'Not appropriate for a children’s play area': Graffiti to be removed

Graffiti on the wall near Lyttelton Primary School.  Photo: Geoff Sloan
Graffiti on the wall near Lyttelton Primary School. Photo: Geoff Sloan
The dark and apocalyptic poem graffitied on a wall at Lyttelton Primary School will be removed - but residents want a long-term solution.

Complaints were first made about the poem in September last year.

Paul Dietsche was among several people who reported the graffiti to Christchurch City Council via its Snap, Send and Solve feature in September.

“I am all for artistic expression but this is not appropriate for a children’s play area. It is dystopic and suicidal, it seems," Dietsche said.

Amber Moke’s two children go to Lyttelton Primary School.

“We need to acknowledge this is a children’s sports field and it is used as such every week. We need to look at it through their eyes,” Moke said.

“We do not want these messages floating around our children’s subconscious and being reinforced every day.”

Moke said the timing it has taken for the graffiti to be acknowledged was unacceptable.

After not hearing any response, Dietsche went to the city council again at the beginning of March. This, and discussion on the Lyttelton community group on Facebook, finally drew a response.

Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner asked city council staff why no action had yet been taken to remove the graffiti.

Photo: Geoff Sloan
Photo: Geoff Sloan
Turner was told the wall was part of an area owned by the Ministry of Education which was making it seemingly more difficult for the city council to remove the graffiti.

“For the good of the community, this graffiti needs to be removed,” Turner said.

He plans to keep a close eye on the city council to ensure the graffiti is now removed in a timely manner.

Turner also plans to investigate why it took so long for the complaints about the graffiti to be seen.

Said Dietsche: “I am glad to hear it is finally going to be removed but it took a ridiculous amount of time.”

Moke has been researching a longer term solution to the graffiti issue.

“Every time it is removed, it becomes a clean canvas for another person to graffiti on.”

She is suggesting a mural be painted on the wall to add some colour and positive messaging to the sports field.

The wall has been identified as a significant historic place with a category 1 listing with Heritage New Zealand. It is part of the foundations of the Lyttelton Gaol site.

This has created potential difficulties with the mural idea.

The heritage listing also means a special methodology has to be employed for the removal of the graffiti to not damage the wall’s surface.



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