New Zealand is set to take a stand against graffiti.

Councils, schools, towns, businesses and individuals are lining up across New Zealand to tackle graffiti and make their corner of New Zealand a bit more beautiful this month.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful launched Paint New Zealand Beautiful month in a bid to create national awareness of the need to protect our public spaces, combat graffiti vandalism and celebrate the efforts of communities that are graffiti-free.

This initiative is made up of multiple events and campaigns across the month and launches with the unveiling of the winning Paint Your Town Beautiful mural in Te Aroha this Sunday.

Here is a sneak peek of one of the panels being prepared for the mural that artist Stuart Sheppard is working hard on. The mural celebrates the beauty and history of Te Aroha that has attracted visitors to enjoy its hot water soda geyser and soak in the spas for many years.

The mural will be on the side of Te Aroha Countdown facing onto the Te Aroha Historical Edwardian Domain so will have wide exposure to a lot of foot traffic and be able to be seen and enjoyed by many people.

The biggest event scheduled for the month though is Graffiti Free Week, which will be taking place nationwide from March 14th to March 20th.

KNZB National Marketing Manager, Jodie Marinkovich said “Graffiti Free Week aims to increase awareness of New Zealand’s graffiti issue, and to educate New Zealand on how easy it is to adopt a spot and make a difference.”

“Adopt A Spot Kits” are available from Keep New Zealand Beautiful free of charge to anyone who has graffiti issues in their local community.  The kits include a Resene paint voucher, roller, high ves vest, hat, t-shirt and more!  To register for an Adpot A Spot Kit you simply need to email Joanne on

The most common question Ms Marinkovich said she is asked is ‘what determines what makes something graffiti?’ She said the answer is simple – permission.  “If you have not received permission from the space owner to paint there, then it is considered graffiti.” She said graffiti is an unsightly form of vandalism, and one that’s associated with increased neighbourhood crime.

In 2015 nearly 20 councils and regional groups worked feverishly to keep their neighbourhoods tidy and their cities spotless, in total covering an estimated 28,150 square metres of graffiti.

Ms Marinkovich says they have had an overwhelming response to the kits with more than double the registrations from 2015 already.  “I do not believe this is a sign that there is more graffiti, but it is an indication that New Zealand is taking the issue more seriously and wants it gone. It is great to see more schools taking part in these initiatives as education on the impact of graffiti at an early age is important.”

Keep New Zealand Beautiful has introduced educational lesson plans, stories and competitions for early childhood centres and schools across New Zealand.

They are also currently running a competition called Wall Worthy, whereby early childhood centres and schools are encouraged to use the available resources to teach their students about community art verse graffiti, then work with the class to submit a mural idea to beautify their school or centre.  Entries are open until the end of term 1.  There will be 5 x winners selected who will win the resources to make their ideas become a reality.  All the competition details, lesson plans and extra resources can be found at


Paint New Zealand Beautiful Month Calendar:

Official Launch Event – Te Aroha, Sunday 6 March

Graffiti Free Week – 14th to 20th March

Wall Worthy Competition – Entries close end of term 1


Top Tips For Targeting Taggers:

  • Report new graffiti and offenders as soon as possible. Most councils, police and police have a reporting service. Alternatively, you can phone KNZB to report graffiti, 0800 TIDY NZ.
  • Repair and get rid graffiti ASAP to discourage further conduct.
  • Educate fellow residents and business owners that graffiti is vandalism and has no artistic merit.
  • Apply to local councils for assistance to have graffiti removed from private property.
  • Consult a landscape designer on ways to deter illegal graffiti through environmental design elements.
  • Adopt-a-Spot: Invite the local community to keep a part of their area clean and graffiti-free.  KNZB offers free kits to local community groups and individuals who wish to eradicate graffiti in their neighbourhoods

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