Graffiti Prevention

Dealing with graffiti – Resene

Manukau Beautification Trust


Graffiti vandals are often children aged between 12-17 years and generally not above 20.

The paints, aerosols and marker pens used are often acquired by illegal means. September 26, 2008 it was made law that spray cans have to be kept locked behind counters or locked up. There is a fine of up to $1500 if they do not abide by the law. Please report to MCC 2625104 or police if you see cans on sale in open bins or shelves.

They are active in spreading graffiti and it is not uncommon for the graffiti vandal to be involved in other types of offending.

The vandal often stores the tools for committing graffiti in the bedroom. Parents should be alert to any unusual number of aerosol spray cans or marker pens in their children’s possession.

Retailers should pay attention to any young person repeatedly purchasing items that could be used for graffiti. It is illegal to sell spray cans to under 18 year olds.

A Community Problem

Graffiti ignored affects not only the occupiers of one property, but the whole community. If left it sends a message that a lawless element controls the community. The Police and Community working together in an active role will enable citizens to take back control of their neighbourhood.

Graffiti is a warning sign which, if not treated, can lead to rundown buildings, abandoned cars and urban decay. Neighbourhoods become less desirable to live in and property values fall.

It costs thousands of dollars annually to repair the physical damage. It is also stressful to those who are victims.

If your property is vandalised try and remove the graffiti as soon as possible, otherwise your neighbour may be next, or another vandal will mark your property with further tagging.

The more quickly graffiti is erased the less incentive vandals have to practice tagging


Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust

Our graffiti removal team has six vans that travel throughout Manukau each day removing graffiti from the main arterial routes and from fences and other council property. We have a 24 hour response time wherever possible. To report graffiti that you think we may be able to remove just call the Manukau City Council Call Centre help line 09 2625104 or click here to report graffiti.

The Trust will undertake the following paint out or waterblasting tasks free of charge:


  • Road Frontage Fences – if we have the correct base colour, (other wise the owner of the property must supply the paint for our team to use
  • All council buildings Signage and other areas of council owned parks
  • Lamp posts
  • Footpaths


The Trust will not undertake the following paint out or waterblasting tasks:


  • Toilets in Parks (Civic Contractors)
  • Vector power boxes (Vector direct line 0508 832867)
  • Telecom equipment (Telecom workers)
  • Playgrounds etc in parks (Excell)
  • Motorway bridges (Transit and Opus)
  • Road Signs ( Blacktop)

All commercial sites are the responsibility of the building owner or leasee. The Manukau Beautification Trust will assist with a subsidised rate, within the boundaries of the Trusts set height restrictions.

Please take a digital picture of the graffiti if possible and email it to stating the date the graffiti took place and the location.



The following courses of action can be considered to prevent or deter the problem from continuing:


  • If you belong to a Neighbourhood Support Group, inform your street or group co-ordinator of the locations that are causing concern and consider forming an adopt a block group or a paint-out patrol. Vandals do not just operate in commercial areas.
  • It will be helpful to provide a copy of the tag to Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust as they are working with police and maintaining a “TAG” catalogue.
  • Organise networking with the local schools, using your Community Constable to assist liaison. Schools are often the target of vandalism and pupils sometimes responsible. The school may have a good idea of who is suspected of damaging property.
  • Through local newspapers consider writing articles regarding graffiti. Try and reinforce the message that graffiti is a serious problem.
  • If possible remove the graffiti immediately. This can prevent serious damage to surfaces, and it does not provide an opportunity for other graffiti vandals to respond.
  • If you have walls or fences that are exposed, you can plant shrubbery or a hedge to discourage offenders.
  • If you require security advice, contact your Community Constable or local Crime Prevention Officers.
  • Remember that there are several commercial operations that deal with the problem of graffiti and that their telephone numbers are in the yellow pages under Graffiti Removal. Some surfaces can be treated beforehand with a special substance to ease removal of subsequent graffiti.
  • Frequently other community based agencies have schemes for repair of damage caused by graffiti. If you have had a problem or damage, contact your Community Constable. They may be able to put you in contact with the appropriate person.
  • It has been noticed in commercial areas that where a wall has been subjected to constant graffiti, the painting of a mural has resulted in vandals ceasing to target the wall.

Practical Intervention

What you can do if you witness somebody committing graffiti:


  • Telephone the Police as soon as possible if you are able to.
  • Try and obtain an accurate description of the vandal(s). Write it down if you can. This will assist the Police.
  • A description of their clothing assists with identification, also if you can see whether their hands are stained with paint or spray.
  • If possible record the tag made, as often offenders can be identified by their individual tag signatures.
  • Approach them only if you are certain of your safety, and not alone. Usually they will run away, particularly if young children.
  • Note the direction taken by them so Police can be advised.
  • Alert the occupier of the property if possible. Graffiti is easier to treat before it dries.
Neighbourhood Support © 2013