Tagging vandal destroys hard work

By alisa.yong@age.co.nz -
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NOT GOOD: The defaced Chorus box on Villa St. The painting of Ms Pilling's son can be made out underneath the tag.PHOTO/FACEBOOK
NOT GOOD: The defaced Chorus box on Villa St. The painting of Ms Pilling's son can be made out underneath the tag.PHOTO/FACEBOOK

A Masterton teacher's effort to brighten up the town has been defaced, leaving her and her young son "disheartened".

Makoura College art teacher Vicky Pilling took to Facebook this week to vent her frustration after the Villa St Chorus box she painted with an image of her son was defaced by a tagger.

Ms Pilling said it was gutting to see her effort to "brighten up" the community vandalised.

"It's pretty disheartening. It took me quite a long time. I'm not claiming it's a masterpiece, but a lot of hard work went into it.

"But the person who tagged it might've taken just a few seconds. It's pretty disrespectful.

"We are making an effort to try and brighten up the community, why destroy it?"

Ms Pilling has painted about seven Chorus boxes and the Villa St box depicted her 6-year-old son crouching and blowing bubbles, while another box on the street shows her daughter colouring in.

The tagger had also left his mark on many of the Villa St fences, Ms Pilling said.

"There's a lot of people that are very angry that people go around and do this, because it's pretty mindless."

Ms Pilling said if she had a message for the tagger, it would be "have a bit of respect for other people's efforts and other people's hard work".

She had posted an image of the vandalised box on a Wairarapa Facebook page to see if anyone recognised the tag, and a name had quickly been suggested by the online community.

She had referred the matter to Chorus but was unsure if they had contacted the police.

The painting of the Chorus boxes was an initiative designed to deter people from vandalising the cabinets.

The project is funded by Masterton District Council through its Connecting Communities office, with the cost of the paint sponsored by Chorus and Resene.

Makoura College students have also helped to paint some of the boxes around town.

Ms Pilling has already repainted the box and was not letting the vandalism put her off.

"It's just annoying fixing it up, and it's pretty disheartening for my son because he's only 6, but we fixed it up pretty quick, which I think is important."

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