‘Kiro must go for tagging stance’

Stuff.co.nz 03 April 2008

The Sensible Sentencing Trust has accused Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro of attempting to legitimise graffiti and tagging and called for her resignation. Dr Kiro made the comments in a submission to the Law and Order Select Committee hearing submissions on the Summary Offences (Tagging and Graffiti Vandalism) amendment Bill. “For some people, graffiti and tagging are seen as a legitimate art form,” she said.

Justice watchdog the Sensible Sentencing Trust says the Commissioner’s comments endorse vandalism and she should resign. Trust spokesman Garth McVicar said he was absolutely staggered that someone with a responsibility for the protection and well-being of young people could make such an inflammatory statement. “Dr Kiro has given every wannabe tagger and vandal permissions to commit crime, providing they say that it was an expression of their history or a legitimate art form,” he said. “Her comments are hugely provocative at a time when a decent hard-working citizen is facing a murder charge because of his frustration over this issue.”
READ WHAT SHE SAID to the Select Committee
“For some people, graffiti and tagging are seen as legitimate art forms. There is history and social commentary behind these art forms. I am aware there is strong public opinions regarding the issue of graffiti and tagging and its impact on both public and private spaces. Interestingly, these public spaces are often environments that children and young people are alienated from. I believe that children and young people need to be included in decisions relating to the use of public spaces. Moving forward I believe solutions need to appropriately balance the rights of property owners and the rights of children and young people…”