No Police Merger in Hutt Valley
The report is out, and it is good use for opponents of Project Awakairangi . This issue has caused a great deal of concern amongst the public and staff over the way this project has been handled. HuttNZ has also expressed concern over how this matter has played out and also expressed doubts as to the release of the outcome, I stand corrected and am glad the matter has been made public.
The Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt police areas will not be merged, police bosses have announced.
Wellington district commander Superintendent Gail Gibson said today she had reviewed the report on project Awakairangi – which was looking at amalgamating the neighbouring police areas – and decided to retain Upper Hutt’s area commander role.
Police wanted to provide the ”best possible service” to the public, she said.
”We have decided that part of that service includes Upper Hutt retaining their area commander.”
However, reviews of police resources in the district would continue.
Ms Gibson thanked the Upper and Lower Hutt communities for their submissions on the proposal.
”During the project process, support for police in Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt was clearly apparent.”
Police authorities announced in February that they were looking at options for the two districts. At the time, Superintendent Pieri Munro said he did not want the number of frontline police to change or for police stations to close, but that a reduction in behind-the-scenes staff was possible. One of the area commanders might lose their job, he said.
The region’s civic leaders were upset by the merger proposal, Upper Mayor Wayne Guppy called it the biggest issue his community had faced, while Lower Hutt Mayor David Ogden said he could not understand why police would want to change something that was working effectively.
The two districts have about 240 staff in total.