Auckland’s Karangahape Road rainbow crossing covered in white paint

A rainbow crossing in central Auckland has been painted over with white paint overnight.

Police confirmed they were investigating the vandalism of the crossing and were asking the public to help identify a person and vehicle seen at the scene early Thursday morning.

A spokesperson from Auckland Council confirmed the crossing on Karangahape Road had been painted over.

Rain overnight has washed much of the white paint away, but remnants can still be seen on the crossing.

Auckland Central MP and Green Party co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick told Morning Report she was contacted by local constituents and businesses before the sun came up about the crossing.

They were “furious”, she said.

“All I can really see here is a sad, bizarre and petty use of energy.”

Police are asking the public to help them identify a person and car after K Road's rainbow crossing was covered in white paint overnight on 27-28 March 2024.

Swarbrick said Auckland Central and Karangahape Road had a long and proud rainbow history, and it would be cleaned up.

“There’s an obvious reason why the person who has done this has decided not to put their name or their face anywhere near what they have done.”

Swarbrick expected there to be an “overflow” of support for the rainbow community following this and would end up with “egg on the faces” of those who did it.

“I’ve had a lot of constituents say this morning that ‘they have absolutely no idea who they’re messing with’.”

Police are asking the public to help them identify a person and car after K Road's rainbow crossing was covered in white paint overnight on 27-28 March 2024.

She said it was up to political leaders not to participate in this “nonsense” and stand up for these communities.

An RNZ reporter at the scene said the paint had been “slapped” over the crossing. There were tyre prints and footprints through it, and paint had made its way to the footpath as well as along the road.

No one had yet claimed responsibility for painting over the crossing but Destiny Church – who had painted over a rainbow crossing in Gisborne earlier this week – had been contacted for comment.

On Karangahape Road, members of the public said the person’s actions were cowardly and put people at risk.

Bones said it was “incredibly cowardly” to do the act in the middle of the night with what appeared to be water-based paint.

“It’s created a blank canvas which will brighten the rainbow when we go to paint over it again. All they’ve done is make a small inconvenience for drivers today and shown that they’re really cowardly and they don’t have any sort of impact on us apart from messing up the road a little bit.

It was “incredibly disappointing and a cowardly show of homophobia”.

The rainbow crossing on Auckland's Karangahape Road was covered in white paint overnight. Rain overnight washed much of the paint away, but remnants could still be seen on the crossing, 28 March 2024.

Toby Tomkinson said it was clearly copying what had happened in Gisborne earlier this week.

It was putting people at risk – not only for the potential encouragement of hate crimes, but also for drivers on slippery paint.

K Road was the “soul of the city” and showed the city’s inclusivity and support for the rainbow community.

It was important to repaint the crossing to show whoever vandalised it that it was not an acceptable action.

Leon Dahl said the road was an “institution” and had shown its support for the rainbow community for decades.

The crossing portrayed the character and colour of the street, he said.

The rainbow crossing on Auckland's K Road was painted over with white paint overnight on 27-28 March 2024.

Wellington City Council said it had CCTV cameras that could view the city’s rainbow crossing and it was hoping not to need further security measures.

Mayor Tory Whanau said she completely and utterly condemned acts of hate against rainbow whānau anywhere in Aotearoa.

“In this city, discrimination will never be tolerated. Pōneke is a place where everyone can live with dignity, equality, and respect. End of story.”

A council spokesperson said the rainbow crossing showed Wellington City Council’s commitment to recognising diversity and inclusion in the capital.

“Building a city that rainbow communities feel safe and included is a key priority for council, and is embraced by the majority of the city – and we don’t tolerate intolerance.”

Police investigating

Police are asking the public to help identify this person after the rainbow crossing on Auckland's K Road was painted over on 27-28 March.

Auckland city central area commander inspector Grant Tetzlaff said police were called at 3.20am and told three people had poured paint on the rainbow crossing before leaving in a vehicle.

“The vehicle had the registration plates removed and the persons had their faces concealed,” he said.

Police were checking CCTV footage and asked for help to find the vehicle which Tetzlaff described as “distinctive, high gloss grey or white colour, with black roof racks and mag wheels”.

“We have no tolerance for reports of this nature, and when it appears to directly target a particular sector of our diverse community,” he said.

Anyone with information can contact police on the 105 number, online using Update My Report, or anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 using the reference file number 240328/6111.

In a similar incident in Gisborne, five people were arrested on Wednesday after a group of protesters returned to Gisborne’s rainbow crossing with paint cans. The crossing had been restored after protest group linked with Destiny Church covered it in white paint in opposition to a drag storytime event at the local library.

Hastings District Council on Tuesday cancelled its Rainbow Storytime event due to safety concerns, after councillors and staff received “a large number” of threatening and intimidating messages.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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