Address to opening of Christchurch South Police Station

  • Judith Collins

Police Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope

Canterbury District Commander, Dave Cliff

MC: Senior Constable Keith du Dulin

Mayor: Bob Parker

Kaumatua: John Panirau and Tuhurouta Mike Kaui

Southern Area Commander Malcolm Johnston

Reverend Father Miles O'Malley

Senior Sergeant Rob Patterson

Detective Senior Sergeant John Rae

Member of Police and their families

Members of Parliament: Nicky Wagner and Amy Adams

Invited Guests

Tena koutou katoa

Warmest greetings to you all

It's great to be here, and thank you for that warm introduction.

As Police Minister, few things give me greater pleasure than the opportunity to open a new police station.

The opening of this impressive facility today is proof of our commitment to a police service that is well supported and well resourced.

For many years, police in this growing part of Christchurch have worked out of a cramped converted police house and a warehouse.

I think it is fair to say that for those officers, the opening of this building today could not come soon enough.

This building is more than just a modern, spacious and well-equipped base for police in this fast-growing community.

It is an investment in the future of Christchurch's southern suburbs.

In the past ten months six Police stations have opened. This will be the seventh.

In each case, a large number of people from the local community have turned out to watch the opening and to wish the police well.

These buildings represent not just a base for police, but a power for good in the community.

They represent the collective will of the police and the people to make their communities better and safer places to live.

This is why it gives me such great pride to be with you today as you celebrate the opening of this impressive building which will be the nerve centre for police in Christchurch South. My colleague, the Honourable David Carter, has long campaigned for this day and sends his apologies because of a prior engagement.

But, from today, Christchurch South police will have a state-of-the-art facility with which to serve this community now and into the future.

For the first time in more than a decade, uniform staff and CIB will be together under one roof, which will allow a better flow of information, more cohesive teams and a more efficient working environment.

It will have a dedicated room for major operations and a backup facility for South Comms.

As far back as 1993, a handful of far-sighted officers saw the need for a purpose-built base to replace the converted three-bedroom house and warehouse that accommodated police officers responsible for the southern half of the city.

While a project of this scale is a team effort, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge those officers whose ideas and determination helped make this new facility possible.

To retired Senior Sergeant Mike Moore and Sergeant Lew Corbett: today's opening is the realisation of a vision you have had for many years and have worked so hard to bring to reality.

You lobbied hard for this building, and were undeterred by setbacks in the early days. Thank you both for your energy and your perseverance.

I would also like to acknowledge the work of Senior Sergeant Rob Patterson. Since the project was approved, he and a representative team from Christchurch South have had a hands-on role in the design of the facility and overseen construction.

To you all - thank you and congratulations.

I think all of you today have something in common and that is a vision for this community.

You want it to be happy, safe and prosperous, where people take pride and have a sense of ownership, where people pull together for the common good, and where people can put down roots and build a better future for their families.

Catching criminals and providing support for victims will always be the first priority of the police.

But there is another role that is just as important, and that is to help build a community where crime cannot take hold. This will mean an emphasis on engaging with the community at all levels.

Already the positioning of this station on Colombo Street, which is a main thoroughfare, has resulted in an increase in people coming into the station to report crimes or talk to police.

A feature of this building is community rooms, which brings the people of Christchurch South into the heart of the operation to talk, hold meetings and to build relationships.

The building has a strong focus on victims of crime and the need for them to feel safe, with designated interview rooms that are not used for offenders, and Victim Support facilities.

I would like to acknowledge the other organisations that have played a part in making this facility a reality.

I would like to extend a special thanks to the Christchurch City Council, Community Boards and other community leaders who have fully supported this project from its inception.

It is great to see strong links between police and local government.

Partnerships such as this will be even more important in the future as police set priorities and to take proactive, community-level action on preventing crime.

Thank you, again for inviting me to join you today.

Congratulations to those who have worked so hard on behalf of the police and this community, whose achievements we are celebrating.

One final acknowledgement is due.

It's my privilege to be able to officially open this station but none of this would be possible if it wasn't for the taxpayers of New Zealand, who have ultimately paid. They expect great service, commitment and professionalism from New Zealand Police and this station is their tribute to you and all those who serve in it.

Thank you and good luck.