Tradie exposes shoddy roadside paint job: 'People are just dumbfounded'

A now viral video of the roadside paint job has racked up nearly a million views – and plenty of frustration from locals.

Geoff Upson pictured with his dog and the road where the lines were painted on dirt.
The local tradie has called out city authorities over the dodgy road job. Source: Facebook

Some days at work, it's easier just to go through the motions. That appears to be the case for one group of public servants who have been exposed for a rather lazy effort that has rendered part of their work almost completely useless.

Road contractors were tasked with administering a fresh line of paint along the side of an Auckland road to allow drivers to more easily see where they're going. However unfortunately for motorists, and taxpayers, the fresh paint won't be there for long.

Local man Geoff Upson came across the road markings earlier this week and in a now viral video showed how the workers missed the asphalt and instead simply "painted on top of all the vegetation built up on the side of the road."

Geoff is a road safety campaigner in New Zealand, albeit with a rather unusual style, and is elected to the local council board while also working full-time as a tradie. He told Yahoo News Australia he spotted the paint job as he drove past on Friday.

"I thought I'd just quickly do this video on my way to work," he said. "I stopped for something to eat at about 11 o'clock and had a look and it was just going out of control - it was quite funny.

"People are just dumbfounded and shocked," he added.

A shot showing the dirt removed (left) and the road line before it was disturbed (right).
The line on the side of the road was painted on top of dirt and easily brushed away. Source: Facebook

In the video, Geoff pulls away the vegetation and, of course, the white line disappears with it.

"Basically they've just painted on top of a big pile of dirt," he says in the clip, showing the mistake was made over a stretch of road spanning at least 30 metres.

In just over 24 hours the video has been watched nearly a million times, racking up more than 4,000 comments on Facebook from frustrated and angry Kiwis who were quite to hit out at officials.

"It's not just this issue, it's so many other issues between Auckland Transport and road contractors where there's such substandard work being done with no oversight," Geoff said. "It's quite frustrating and that's why people have resonated" with the video so much.

Speaking to Yahoo, he explained he'd actually reported the build-up of dirt along the side of the road back in January. "They sort of tried to sweep it in February ... but just just two months on [and] they have done this."

With the video reaching hundreds of thousands of people, Geoff expects he will likely hear back from city authorities "on Monday or Tuesday when everyone is back in the office," he laughed.

It's certainly going to be an awkward start to the work week for some.

Geoff is no stranger to keeping local authorities honest. Before he won a seat to be on the local council board a couple of years ago, he made headlines for spray-painting phalluses around road potholes in an effort to shame Auckland Transport into having them repaired. It was a move that got him dubbed the "infamous penis Picasso" in New Zealand's media – as well as a stern warning from police at the time.

An earlier photo of Geoff, pictured with his ute on the side of the road.
An earlier photo of Geoff, dubbed the 'penis Picasso'. Source:

Speaking to local publication Stuff in 2022 after winning a seat on the council board in the rural area, he expressed surprise at his political ascendency.

"I honestly didn’t think the campaign was going that well. I only spent $4,000," he said. "And I’ve mainly been putting rubber ducks into potholes."

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