Council removes climate 'graffiti'
Complaints from public prompt rapid actionTRACY NEAL
Preparations for a youth demonstration in Nelson today which involved chalk messages around city streets and the Church Steps were removed by city council contractors yesterday after complaints by the public.
A large group of young Nelsonians took over several parking spaces on Trafalgar St this morning to demonstrate that local and national solutions to climate change exist.
The event is part a week-long, nationwide launch of the "100% Possible" campaign which aims to spread the message that moving New Zealand beyond fossil fuels is 100 per cent achievable. The event is being coordinated by climate change groups 350 Aotearoa and Generation Zero.
Generation Zero Nelson coordinator Rachel Ward said the messages, including a large "100%" on the Church Steps were temporarily written in chalk, which washed off with water.
Ms Ward said the group organising the demonstration did not seek permission to write the messages as writing in chalk was thought to be a permitted activity.
"People don't need to worry. All we're doing is organising a demonstration that offers solutions to climate change.
"We have the ability to create change. Young New Zealanders are taking the future into their own hands," Ms Ward said.
City council network services executive manager Alec Louverdis said the council had started receiving complaints soon after the messages began appearing today, particularly in relation to the sign on the Church Steps which people thought had been done in paint.
"We have asked our contractors to remove the messages and we will be looking at recovering costs from the people who put them there."
Mr Louverdis said he had not been aware of what the messages related to, but that did not change the fact they had to be removed. He said the writing constituted graffiti.
"It's not art work, especially as far as the Church Steps are concerned."
The council allowed art work on public structures, but this was "very different".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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