‘‘Temporary’’ closure lasts nine months
Porirua and Upper Hutt’s police stations remain closed at weekends nine months after they were shut ‘‘temporarily’’.
Police said last year that the closures were to enable them to install new safety features, making changes to the front counter and foyer.
However, nine months later there is no official re-opening date and the continued closures mean only Wellington Central and Lower Hutt are open outside normal business hours.
Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy said he was told in July that Porirua and Upper Hutt stations would be closed for a maximum of nine weeks at weekends.
He had been guaranteed the station would reopen, but said police could not say when that would be.
‘‘It’s not good enough from where we’re concerned.
‘‘There’s some integrity involved from the police to reopen the station like they said they would.’’
A police spokeswoman said there had been no decision to ‘‘permanently reduce hours’’ at the two stations.
Work on the Porirua front counter was ‘‘on-going’’, but no completion date had been finalised.
Police refused to expand further on the closure.
Porirua mayor Mike Tana said police did not give him any more information, but he wanted to see the station opened on the weekends.
Mana MP Kris Faafoi agreed and said it was ‘‘not good enough’’ that it remained closed.
‘‘Our cops do a bloody good job, but they’ve been forced to reduce their availability over the desk.’’
Kapiti police station had not opened on weekends since 2013.
Acting Kapiti mayor Janet Holborrow said it was a concern.
‘‘We’ve even had problems try- ing to reach police on the phone in Kapiti and it’s worrying.’’
If crimes weren’t logged, distorted statistics could lead to resource cuts, she said.
She said she would like to see the station open at weekends or, if that wouldn’t happen, clear communication from police on how to contact them.
After a review in September 2015, 121 police sites nationwide were identified as needing safety improvements.
Work began in March last year to create a safer model that included CCTV monitoring, barriers and alarms.
Porirua’s station has been closed at the weekends since June 2016.