New Zealand: Banks and police stations vandalised by ‘pinkwashing’ activists

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

Banks and police stations in New Zealand have been vandalised by queer activists – just days after a Pride-themed cash machine was targeted.

Paint was last week thrown over a ‘GAYTM’ at a branch of Australia and New Zealand bank ANZ – which had installed a number of colourful ATMs to celebrate the country’s Pride season.

A group calling itself ‘Queers against Injustice’ claimed responsibility for the first attack, which it says was to protest against the bank’s use of Pride symbols.

The same branch in Ponsonby, Auckland has now been attacked with paint again, alongside the Mt Eden branch and a number of police stations – with vandals leaving notes critical of Israel.

The note reads: “PINKWASHING: a term used to describe how the LGBTQIA struggle is co-opted to whitewash over unethical behaviour.

“1. Israel uses a pro-LGBTQIA stance to distract attention from its military occupation of PALESTINE.

“2. We see it in AOTEAROA [the Maori name for New Zealand] when corporations (such as ANZ) strategically use gay-friendly marketing to increase profits by exploiting their workers’ rights.

“3. We saw it at the PRIDE parade on Saturday when a Maori transwoman was tackled by a security guard, her arm broken, and she was refused medical attention by police while she was protesting the inclusion of a POLICE float in the parade.”

City Western Area Commander Inspector Jacqui Whittaker told Stuff.NZ: “I’d certainly welcome the opportunity to discuss this group’s issues with them, in person and with no paint tins around.

“Police generally and I personally are proud of the fact we embrace diversity when it comes to those communities we police and the people we work with.”

The bank tweeted: “Pnsby ANZ attacked again. Shame people resort to vandalism to make a statement. Staff – str8 &LGBTI alike – gutted.”

“A bit of paint won’t stop this #GAYTMNZ looking fabulous for the Pride Parade. Great work on the clean up guys!”