February 27, 2011

Super Fail

So about a month ago in an effort to clean up the city before it's inundated with tourists in September, Len Brown's Super City decided to declare war on graffiti. Now beating up on tags in the city, albeit a war you'll never actually win, to me is fair game. I get it. What I struggle with is paying people to paint over legal graffiti murals which have been happily running untouched for the past 10+ years, on privately owned property?! Not council property. Privately owned property. Really Len Brown? A grey wall beats a mural. Why can't we be more like Melbourne, London, New York where the city councilors actually get it. Where they commission artists to brighten up their walls, not pay council workers to paint over existing murals on property they don't even own.

Before - The mural on Poynton Terrace

UPDATE March 1: Len Brown apologised via Twitter to Askew (the artist), mentioning that "council officers should be in touch with you, business owner & K Rd Ass. with options." So, shot Len. You're not the dick we all thought you were. I'll be keeping an eye out my window at work to see when a new peice goes up.


Dear Daniel,

The Mayor became aware of this situation last week and was briefed by council staff who were looking into it.

Staff had immediately started an investigation when The K Road Business Association alerted the council to the issue.

It was discovered that this was a genuine error and the council is taking full responsibility to rectify the situation and install a new artwork as soon as possible. Council contractors mistakenly painted over this mural after a request by an Auckland Council anti-graffiti volunteer. The council was under the impression that the business owner wanted the work removed.

Key staff have already met to discuss how the matter will be resolved and have had initial conversations with all parties, including the original artist, regarding a replacement mural.

This incident is unusual. It does provide us an opportunity for us to work more closely with business and property owners and our volunteers to ensure any private property, including murals, are not damaged.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen again, council staff have created a more robust process which includes always double checking with business owners and property owners before any graffiti is removed. In addition, the new art work will be placed on a ‘No Action List’ ensuring there is no confusion whether any artworks should be removed or not.

Kind regards

Emma Bunting
Office of the Mayor

To read more about Len Brown painting over the character of the city visit dubdotdash.blogspot.com

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