Rainbow crossing vandal to pay $16K

Photo: RNZ
Photo: RNZ
A man charged with vandalising a Rainbow crossing on Auckland's Karangahape Road has pleaded guilty and has been ordered to pay about $16,000 in reparations.

The pedestrian crossing was covered in white paint more than two weeks ago, just days after the rainbow crossing in Gisborne was vandalised.

Ford O'Connor, 31, appeared at the Auckland District Court Monday morning and entered a guilty plea.

Destiny church leader Brian Tamaki addressed the media outside earlier, saying O'Connor was married to his granddaughter and was a member of the church.

Community magistrate Jan Holmes said she gave credit to the accused for the early plea and his willingness to pay the approximate $16,000 for cleaning the crossing.

No further penalties were imposed and O'Connor was discharged with conviction.

Prior to the man's arrest, police had said they were treating the vandalism as a hate crime.

Hate crimes, while recorded by police, were not stand alone offences.

Last week Auckland Pride called for a restorative justice approach to the offending, focusing on repairing relationships between victims, offenders, and the community while at the same time keeping considerations of justice in mind.

Co-chair Quack Pirihi said solutions were needed that protected communities and built an equitable Aotearoa.

Politicians from National, ACT and the Green Party have criticised the vandalism.