Graffiti vandalism (tagging) is the act of a person damaging or defacing any building, structure, road, tree, property or other thing by writing, drawing, painting, spraying or etching on it, or otherwise marking it, without lawful authority and without the consent of the occupier or owner. 

Don’t put up with it

Graffiti is a community issue that requires a strong community response. One tag is likely to attract more tags so It’s important to deal with any damage as soon as possible. Getting rid of tags quickly shows the area is being watched, and that there’s a real risk they will be caught.

Tell the police

Report graffiti vandalism. The police want to know. Tagging is a crime and can lead to prosecution.

 You can help by photographing any tag before removing it. Tags are like signatures and can identify offenders. Call 111 if you see tagging in progress. Call your local police station if you have any information about taggers.
  • Taupo (07) 378 6060
  • Turangi (07) 386 7709
  • ​Mangakino (07) 882 9070

Remove the damage

Most tags are created with oil-based spray paints or felt-tip pens.  How you deal with the damage depends on the type of surface that has been tagged.  
Talk to your paint supplier for advice on the best solution for you. Start by testing a small area of the surface.

First things to try:
  •  A detergent like dishwashing liquid.
  •  A solvent such as paint thinner or methylated spirits.
  •  ​Painting over the tag with dark-coloured paint.
  •  Some damage may require sandblasting or pressure washing.

Protect the surface

You can deter taggers by making it as difficult as possible for them to damage your property. 
  • Don’t present them with easy access to a tempting blank canvas.
  • Grow large plants in front of fences and walls, or plant climbers to cover them. 
  • Use rough cast materials.
  • Paint surfaces dark colours.
  • Improve lighting close to any structure that might be a target.
  • Talk to your local paint supplier for professional advice about anti-graffiti products.

Look for the signs

Most graffiti vandals are children and young people. They often progress to other types of offending.

If you are a parent

Watch for signs that your child may be tagging. You might find paints, aerosols and marker pens in their bedroom, or hidden somewhere else around the home.  

If you are a retailer

Be aware of young people repeatedly buying items that could be used for graffiti.

You’re not alone

Constant tagging of your property is distressing, and can be expensive. The police, the council, neighbourhood support groups and property owners need to tackle this problem together. We can minimise graffiti vandalism through individual commitment and a community response.  

If you need more information, call 0800 ASK TDC (0800 275 832).

Page reviewed: 04 Jun 2014 9:43am