Auckland Transport to chase road campaigner over penis pothole protest

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 4 May 2021, 1:46PM
Geoff Upson pictured with one of the many penises he has drawn on Old North Road in the past three years. Photo / File
Geoff Upson pictured with one of the many penises he has drawn on Old North Road in the past three years. Photo / File

Auckland Transport to chase road campaigner over penis pothole protest

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 4 May 2021, 1:46PM

Auckland Transport is vowing to take legal action over penises drawn on its roads to highlight dangerous undulations and potholes because it won't tolerate vandalism.

But the man behind the graphic pictures says he is careful to make sure he only draws on parts of the road that need replacing anyway and always wears a hi-vis vest to ensure his safety.

Road safety campaigner Geoff Upson received a call from police at the end of last week because they had received a complaint from a member of the public about his latest penis drawings on Old North Rd on SH16.

Upson admitted to police that he was responsible for the road art and was told they would liaise with Auckland Transport before getting back to him.

He initially drew penises on what he describes as the dangerous undulations in February, but returned last week to touch them up because they had faded and the road had still not been repaired.

Upson said he only drew penises when the problem area of the road was big enough - otherwise it would just be a smaller circle around a pothole.

He drew his first penises around a number of potholes near his home on Kahikatea Flat Rd, near Waitoki, in 2018 after complaining to Auckland Transport 20 times over the state of a road and continuously being ignored.

Since then Upson estimated he had carried out about 100 drawings - some of them penises.

In his view, the council only had one job and that was to make sure the roads were safe and they weren't doing that, he said.

"If they come out and fix the road then 100 per cent of my drawing will be removed."

Auckland Transport planned to lay a complaint with Police over the latest vandalism on Old North Rd.

Auckland Transport spokesperson Natalie Polley said the graffiti had placed the person doing it at risk, as well as potentially causing a safety risk and a distraction for other drivers.

The Old North Rd potholes would be repaired soon and AT was keeping track of the costs to remove the markings so that it could be passed onto the culprit.

"We have a process to charge for damage. We cannot expect the ratepayer to fund vandalism."