A popular GAYTM money machine on Ponsonby Road was vandalised overnight, just one day before Auckland’s Pride Festival.
GAYTMs were introduced by ANZ Australia last year to celebrate Sydney’s Mardi Gras and were also commissioned in New Zealand as part of the bank’s diversity programme.
Pink paint was thrown onto the floral and sequined ATM, designed by Auckland artist Reuben Patterson. A handwritten note was left, however, the paint hid the message and it’s unclear what the note said.
A group called Queers Against Injustice has since claimed responsibility for defacing the GAYTM to protest the company’s “pinkwashing” and “commercialisation” of the Auckland Pride Festival and treatment of their workers.
The group posted a statement on #500 words – on arts and culture on February 21, saying they targeted the GAYTM “to draw attention to the commercialisation of the Pride Festival” and to “the way ANZ is using GAYTMs to distract attention from the treatment of their workers”.
Many members of the gay community have expressed their disappointment on GayNZ.com’s Facebook page, saying it’s “not a productive way to get a message across”.
ANZ external communications manager Stefan Herrick says it’s “disappointing” and that “the vandalism at our ATM was perhaps felt most by our Pride Network staff”.
The GAYTM machine has since been cleaned up and police are investigating.
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