Graffiti and tagging

Māoribank School Mural

Graffiti vandalism is a community issue that requires Council, property owners and the public to work together to address. Graffiti vandalism is a crime. It makes our streets feel unsafe, creates a bad impression for visitors, detracts from the natural beauty of our city, and it costs Council and property owners a lot of money to remove.

Upper Hutt City Council is committed to providing leadership in this area, and our graffiti policy explains the practical steps Council will take to remove and prevent graffiti.

Report graffiti

Graffiti policy summary

  1. Council will arrange for graffiti to be removed if you can see it from the road or footpath on main (primary and secondary) arterial routes through Upper Hutt. A map is included below to show which streets are covered under the policy.
  2. Council will remove all graffiti from Council owned property.
  3. Any reports of graffiti on ‘street infrastructure’ Council doesn’t own, like power boxes and lamp posts etc. will be reported to the owner of that infrastructure and they will take responsibility for its removal.
  4. Council will aim to remove any graffiti that is reported to us, and meets our policy, within 48 hours (Monday to Friday).
  5. If graffiti is reported to us in an area that doesn’t meet our policy, we can provide grey paint to property owners so they can paint over the graffiti.
  6. Graffiti in subways, alleyways and other pedestrian paths is not covered under the policy.
  7. In some cases, Council officers are allowed to make an exception and remove graffiti not covered by the policy. This ‘exception clause’ is included in the policy to make sure that Council is able to help out in extreme cases where leaving the graffiti could be harmful to an individual or group of people. Council officers will tell anyone who reports graffiti if any of the exception criteria apply to their case.

Most common questions

Q   Why doesn’t Council remove all graffiti?
  The reason we don’t remove graffiti from all areas in Upper Hutt is because the cost would be too high and we would need to increase rates to cover it. Instead, Council has decided to focus efforts on the roads which get used the most. Graffiti vandals want as many people to see their tags as possible so they usually target the roads with lots of vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Q.    What can I do about the graffiti in my suburb?
A.    If an individual or group wanted to take responsibility for covering or removing graffiti in an area not covered under the policy, we would encourage them to contact Council and talk to us about it.

Tips on dealing with graffiti

  1. If you see graffiti, report it to the Police on (04) 527 2300. Graffiti is a crime!
  2. If you think removal of the graffiti falls within the Council’s Graffiti Policy criteria, then please also report the offence to Council. Try and provide as much detail as possible about where it is, including the street number if possible. Officers will respond and let you know whether the graffiti you’ve reported is covered by our policy and if it will be removed.
  3. If you have a smart phone you can download the iCouncil app for free and just snap a photo of the graffiti to submit to us.
  4. If your property is damaged by graffiti, and not covered by the policy, ask about whether you can pick up some grey paint from Council. The sooner you are able to remove graffiti, the stronger the message to the vandals that graffiti won’t be tolerated.

For more tips on how to prevent graffiti vandalism view or download our brochure.