (Toms Road in Titahi Bay) while other groups have become less active. The number of active groups has remained at six:

    • Beach Road walkway in Titahi Bay

    • Jillet Street Park in Titahi Bay

    • Paremata rail bridge underpass

    • Secret Valley in Pukerua Bay

    • Taupo Crescent in Plimmerton

    • Toms Road in Titahi Bay.

    Previous years’ Adopt a Spot groups – these areas are still active adopted spots

    Artist Rachel Benefield helped kids from Taupo Cresent turn an unloved concrete wall into the view from the top of the road in school holidays 2016.

    Neighbours’ efforts to clean up Jillet Street Park. Swan plants on a public walkway are celebrated with an Adopt a Spot funded Xoe Hall mural.


  • Annual Report 2016/17Porirua City Graffiti Reduction

    Community art programmePublic art instead of graffitiIdentified graffiti hot spots and some village shopping centres have been revitalised with public art over the last eight years as part of an ongoing graffiti reduction strategy. The theory is that graffiti vandals don’t generally attack good art and if an area looks like it is looked after and celebrated it usually gets far less graffiti than an area that appears uncared for.

    This has certainly been our experience in areas where we’ve put public art in the past few years. There is some crossover between this programme and Adopt a Spot, as often the Adopt a Spot groups look for a mural to brighten their part of the city. However, the public art programme does not necessarily require a caretaker group.

    Using the Graffiti Reduction Community Art programme we have explored a strategy of ‘serendipity’ – pleasant surprises for residents and visitors to Porirua with great art in unexpected places – which could be seen as being the opposite of graffiti.

    In most cases we use local artists for this work but if an opportunity arises to use a well-respected artist from outside the region then the occasional project will go to an out of town artist.

    In 2016/17 Graffiti Reduction produced less of our own art projects. However, the Graffiti Reduction public art budget supported several organisations to put up community art projects of their own using our financial and logistic support.

    Artists (front row) Mils Tupuivao, Marc Spijkerbosh (Rotorua), Lui Ikenasio, Judy McKoy, Ben Lopz Michelle Whale, and Jack Karifi (back) on completion day of the massive Awarua mural on the skatepark (see opposite).


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    1. Te Rauparaha Skate Park

    The Porirua Community Arts Council was given support and funding for the joint venture to renew the artwork on the Te Rauparaha Skate Park. This saw seven local artists coming together to support Marc Spijkerbosch (internationally renowned 3D artist from Rotorua) and Moses Viliamu for a final two day push to get this huge artwork completed. The weather finally behaved and the artists had a lot of fun interpreting the story of Awarua – the taniwha of Porirua harbour on our skatepark.

    2. Green Bike Trust’s new workshop

    Graffiti Reduction managed the artwork on the Green Bike Trust’s new workshop next to Trash Palace. Artists Ian Taylor and Scott McCauley have made a great advertisement for the work that green bikes do from rescuing broken bikes to promoting all things biking. It was great to be involved with supporting their work in making biking more attainable for everyone in the city. Anyone can now buy bikes with a Green Bikes warrant of fitness from Trash Palace for very reasonable prices.

    3. Ferry Place walkwaySupporting City Centre Redevelopment with public artwork on the Ferry Place walkway.

    During the 2015/16 year a competition was run to select a grand piece of art in the city centre. This was won by local artists Ruth Robertson and Cloe Rewiti. Graffiti Reduction helped with the logistics of putting up this artwork.

    Top: Mayor Mike Tana opens the Green Bike’s new workshop, December 2016. Above: Artist Ian Taylor.

    The finished artwork won first place in the 2016 Resene National Mural Masterpieces competition.


  • Annual Report 2016/17Porirua City Graffiti Reduction

    4. Chorus cabinets projectGraffiti Reduction worked closely with Chorus this year to get artworks on four broadband cabinets around the city. We ran an open competition for artists to submit designs and had a committee to select the winners.

    5. Suburban shopping centre projectsVarious small projects to freshen up some of the shopping centres around the city continued with some well-placed artwork. This year a small project at Ranui Fishing shop helped brighten up the village. Can you spot the difference from 2015 and 2016 below?

    The winners were…(clockwise from above): Mils Tupuivao – Cannons Creek ‘The Cage’, Karen Jaquiery – Titahi Bay; Tom Wallace – Aotea ‘Duck in Paradise, and Whitby walkways’, and the artist in progress.


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    We also continued decorating some of the shop front roller doors at Cannons Creek.

    6. Vella Street toilets – Titahi BayArtwork on the old toilets at Titahi Bay was refreshed in a funding partnership with Council Roading. The artwork by local Titahi Bay artists Ruth Robertson and Tracy Waters takes its inspiration from the fossilised forest that once grew at beach level before the tide came in 10,000 years ago.

    You can go for a guided walk around some of the Graffiti funded murals at Titahi bay by downloading the link file found on our website: poriruacity.govt.nz/discover-porirua/walking-biking/walk/titahi-bay-murals-walking-tour

    Supporting youth social infrastructure Our youthAs part of an overall Graffiti Reduction kaupapa of support for positive “community-building infrastructure” support is provided to several youth groups/agencies who work to promote positive lifestyles amongst young people at risk. These youth organisations, who must use volunteer leaders with no/few other sources of funding, are given some support to add to what they can offer the attendees at their holiday programmes/regular youth activities.

    The aim of this programme is to provide alternative and creative activities for at risk young people (particularly during school holidays) and to support the voluntary youth work infrastructure of the City. Demographically

    Porirua Action Sports: Festival of Elements skateboard competition


  • Annual Report 2016/17Porirua City Graffiti Reduction

    most of the youth programmes Graffiti Reduction supports, operate in the lower socio-economic areas of the city. Support is not always given by way of grants but often groups are given fundraising work on other Graffiti Reduction projects. This allows the Graffiti Reduction budget to support two projects at once! Projects that promote quality employment training will be something we would like to look at specifically in future years.

    Youth programmes supported in 2016/17• Cannons Creek Boxing Academy (CCBA)

    • Porirua Action Sports (skateboard competitions)

    • Te Rito Gardens – providing a place for youth with disabilities to be busy, social and learning on a voluntary basis.

    Porirua City Council Graffiti Reduction has an on-going special relationship with Billy Graham’s Cannons Creek Boxing Academy that we supported to help establish in 2015. Some of the youth that the boxing academy work with have had dramatic positive life changes since being involved.

    Work with young graffiti artists There are often a number of young taggers who are trying to find legitimate spaces to showcase their skills. Our Graffiti Reduction team occasionally work with these young people to lift their artistic skill to socially acceptable levels, and to find suitable canvases for them to legitimately express their art.

    This August 2016 project involved supervising a young graffiti artist caught illegally tagging by Police. Graffiti Reduction worked with him and Wellington Water to gain permission to put some of his art work up on their assets.

    This lead to a paid job in 2017 on another Wellington Water asset up on the new Te Ara Tai Tonga walkway at Spicer Park, pictured below.

    Billy Graham with former mayor Nick Leggett.


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    Planting projects that hide graffitiSometimes the best way to get rid of graffiti in the long term is to hide it via plantings. This can also be a good way to involve communities in beautifying hard to look after areas of the city.

    1. Plimmerton to Mana walkway/rail corridor: Goat Point – Lizard Garden project

    This project has been developed in response to chronic graffiti vandalism on the rail corridor. The NZTA road wall has been one of the worst tagging spots in Porirua and a major visitor entry point visible by train. As a long term solution in 2013, we decided to plant lizard friendly, graffiti hiding plants with the aim of using the biodiversity aspect of the project to gain greater community buy-in.

    The planting was a real success and got high acclaim as a community collaborative project from KiwiRail’s national office. We run a community planting and maintenance day each year where we replace plants that have died, weed and fertilize the plantings and increase the length of the plantings on a train-free day each winter.

    2. Living fences projectWith Graffiti Reduction support Te Rito Gardens have developed and sell kitset ‘living fences’ of wire netting with garden edging that provide the enclosure requirements of front fences but are not easily taggable. We will promote these as a cost effective tag free option for residential and commercial properties.

    3. Borderlands projectIn 2017/18 we will be beginning another long term planting project to hide graffiti on the backs of industrial buildings which back onto the Porirua stream and are visible from the train.

    Tag free ‘living fence’ prototype developed at Te Riro Gardens.

    Plimmerton rail corridor Lizard Garden project kicked off with a lizard workshop which created interest for the planting days (below and bottom right).


  • Annual Report 2016/17Porirua City Graffiti Reduction

    Continuous improvement of graffiti cleaning systemCRM effectiveness and contractors doing required work Continual checking to make sure that when tagging is reported that the system in place to remove it works, ie making sure contractors are doing their jobs and putting systems in place where areas are still getting tagged. This involves working closely with the Council’s contact centre team and making sure that residents get good service when they ring or email in issues that need resolving.

    Identified and solved problems • Porirua rail station car park had some areas

    not being cleaned while other areas were covered – too many contractors in a small space is not efficient. An agreement in 2016

    with WRC now has all Park and Ride car parks in Porirua being checked on a regular basis for graffiti by WAG.

    • Public not reporting graffiti – one way of addressing this is reminding people to call the Council. We’ve produced fridge magnets for residents to display at home with council contact details on them. These have been well received by Residents Associations and Adopt a Spot groups.

    • We have also supported several private businesses who were not cleaning their graffiti to get cost effective graffiti management via WAG and thus the win-win of a tidier city and a more financially viable WAG team.

    Proactive deterrents and intelligence workPolice visits to aerosol can retailersWe organise an annual, random, visit with Police to Porirua retailers to ensure that they are sticking to the law of not selling cans to under 18 year olds and to gain intelligence on how many can sales are made in the city.

    Use of Stop Tags data collection system and reporting on graffiti using the system.We are working towards all contractors in Porirua using the Stop Tags data system to ensure that all Porirua’s graffiti clean-up is recorded. Working with the Regional Graffiti Forum, we are endeavouring to improve the system, so that every contractor who cleans graffiti in Porirua is able to upload to the

    database. This allows the following information to be collected:

    • Stop Tags tell us which taggers have caused the city the most damage, sometimes even where they come from as individual tags can be traced around the city if all contractors are using the system.

    • WAG and Police do some profiling on these taggers. It is difficult to get convictions but we would like to find out who the most costly five are (probably groups) and work on redirecting their energy.


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    Image from the Stop Tags database showing location of, and number of tags removed by the WAG team in 2016/17.


  • Annual Report 2016/17Porirua City Graffiti Reduction

    Graffiti reduction networksNetworking with other graffiti reducers is an important part of our role.

    In the Wellington Regional Forum we make sure that we are following the principles of the regional strategy and helping each other make best use of the resources available to us to keep graffiti down in our cities. Many of Porirua’s programmes have been ‘borrowed’ by other cities in the region.

    Much of our regional effort in 2016/17 was in working with colleagues to review and improve the regional strategy aiming at having the Mayoral Forum sign the new document in December 2017.

    2015 saw efforts from our Graffiti Reduction team to promote a nationwide Hui on graffiti reduction and this resulted in a very valuable national get together in Christchurch in February 2016. We will be looking to promote another national hui in 2018.

    Is it all working? 2016/17 appears to have been another effective year for keeping on top of graffiti in Porirua. The systems in place and the teams doing the work have resulted in great outcomes. Certainly informal feedback and some hard data from Stop Tags appear to back – up the June 2015 Tasman Audit in which Porirua came out top of eight councils audited in that year.

    The city looks clean but that doesn’t necessarily mean there is less tagging. It may mean that we are cleaning it up more effectively. Stop Tags will tell us that over time. Stop Tags is still not used by all contractors in Porirua or Adopt a Spot volunteers and we will work towards adding more graffiti contractors and volunteers using the system this year so that we can make full use of the data collected.


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    The 2017 Quality of Life survey showed graffiti as an increased concern for Porirua residents compared to 2014. We would like to understand more about why these figures

    have increased when actual tagging trends are going down. It could be, for example, that now with an emphasis on cleaning it up people notice it more when it’s there.

    Graffiti cleaned by WAG each month 2016/17

    July 2016

    Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan 2017

    Feb March April May June



    2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17





    Annual graffiti cleaned by WAG since 2012

















  • Annual Report 2016/17Porirua City Graffiti Reduction

    Review of previous projectsJillet Street shops and Te Puke Street Dairy (Titahi Bay) have remained very well looked after and decorated since they were decorated by Antz June murals in 2011.

    Paremata bridges adopted spot – no tagging here for nearly three years and a massive improvement from its was before adopt a spotters started looking after it.

    This Whitby walkway mural with emergency management and environmental themes created by children from Discovery School during their Tag Free Kiwi programme in 2012 is still having a graffiti deterrent effect on the walkway near the school. It also provides environmental and emergency management messages.

    The 2014 Pukerua Bay School skateboard park decorating project started to improve standard of graffiti or ‘free artwork’ to the point where it virtually became an outdoor art gallery!

    Its good to remember how far we have come:Below: Cannons Creek 2012 and 2014.


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    Priorities for 2017/18• Council to ratify the 2017-2021 Regional

    Graffiti Prevention Strategy.

    • A rewrite of the Porirua Graffiti Management Strategy to line up with Wellington Regional Strategy. Actual changes to practice will be minimal due to the regional strategy being strongly aligned with how we have conducted business for the last few years

    • Continue to support organisations who wish to provide community art. This will reduce Graffiti Reduction spending on public art projects but continue the beautification of Porirua.

    • Working with Wellington Regional Graffiti Forum to improve graffiti issues on the rail corridor in the wider Wellington area.

    • Continue to support successful programmes that engage youth in a positive manner.

    • Getting more of the public reporting graffiti and moving towards a city culture where tagging (and perhaps also littering) is publicly unacceptable.

    • Helping the Titahi Bay Mural Walk become more popular – Porirua is becoming known as an artistically cool city. More information found on our website: poriruacity.govt.nz/discover-porirua/walking-biking/walk/titahi-bay-murals-walking-tour

    • Continue maintenance on the Lizard Garden (Plimmerton rail corridor) project and start the ‘Borderlands’ Porirua Stream planting project.

    • Continue to support active Adopt a Spot and community care groups.

    • Continue to support WAG community graffiti guardians to reach a sustainable business model.


  • Annual Report 2016/17Porirua City Graffiti Reduction

    Kaupapa – every day our actions contribute to the sustainable reduction of graffiti in PoriruaCouncil Graffiti Reduction team: Graffiti Reduction Coordinator Richard Witheford-Smith

    Our regular contractors:

    Waitangirua Action Group• Private residents

    • Street to street public walkways (both graffiti and litter)

    • Street lights and power poles

    • Other strategic places that don’t have guardians (eg Rail Station Park & Rides)

    Lui Ikenasio• Cannons Creek & Mungavin Shopping

    Centre GR

    • Graffiti Reduction Education projects support

    • Mural/beautification projects support

    • Business ratepayer and schools Graffiti Reduction

    • Stop Tags analysis

    Carol FreemanFinance and project logistics support

    WAG team: Karina Ratima and Jay Marsen

    Lui Ikenasio and Carol Freeman.

    In December 2015, the Graffiti Reduction team was given a certificate of appreciation from Police Area Commander Paul Basham for our work with the Porirua community particularly at Cannons Creek. Seen here are Lui Ikenasio and Richard Witherford-Smith collecting the award on behalf of the team.


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  • Disclaimer: While all care and diligence has been used in extracting, analysing and compiling this information, Porirua City Council gives no warranty that the information provided is without error.


    You are free to copy, distribute and adapt the work, as long as you attribute the work to Porirua City Council.

    Published in September 2017.

    Porirua City Council 16 Cobham Court PO Box 50218 Porirua 5240

    This document is available on our website