Neighbour disputes artwork claims

George disputes the claims he is defacing his neighbours artwork. Photo: John Borren.

The man accused of defacing his neighbour’s artwork claims the allegations are false.

The Weekend Sun reported last week that Welcome Bay resident James Parker is claiming his neighbour is rubbing dirt on art he’s painted on his internal fences.

However, James’ neighbour George, who did not want his surname used, alleges the accusations are false and James has no evidence.

James also said when he first painted the Maori cultural pieces they were painted out by George.

George admits to painting out the art the first time, but it was on an easement that they both have the right to use. James then repainted the pictures and George says he decided to leave them. “This happened around two years ago,” says George.

He alleges the first time the art was painted it was done to intimidate them.

James says he painted the art as a form of protection for him and his land.

George claims James is verbally abusive to him and his wife whenever they go there and uses “every word you could think of”.

“I didn't think it would go this far,” George says.

George and his wife bought the land around four years ago and wanted to build their last home to retire in and enjoy the water. But now they say they are afraid to live there. They plan to sell the house they are building when it is finished.

He won’t visit the property alone and his wife refuses to go there.

“We've had four-and-a-half years of hell from this guy, and we've done nothing wrong except trying to build a house,” says George. “He’s just intimidating us.”

George wants to resolve things so they just leave each other alone.

“We don't have to talk to each other, just be polite.”

James has filed three complaints with the police for willful damage.

A police spokesperson has confirmed the complaints have been made, with the most recent being on January 31 this year.

The spokesperson says the officer in charge isn’t able to provide any further information, but any new information that comes to light will be assessed.

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