Tuesday, 9 April 2024 - 2:10pm

The face of Dargaville's front counter

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Dargaville Police Station is open to the public once again and Kimberley Rope-Battcher is the smiling face behind the front counter.

Kimberley takes up the role of Station Support Officer and hopes to use her strong connection with the Dargaville community, having grown up there and more recently having taught at Ruawai College for 12 years.

She acknowledged the Ruawai students who were part of the pōwhiri last Thursday.

“They will always hold a massive part in my heart,” Kimberley said.

She pointed to one of the students present, saying she had taught him when he was two years old and now he was approaching 18 and was head prefect. She reckoned it was time for a change.

She thanked kaumātua and iwi who were present at the pōwhri for the fight they put up to have the station reopened and also acknowledged those who had worked at the station counter.

“I feel very privileged to be in this position. The doors have been open again since last week and I’m getting to know the community and their needs,” she said.

Whangārei Kaipara Area Commander Inspector Maria Nordstrom said Kimberley was fulfilling a very special position in support of the Kaipara community.

As soon as Maria was welcomed back as Area Commander just 10 months ago, the voices of the Dargaville and wider Kaipara community were presented to her by way of a petition - more than 150 signatures calling for the urgent reopening of the Dargaville station front counter.

Maria said while it hadn't been an easy road to reopen the doors, the day had arrived.

"Kimberley, welcome to the blue team. You receive the baton from those before you, and I encourage to bring yourself to the role and make it your own," Maria said.

"Having you in this role enables us to re-open our doors to the community, our partners, and provide the much-needed support to our team."

Maria said Kimberly had the support of an 18-strong team in Dargaville.