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Cop shops stay open

By Hayley Gastmeier

[email protected]

Wairarapa’s top cop says the region’s police stations are staying open despite closures for revamps at stations across the country.

More than 20 police stations have been closed to the public elsewhere, but Area Commander Inspector Donna Howard said she did not expect any of Wairarapa’s to shut their doors while work was underway.

“We have actually increased investment in the stations and the community in the past six months by appointing two new supervisors to the Featherston and Carterton area,” she said.

Wairarapa has stations at Featherston, Carterton and Masterton.

Stations at Greytown and Martinborough closed to the public during restructuring in January 2014, when the sole charge positions were disestablished.

The Greytown Station has lost its signage with the lease on the building being relinquished recently.

The Martinborough station still exists, but only as an office.

Ms Howard said a nationwide Front Counter Safety Review determined that alterations were needed to the front counter areas at both Featherston and Masterton Stations.

The review had been sparked after the 2014 Ashburton murders where a gunman shot and killed two women who were working at the town’s Work and Income office, she said.

“Until these alterations are completed, public access to the stations has been restricted to times when there are constabulary members in the station.”

This means if there is no officer in attendance during opening hours at Featherston and Masterton stations, the front doors will be closed until a member returns.

“These alterations, and therefore the restriction of access policy, is required so we can ensure our staff have a safe working environment,” Ms Howard said.

The Featherston station on Daniell St is open to the public from 8am to 1pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Carterton’s station on Holloway St is open to the public from 1.30pm to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Masterton Police Station is open from 8am to 5pm on weekdays.

The Masterton station is usually closed on the weekends but may be open when staffing allows.

Ms Howards said once the alterations were completed the Masterton Station would revert to the opening times of 7am to 9.30pm, seven days a week.

“I appreciate this is important to the community and we have endeavoured to keep access open as much as possible,” Ms Howards said.

“I do not see this as having any impact on our ability to serve the community.

“Staff are out of the station, being visible out in the community and working hard to keep our community safe.”

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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