Another NZ Rainbow Crossing Destroyed, Police Treating It As A Hate Crime

Another NZ Rainbow Crossing Destroyed, Police Treating It As A Hate Crime
Image: Rainbow crossing in Auckland being vandalised. Sources: Brian Tamaki from X, Stuff.co.nz, @aucklandcitynight00 on TikTok

The New Zealand rainbow street crossing saga continues, as members of the far-right Destiny Church continue to paint over rainbow crossings across the North Island, despite members being arrested. 

Following an earlier incident on Sunday March 25th where the Church painted over Gisborne’s pride crossing in protest of a drag storytime event, church members have targeted a rainbow crossing on Karangahape Road in Auckland. 

Videos show three members of the church vandalising the crossing with white paint at 3:20am, preventing cars from passing. 

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Karangahape Road, or ‘K Road’, is Auckland’s most notable street for the local LGBTQI+ community and has long been a hub for queer nightlife.

The rainbow crossing was completed in February 2021 during Auckland’s Pride Festival to celebrate and include queer people in the local community. 

Police label vandalism as hate crimes

Police are taking the act seriously and have undertaken a number of enquiries into the crime since it occurred. Inspector Grant Tetzlaff labelled the act an “appalling act of vandalism” and shared details on the steps Auckland Police have taken to investigate the incident.

“Police attended an address in Flat Bush, which was believed to be linked to the owners of the registered vehicle,” Inspector Tetzlaff said. “As a result of our enquiries, a number of items were seized. However, Police are yet to locate the vehicle involved.”

Inspector Tetzlaff emphasised that police have no tolerance for crimes such as these and confirmed that it is being treated as a hate crime.

He asked those who committed the crime to come forward, and acknowledged the impact on local citizens.

“We are aware of the hurt and confusion from the community at what has occurred and we want to reassure the public we are committed to holding those involved to account.” 

Assault after pride flag raised outside church

Local Auckland man and veteran protester Zane Wedding has also alleged that he was assaulted by members of the Destiny Church after he raised a pride flag on public property outside of the Church’s location. On Twitter/X, Wedding shared:

However, a Destiny Church spokesperson called Wedding a ‘mischief-maker’ in a statement to local paper NewsHub.

“Our security team noted that a prowler was on the church’s private property, and the prowler proceeded to climb a tree to erect a flag,” said the Destiny Church member. 

“Our security team and the police noted that the guy already had a black eye, so I sincerely hope he is not trying to accuse us of this, for the sake of a bit of drama to suit their case.” 

Wedding responded by saying that members of the church “100%” gave him the black eye.

Charges laid in Gisborne

Meanwhile, police arrested three people on March 29th for their involvement in the Gisborne rainbow crossing vandalism. Two men and one woman have had charges laid against them and are expected to appear in court tomorrow on Wednesday April 3rd.

Information is still sought regarding a fourth individual’s involvement in the Gisborne incident, and investigations into the vandalism at Karangahape Road are ongoing. 

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