It has been a long time coming, but the new headquarters for Eastern District and Hawke’s Bay Area Police is now in business.
After a dawn blessing, Police Commissioner Mike Bush and Police Minister Start Nash formally opened the new Hastings Police Station this morning.
Commissioner Bush said it was a proud day for Police to add such a facility to our community.
“It’s for everyone to enjoy,” he said. “When we deliver a better environment for our staff, we deliver a better service to the public.”
He said the new complex was a modern building which would serve a modern police service well.
“The community should feel safe and welcome when they come to our place – and they can feel that here. Our old buildings were not designed for manaakitanga.”
The building includes features not normally associated with police stations, such as a whānau room – a dedicated space where Police staff can safely leave children, giving them flexibility with childcare at shift changeover times.
The HQ also includes a wellness room where staff can go if they feel unwell or need a mental break.
Eastern District Commander Superintendent Tania Kura says the inclusion of the whānau room and wellness room reflects the changing mindset in Police and the increasing diversity of its workforce.
“I am very excited with the opportunities we are presented with,” said Tania. “This building is evidence of our changing mindset: it doesn’t look like the Ministry of Works legacy stations - it has the feel of our people and the blessing of our community.
“This facility is proof that good things come to those who wait – our Hawke’s Bay staff are very lucky and have been tolerant and patiently waiting for this.
“Looking after our health and wellness is important to keep us on top of our game, so we can serve our communities to the very best of our abilities.”
She acknowledged Police’s partners in the project - MCL Construction and GHD Woodhead Creative Spaces and particularly the “problem-solvers and enablers” at Hastings District Council.
Relocation of the district headquarters from Napier to Hastings also provides resilience for policing in the district in the event of an earthquake hitting one of the two cities.
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says the project is a great example of how government agencies, developers and local councils can work together.
“Having all of the police services under one roof with a strong presence in the city will support the safety of our community,” she says.