Mark Wilding, 45, was asleep when he heard banging on his Karamu Rd house at 3.15am on July 11.

He noticed tags on his property and followed two youths from a distance of about 50 metres as they made their way along another street, where they stopped to tag a power box outside a service station.

Police arrived, guided by Mr Wilding, and arrested the pair.

....Mr Wilding, who runs an upholstery business from his property, said he would be willing to attend a restorative justice conference. The youths were probably aware he was following them but still tagged the power box, he said. "I was on the phone to the cops. I said: `They're doing it right in front of me.' I couldn't believe it."

Thoughts of confronting the pair did not cross his mind and the actions of Bruce Emery, who stabbed and killed Pihema Cameron in 2008 after catching him tagging his garage, were "completely over the top", he said. "They're just kids out with spray paint. [But] by tagging they're telling us we have to live in a slum."

It was an example of "bored kids who lacked hope". He was not in favour if punishing them but would like to meet them to help them understand how pointless tagging was.

Council staff painted over the tags on Mr Wilding's building at no cost to him.

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