Taking the P out of Kapiti – Anti-Drug Vandals Creatively Protest Methamphetamine

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Ewan Hollander

Just sharing things that interest me in the hopes that they interest others as well

In a move that is frustrating city council workers and amusing motorists, vandals have been taping over the letter ‘P’ on dozen of road signs on the Kapiti Coast, New Zealand. The offending letters are being covered up on road signs north of Wellington.

Striking over the weekend (and in broad daylight no less), two men were seen wearing hi-vis jackets and climbing ladders to reach signs on Kapiti Road, one of the busiest roads in Paraparaumu.

The council workers have been hard at work now removing the tape from the letter ‘P’s.

Taking the P out of Kapiti - Anti-Drug Vandals Creatively Protest Methamphetamine

Taking the P out of Kapiti

Its not entirely known yet but the taping of the letter ‘P’ is thought to be an anti drug message… taking the P out of Kapiti. Whether it is or not, the mayor of Kapiti Coast District, K Gurunathan, is not pleased at all. He has been quoted saying, “There are other ways of raising awareness, and messing around with traffic signs is not it.  Altering road signs could be considered willful damage and didn’t achieve much in the way of public goodwill, he said. The issue of methamphetamine use on the coast was something he was looking at, and would address with the Wellington region’s mayors at a future forum. I’m starting to hear the stories and it’s worrying me, and I’ve asked to get more data on it.”

Another Kapiti Cost District council member, Jacquie Muir (Environmental Standards Manager) has said that willful damage of property is an offense and is not condoned by the council. The offense can bring imprisonment or a fine up to $2000.

New Zealand Transport Agency regional system manager Mark Own has weighed in on the issue. He said he was aware that some signs had tape on them and that council contractors were in the midst of removing it. “The Transport Agency regards the taping over of its signs – which are there to guide motorists – as vandalism. Such wilful damage is an offence under the Summary Offences Act 1981.”

Methamphetamine in Kapiti

Taking the P out of Kapiti - Anti-Drug Vandals Creatively Protest Methamphetamine

The vandals may be breaking the law but they are trying to do some good. Andrew Hopgood, an anti-methamphetamine and drug counsellor has said that the stunt is actually getting people talking about the issue. He said, “Kapiti is swimming in the stuff … it’s a massive problem and I can’t play it down.”

He went on to say that in the past two weeks, he saw over a dozen Kapiti residents seek treatment for drug addition.

What are you views on the vandalism in Kapiti?

What do you think about the vandalism in Kapiti? Is it a good way to raise drug awareness or are there better ways to go about it? Let us know in the comment box below.

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Ewan Hollander

Just sharing things that interest me in the hopes that they interest others as well

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