Tagging is on the rise again in Christchurch's red zone and cleaning up the graffiti is estimated to cost the city council almost $2 million.
The council said graffiti declined by 27% after the February 2011 earthquake but has risen sharply again, with more than 2000 new tags reported by residents.
A community group picked up paint brushes on Sunday morning in an effort to clean up the worst affected areas of New Brighton.
City councillor Glenn Livingstone says the group Graffiti Busters painted over graffiti in New Brighton Mall using paint and brushes provided by the council.
About 70 volunteers from the Church of God also helped to clean up the mall.