How Christchurch is turning the tide on graffiti with micro-volunteering

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 12, 2023 |

Photo: Christchurch City Council

Christchurch has seen a remarkable decline in graffiti, with the City Council attributing the drop to innovative approaches like micro-volunteering, an increase in street art, and effective collaborations.

The figures for graffiti removal from March to May this year show a significant decrease from 21,000 square metres in 2022, to 15,000 square metres.

Graffiti Team Leader at the Christchurch City Council, Kerryn Findlater, revealed that over 60 percent of all graffiti reports are made by the existing network of 150 volunteers.

The Council responded by introducing a micro-volunteering initiative designed to encourage further civic participation and enhance the reporting network.

Members of the public can sign up as ‘friends’ of the Graffiti Programme and become ‘micro-volunteers’.

Findlater praised the efforts of the volunteers, saying, “It truly is a team effort.

“Without people taking notice and taking action we would not be able to be as effective or as efficient.” She encouraged others to join the initiative and thanked those who are keeping the city graffiti-free.”

Part of the Graffiti Team’s recent achievements includes beautification projects such as a mural on a Chorus cabinet in Rowley Avenue, a testament to their ‘What’s Cool About Your School’ initiative.

The initiative allows schools to ‘adopt’ a cabinet and display a mural, promoting a sense of pride and ownership in their community.

Findlater says, “We have already had a couple of inquiries from parents who want their young people to have other avenues to explore other than tagging. We are always open to new ideas so if you want to have a chat about creating a mural, removing graffiti, project ideas or to attend an event, please contact the team. Together, we can make a difference.”

The Graffiti Team is also collaborating with Restorative Justice Services on various community art and mentoring projects, fostering a community-led response to curb graffiti.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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