Tuesday, 20 February 2024 - 1:37pm

Southern Field days - biggest and busiest yet

2 min read

News article photos (6 items)

Senior Sergeant Melanie Robertson and Constables Katie Haldane and Shawny Hokai with some happy visitors to the recruitment tent
Senior Constable Rosie Marchant and a young fan of her 'Help Glo Bro Home' road safety board game.
Gore Constable Lucas Dickison helps out with a BAS fitting for a keen visitor.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Team had their own stall and plenty of advice for visitors.
The Police site also attracted some Highlanders to come and say hello.

The biggest rural event on Southern’s calendar was back with a vengeance after a four-year hiatus.

This year’s Southern Field Days at Waimumu in Gore drew hundreds of exhibitors, over 42,000 visitors, and plenty of sunshine for its comeback after a long COVID break.

It also drew a whole lot of friendly Southland Police staff to provide a genuinely positive Police presence, led by acting Inspector Cynthia Fairley. It brought together some of our closest partner agencies to provide priceless prevention advice to the thousands of rural visitors.

Cynthia says this teamwork was very well received by the public at the huge three-day event, which was held from 14-16 February. 

“We collaborated with our Commercial Vehicle Safety Team and Waka Kotahi, who were kept busy with questions around overloading and farm vehicles on our roads, while promoting a focus on RIDS (Restraints, Impairment, Distraction, Speed).

“We also got a few sign-ups for Neighbourhood Support, through discussions around being isolated and feeling unsafe with the increase in rural crime and unlawful hunting.

“We had a focus on Rural Mental Wellbeing promoting Rural Support Trust and 1737 as a free phone/text to speak with a trained counsellor 24/7, which is a very important message to promote in rural communities.”

There was also a recruitment focus to Police’s Field Days site, with plenty of staff on hand to talk to people about careers in New Zealand Police and put then through some fun press-up challenges.

Add to that a whole lot of fun, competitions and handouts for tamariki visitors, as well as a very special edition of the road safety board game invented and designed by Invercargill’s own Senior Constable Rosie Marchant.

Her game was blown up to a massive size for kids to literally walk through the spaces as they rolled oversized dice and learned important lessons about road safety.

If the smiles on faces that rolled through the Police site was anything to go by, Southern Field Days 2024 was a gigantic success.

“The feedback about our presence is always positive, and nothing beats talking to a cop face-to-face. We’re already planning for 2026!”