During yesterday's official opening of the new Wanaka
Police Station, Wanaka sub-area commander Senior Sergeant
Allan Grindell (standing) introduces Assistant Commissioner
of Police Grant Nicholls (left) and Michael Woodhouse,
representing the Minister of Police, who flank Waitaki MP
Jacqui Dean. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
New Zealand Police dignitaries were on hand to officially
open the Wanaka Police Station yesterday, at the same time as
the first search and rescue operation to be launched from the
new building started.
About 60 guests attended the ceremony at the new station in
Ballantyne Rd, a month after it became operational, including
representatives from local government, tangata whenua, the
community, LandSAR and police staff.
National MP Michael Woodhouse represented Minister of Police
Anne Tolley at the event, while Assistant Commissioner of
Police Grant Nicholls officiated on behalf of New Zealand
The ceremony began with a karakia (prayers) before guests
were welcomed by Wanaka sub-area commander Senior Sergeant
Allan Grindell, who told the crowd police and LandSAR Wanaka
members were in the midst of organising a search and rescue
operation behind the scenes at the new station.
During his speech, Mr Woodhouse acknowledged the close
co-operation and co-location of Wanaka police and LandSAR at
the station, and said it was ''rather poignant'' an operation
was under way during the building's official opening.
Asst Comm Nicholls said the New Zealand Police wanted to
provide better services for people visiting police premises -
whether they were witnesses, complainants, victims of crime
or offenders - and stations like Wanaka's provided that
''Modern police stations like this are a world away from the
austere and sometimes grim places we remember from history,''
Asst Comm Nicholls said.
''While the prospect of visiting a police station may be a
challenge for some, I know the staff who work within this
building will make it a warm and welcoming environment for
all who enter.''
He also praised Wanaka police for a 16% reduction in crime
during the past year and a 6.5% reduction the previous year.
The ceremony finished with a blessing of the building by
police chaplain Jim Patrick before guests were offered a tour
of the new station. A public open day will be held at the
station on October 19 from 10am to 2pm.