Businesses take on city graffiti vandals

PAUL EASTON
Last updated 05:00 13/01/2014
YouTube: Wanderdog Media

Roy McFarlane discusses the street art project by Jon Drypnz currently underway at The Canteen in Wellington

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Business owners in a central Wellington street are taking on taggers with graffiti art, hoping respect will work where constant cleaning has failed.

It could be the first step towards turning Bond St into a green inner-city haven, rather than a run-down back street.

Wellington graffiti artist DRYPNZ has been commissioned to paint a mural in an alley running off Bond St, often targeted by taggers.

The as yet unfinished work will cost about $5000.

Roy McFarlane, owner of The Canteen cafe, said his landlord was constantly cleaning graffiti off the wall.

"I know it's about individual expression, but as a small business owner, it's hard to see how it's contributing to society. It costs an awful lot to fix."

It was hoped that DRYPNZ's work would be left alone by taggers, he said.

"I understand that he's got a lot of respect among the community, and that's kind of how it works."

Mr McFarlane said he and other businesses, including Mojo Coffee, hoped Wellington City Council would back stalled plans to beautify Bond St with planting, paving and boulevard seating.

Wellington City councillor Helene Ritchie said it was time to move forward with the project, especially with car access through to Willis St now blocked off.

Bond St, originally Old Custom House St, was so named because the first customs store for bonded goods was sited there.

"It could be an elegant little lane. At the moment it's an ugly little lane," Ms Ritchie said.

It costs the council about $400,000 a year to remove graffiti.

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- The Dominion Post

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