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Sunday, 24 March 2019 10:58 am

Kapiti candidate sick of scouring district fixing bashed billboards

DAVID SCOTT: Expects his billboards to be damaged every day and twice at weekends.

DAVID SCOTT: Expects his billboards to be damaged every day and twice a day on weekends.

VANDALS are stealing, defacing and smashing up Kapiti election billboards – to the disgust of some candidates.

The persistent vandalism is a major reason councillor David Scott is not standing as district-wide councillor again.

He is running for Paraparaumu ward councillor only this time after his 2007 election campaign was marred by having to constantly monitor and replace signs all across the district, which runs from Paekakariki to Otaki.

Even now he expects his [five] billboards to be destroyed each day “and twice a day on weekends”.

He points out some of the heavier billboards have been chain-sawn down, and a well-placed camera with police follow-up would prevent the problem.

Exposed nails at the back of Jonny Best's billboard.

EXPOSED NAILS: The back of Jonny Best's billboard.

Vandals will need to be careful if they try to deface a billboard  promoting Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board candidate Jonny Best – there is a row of nails exposed along the framing at the back of the poster.

K (Guru) Gurunathan, standing for Paraparaumu ward, has one of the most vandal-proof signs in the region – stuck atop scaffolding on a Paraparaumu building site.

He says he chose the location to have some fun at the council’s expense, because the building will be leased by its accounts department. He was not thinking about keeping his billboard out of harm’s way.

“The vandalism is a bloody nuisance but I understand it,” he says.

OUT OF REACH: K Gurunathan has fun at council's expense advertising on a building it will lease.

OUT OF REACH: K Gurunathan is advertising on a building the council will lease.

With so many billboards around, they are an easy target and it’s almost like asking for it. “The billboards are visual pollution anyway, but at least it’s for a limited period.”

Hilary Wooding, standing for Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board, says she is not putting up any boards because she got sick of having to rescue them last time.

“My partner would take them down Friday night and put them back up Monday morning.”

Ms Wooding says vandalism is not as bad this year because candidates have built stronger signage.

First-time district-wide councillor candidate Doris Zuur says she was warned to expect regular damage but doesn’t let it affect her.

“After the first night we realised it’s not personal – it was just easy to punch out because we had staple-gunned [the board] to the post instead of screwing it in.”

DORIS ZUUR: Down but not taking vandalism personally.
DORIS ZUUR: Down but not taking vandalism personally.

Paraparaumu’s Elizabeth Taylor Graphics has produced hundreds of posters on flute boards for candidates around the district.

Owner Tim Beere says his company will replace any damaged boards for half price.

Kapiti Coast District Council electoral officer Jude Wadsworth says if candidates have spent their allowed budgets, they cannot spend more replacing damaged billboards.

All billboards must come down by midnight on October 8.

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