The state of New Zealand’s roads has been a hot topic in the recent past, following a flurry of discussions around infrastructure upgrades and road safety.
Despite the government’s investments in maintenance, Kiwi roads are still among the lowest rated in the developed world, full of ‘patchwork quilt’ surface changes, potholes, and other safety risks.
One particular road with these problems is Old North Road in Kumeu, and at least one local appears to have had enough. While on location, NZ Autocar photographer Tom Gasnier spotted a host of spray-painted penises on various potholes along the rural stretch.
At least four of the illustrations were spotted along a relatively short stretch of the road, each a different size compared to the next. One of the larger drawings circled a patch of road that had sunken, with a pothole forming within. One of the smaller ones was next to a significant gouge in the road surface.
NZ Autocar contacted both the Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport. A spokesperson from the former said that the road was managed by Auckland Transport and advised us to pursue them. We are still waiting on Auckland Transport’s response.
This is not the first time that potholes have attracted drawings of genitals in order to emphasise a state of disrepair. In early 2019 a similar campaign in Teeside, which is part of Middlesborough in England, went viral. The potholes were eventually repaired, but only after the drawings had sat for a year according to claims from locals.
Closer to home, in February earlier this year two drawings of genitals sprouted on State Highway 16 near Kumeu. Road safety campaigner Geoff Upson confirmed to Stuff that he was responsible for the drawings. We have contacted Upson to check whether this latest penises are also his work.