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Free Removal Service

Tauranga City Council offers a free graffiti removal service for residential and small business property owners unable to cope with the problem themselves. This service is aimed at delivering a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to graffiti vandalism.

If the graffiti appears to be artwork where permission was granted for the work to be done, it will not be removed.

Eligibility Criteria

This service is available to residential and small business properties that have tagging on a wall, fence, structure or garage door which is immediately adjacent to the footpath/road.

Important:  The following are not eligible for this free removal service.

  • The back of premises and areas not immediately adjacent to the road.
  • Surfaces higher than two stories.
  • Houses/buildings within private properties, not directly adjacent to Council land. 
  • Housing New Zealand Corporation properties as they have their own graffiti removal programme. 
  • Large business/organisations eg banks, petrol stations, supermarket, shopping malls, shopping complexes etc. 
  • Infrastructure owned by utility providers eg. Telecom, Powerco, NZ Rail. 
  • School structures eg. fences, access-ways. 
  • Where the building or surface is graffiti guarded with a special graffiti protection coating. Graffiti guard coatings require the use of special chemicals that our contractors do not carry.
  • Street trees and trees in Council Parks
  • Vacant, derelict buildings
  • Adshel bus shelters
  • Assets within parks (not including fences on shared boundaries)

Removal Tips

How you tackle the graffiti on your property will depend upon the material used by the taggers (usually oil-based spray paint or felt tips) and the type of surface tagged (discuss removal with the supplier or manufacturer before starting).

  • Try to remove tags when they are fresh by using methylated spirits, turps, paint stripper, dishwashing liquid, branded graffiti removal products or oven cleaner. 
  • Paint your walls or fences in dark colours. Colours that will cover in one coat are most effective, i.e green or brown. If the surface is a lighter colour than the graffiti you may get a ghosting effect. 
  • A painted wall is easier to keep graffiti free because any further tags can simply be painted over. 
  • Clean unpainted walls or fences by sanding or water blasting. 
  • Keep any unused fence paint and a brush handy in case you need to cover over tagging. 
  • Protect the driveway and footpath from paint drops and spills when painting out tagging. 
  • The chemicals in graffiti removal products can be hazardous so always wear protective clothing (including a mask) and store out of children’s reach.

Protected Surfaces

Graffiti protection coatings are painted on top of natural or painted surfaces to form a protective shield. Graffiti will stick to the protective coat instead of the original surface.

Many different products are available and are usually either clear or sacrificial coats. Clear coat is a long-life, hardened cover similar to a clear varnish or paint, from which the graffiti can be wiped. Sacrificial coats are totally or partially removed with the graffiti.

Before purchasing a graffiti protection coating, we suggest you consider the cost and what product best suits your situation. You may require professional advice.

Community Graffiti Removal Programmes

Council encourages property owners to take a greater responsibility and ownership of their community in helping to reduce this crime. We provide paint to those who wish to become actively involved in helping with the rapid removal of tagging in their areas. If you would like to know more or help with rapid removal of tagging in your local area please contact us on 07 577 7000.

Last Reviewed: 28/11/2016