Election poster vandals target Craig

By Kiri Gillespie

1 comment
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig's image had been defaced with devil horns. Photo / George Novak
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig's image had been defaced with devil horns. Photo / George Novak

Conservative leader Colin Craig's election signs have become the first casualty of vandalism in the lead up to the election.

The Christian party leader has been depicted with devil horns coming out of his head in a hoarding on 11th Ave and Fraser St.

Mr Craig said there was a range of easy options for defacing photos and devil horns were a perennial favourite.

"I am not the first - and likely not the last - to be given a pair of horns."

Mr Craig said the Conservative Party was mainstream and was not religiously based. However, "I personally strive to live by Christian values".

"Unfortunately, vandalism is a problem around much of the country.

"[It is] always annoying that some in the community destroy rather than build," Mr Craig said.

"Vandalism, in any form, is unacceptable to me and I think we take it far too lightly. I am a great believer in the 'broken windows policy' approach to crime. I am sure this would extend to vandalised billboards."

The "broken windows" theory uses broken windows as a metaphor for disorder within neighbourhoods, where a focus on petty crime or misdemeanours is believed to have a flow-on effect on serious crime. By stopping the more minor offences, serious crime is expected to drop.

The vandalism was first noticed on Sunday.

Mr Craig said he expected the sign to be replaced some time in the next week, when the party's next billboard run was under way.

The party was not aware of any other hoardings being damaged at this stage, he said.

Any complaints relating to electoral hoardings are dealt with by Tauranga City Council.

Bylaws officer Paul Mason said, while it had not received any complaints about damaged signs, "we have heard anecdotally that some signs have been damaged".

The council had also received only one query about the siting of a sign.

"The key objective is to ensure that signs do not present a traffic hazard or danger to public safety. Council will monitor election signs throughout the two months." Damaged or defaced election signs are the responsibility of the owner.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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