A group of primary school children were caught tagging a building in Leeston in what is believed to be a copycat act, say police.
Senior Constable Nigel Craythorne said the children, aged around eight and nine years old, were found tagging the Masonic Hall on Market St a week after a spate of graffiti in the township.
In a separate copycat incident another tag appeared on the Leeston Dairy sign on High St.
"It's a different style [to the originals], as if it's a bit of a copycat," said Senior Constable Craythorne.
St John's church hall and 11 businesses were defaced in the original attack on November 24.
Senior Constable Craythorne said the offenders went to great lengths to leave their mark in bright orange spray paint.
" If they fall off a balcony or the top of a roof they could break their necks."
He said there had been a couple of episodes of minor tagging in Leeston since the initial spate two weeks ago.
"The town is up in arms about it, and fairly so. It's disgusting," he said.
Senior Constable Craythorne urged local businesses to get rid of the evidence to prevent copycat behaviour.
"We encourage people if you're a victim of tagging, if at all possible, remove it. I know it's a pain when it's high up," he said.
"It's an eyesore, but also it stops people copycatting, and with the offenders it gets rid of their handiwork so they can't admire their work every time they drive down the main street."
Police have had "no joy'' catching the original culprits.
Senior Constable Craythorne said the graffiti did not match any tagging in the graffiti database and police did not have any leads.
"We've had a couple of names nominated but nothing to support charges at this stage," he said. "Nobody has come forward to say they saw anything."
Police are waiting for possible security camera footage from a Leeston business to help them identify the offenders.
Anyone with information is asked to phone Senior Constable Craythorne, Leeston Police on 378 0150.