Kim Fulton is a NZME. News Service regional reporter

City's urban scrawl outbreaks are down

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Tagging seems to be decreasing in Tauranga.
Tagging seems to be decreasing in Tauranga.

Tagging costs Tauranga ratepayers more than $150,000 each year - though the outbreaks of urban scrawl appear to be decreasing.

The city council's general manager Kirsty Downey said 3134 tags were removed in the past financial year, down on 3424 the previous year and 5039 in the 2012 to 2013 financial year.

On average, 60 per cent of the tags were on council-owned assets. The remaining 40 per cent were on residential property covered under a graffiti removal contract, she said. Ms Downey said the council paid a set amount per year for graffiti removal under the city-wide graffiti removal contract.

She said it spent $150,868 on the contract last financial year, $150,008 the previous one and $166,701 in the 2012 to 2013 financial year.

The graffiti-removal contract was the primary cost associated with tagging. Notification of tags was processed through the council's contact centre and automatically forwarded onto the contractors. The cost of the process was minimal and part of overall contact centre costs, she said. Bay of Plenty Regional Council marketing and communications advisor Jessica Somerville said the council had no major graffiti issues, and any minor issues were dealt with through city or district councils.

Auckland Council had reduced graffiti through eradication, enforcement and education, and is sharing its secrets with other councils.

Senior advisor graffiti vandalism prevention Rob Shields said four service providers provided graffiti vandalism prevention and removal services to council.

They include Tag Out Trust, which combats graffiti through removal, youth education and community volunteer support.

Mr Shields said each provider delivered eradication, enforcement and education under an overall umbrella of prevention.

There had been a 23 per cent reduction in graffiti vandalism incidents across Auckland since the introduction of services in 2013.

Auckland Council and its graffiti vandalism prevention service providers were sharing information with other councils, said Mr Shields.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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