Last week Botany MP Christopher Luxon and I held a public meeting to discuss the future of the Howick Police Station which was attended by around 200 people who came to share their support for retaining our local Howick Police Station.
The future of the Howick Police Station is at stake due to Auckland Council’s recent decision to sell the land the station sits on at 34 Moore Street.
This station is the home base for east Auckland’s community constables who do an incredible job supporting our community and acting as the public face of police in east Auckland. A public counter is also staffed twice a week to allow locals to report crime and seek advice.
The public meeting allowed local residents in Howick to hear directly from the police regarding their plans around the Howick Police Station and to raise questions about what the police presence in Howick might look like into the future if the station is closed.
Police were represented by Counties Manukau East Area Prevention Manager Colin Higson who made it clear that the police are committed to staying at the Howick Police Station as long as possible. Whilst the land may be sold soon by Auckland Council – the lease the police have will be transferred to the new owners.
Despite this intention to sell the land – it was agreed at the meeting that one last attempt should be made to Auckland Council to advocate for the retention of this land due to the importance of the Howick Police Station. This is something that Christopher Luxon and I will lead and will report back to the community with what outcomes are reached.
Assuming the land is sold, the police are then committed to retaining a physical presence in Howick when they are required to vacate their current site and are keen to work with the community to identify a new location.
This may be a station where our community constables can work from – if a suitable location can be found. Alternatively, it will be a shop front with a public service desk where reports of crime can be made and issues raised. Under this option however, the community constables will be based in Ormiston, rather than in Howick.
Police told us that whatever option is reached, it would need to be ‘cost-neutral’ with any final decisions being made by the District Commander of Counties Manukau Police District.
More work is needed to ensure that Howick is able to retain a police station into the future which allows our community constables to be based directly in our community. This is work that I am committed to doing – and will do so alongside Botany MP Christopher Luxon, our local Councillors Sharon Stewart and Paul Young and the Howick Local Board.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this issue.
* Simeon Brown
MP for Pakuranga