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WEB EXCLUSIVE: The Rainbow Crossing on Karangahape Road has been vandalised

NEWS

Written by Caeden Tipler (they/them) @caedentipler | News Editor


The Karangahape Road Rainbow crossing has been vandalised overnight. The attack feels particularly targeted on a street that has served as an oasis for Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland’s queer communities for decades, the centrepoint connecting Lim Chhour Supermarket to St Kevins Arcade now being covered in white paint.


This comes soon after a similar attack took place in Tairāwhiti/Gisborne. Protestors from Destiny Church covered their rainbow crossing in white paint on Monday night, stopping traffic as a part of a protest of a drag event. Despite their protests, the event continued at Gisborne Library. 


Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick said of the incident, “It’s sad and bizarre some people are spending their energy suppressing simple symbols of the visibility of our - my - rainbow community.”


Auckland Counsellor Lotu Fuli told 95bFM she condemned the attack and that Council would be discussing it as “concerned Aucklanders and governors of Auckland.”


Earlier this year, Debate wrote about our concerns about where this Government’s hostile attitudes towards rainbow and takatāpui communities could lead Aotearoa. New Zealand First’s policy is still to exclude trans women from bathrooms and playing sports. They’ve never denounced candidate Lee Donoghue’s view that trans people are responsible for their own discrimination, and party leader Winston Peters spoke about removing gender and sexuality education from our schools in his recent State Of The Nation speech in Te Papaioea/Palmerston North.  


Auckland Transport infrastructure project manager Mark Banfield described the attack as “an appalling act of vandalism.” He stated, “The crossing is an important part of the street that celebrates the rainbow community, and we will be seeing what can be done to remediate it as soon as possible.”


The attack on the Rainbow Crossing in Tairāwhiti was linked to Destiny Church, and leader Brian Tamaki called it “amazing” and insinuated the church would continue to paint over other rainbow crossings. Despite this, Tamaki claims he had no direct involvement in the vandalism in Tāmaki Makaurau, but praised the culprits who remain anonymous. 


Last year, Destiny Church members revved up their engines outside a peaceful protest for trans rights, one member clipping Green MP Marama Davidson with their motorcycle handle, and others pushing down trans rights protestors on Queen Street.


The rainbow crossing in Tairāwhiti has now been restored, less than two days after it was initially vandalised. At least we know the Rainbow crossing on Karangahape will return brighter, the white paint acting as the perfect undercoat as it did in Tairāwhiti.  


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