Wanaka police officers likened their new headquarters to a
luxury hotel yesterday as they settled in to the town's
just-finished $3 million station.
Contractors were still carrying out the finishing touches on
the building in Ballantyne Rd, before it opened for business
around 5pm yesterday.
A ''closed'' sign was posted at the old police premises in
Helwick St, nearly 40 years after it opened as a sole-charge
Police sub-area commander Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said
because Wanaka now had a much larger police presence - 15
sworn officers and two non-sworn staff - moving out of the
cramped old quarters was a relief.
''It's almost like the old girl knows we're leaving; things
are starting to break down. I don't think there's too much
sadness [about moving] to be honest.''
The shift to the spacious new facility had been ''quite
smooth'' and had taken a small handful of staff just a day
and a-half to complete.
''It's all new furniture [at the new station], so really it's
just a matter of moving files, personal effects and stores.''
There was ''a buzz'' among his staff yesterday as the
long-awaited move became a reality, Snr Sgt Grindell said.
An official opening is planned for early October. A public
open day will be held the following week.