12 Apr 2024

Suspect in Karangahape Road rainbow crossing vandalism case arrested

11:56 am on 12 April 2024
The rainbow crossing on Auckland's Karangahape Road was covered in white paint overnight. Rain overnight washed much of the paint away, but remnants could still be seen on the crossing, 28 March 2024.

Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

A man has been arrested after the vandalism of Karangahape Road's rainbow crossing.

The pedestrian crossing on the central Auckland city street was covered in white paint two weeks ago, just days after Destiny Church members did the same to a rainbow crossing in Gisborne.

It was not clear if Destiny was involved with the vandalism in Auckland.

Police on Friday said they had arrested a 31-year-old Auckland man, who will appear in Auckland District Court on Monday next week.

"While this matter is now before the court, and we are limited in further comment, the investigation remains ongoing," Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Allan said.

"We have received several reports of information to date, which were vital in us making this arrest. Police are also continuing to appeal for information from the public to identify three other people believed to be involved.

"At this stage, the vehicle of interest has also not yet been located and we are continuing to make enquiries."

Anyone with information on the incident were urged to contact police on 105 or online, citing reference file number 240328/6111, or anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police earlier said they were treating the vandalism as a hate crime.

Meanwhile, Auckland Pride is calling for a restorative justice approach to the offending, focusing on repairing relationships between victims, offenders, and the community while at the same time keeping considerations of justice in mind.

Co-chair Quack Pirihi said solutions were needed that protected communities and built an equitable Aotearoa.

Co-chair Bhenjamin Goodsir said: "As a queer, community led organisation, we stand ready to work with and alongside those who are responsible to find a process of healing and restoration that can show that there's a better way forward for our communities."

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