Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Plans to sell police station land progressing

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Police say they’re considering their options with regard to the property the Howick station is on as Auckland Council prepares to put it up for sale. Times photo Wayne Martin

Police are tight-lipped about contingency plans should they have to vacate the site of the current Howick station.

As the Times reported in April, Auckland Council plans to sell the property at 34 Moore Street, which it owns and is occupied by the portable building that serves as the Howick police station.

Council agency Panuku has been assessing the site prior to starting the sale process.

Police previously said they’ve been notified of plans to sell the land in the near future.

The six officers based in Howick will relocate to Counties Manukau East Police headquarters in Ormiston and continue to serve Howick and Flat Bush along with the wider area as required.

“We can reassure the public this change will have minimal impact and they can expect to see their community officers still maintaining the same strong presence in Howick.”

Police said they intend to maintain a “public-facing presence” in Howick and are exploring options as to how this can be achieved.

The Times asked police for an update on the situation on May 10.

They responded with a statement from Counties Manukau East Police area commander inspector Wendy Spiller, which says: “Police plan to stay on the site until a decision is made by Auckland Council around the future of the land.

“We are aware of the possibility the land may be sold and so we are considering our options.”

A Panuku spokesperson says the agency is preparing the site for sale.

“We will be seeking a development partner for a mixed-use development including homes, aligning with the vision for the site outlined in the Howick Village Centre Plan.”

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown and Botany MP Christopher Luxon oppose the plan to close the Howick police station.

Brown says east Auckland residents are looking for certainty about the police’s intentions.

He says he’s pleased they intend to maintain a public-facing presence in the community, but wants to know what that will look like and how it will work.

“Having a station in Howick is key not only to people being safe but also feeling safe.”

The two MPs are holding a public meeting to discuss the station’s future.

“We will be fighting to retain not only a police presence, but also a base for our community constables who do so much good work for us in Howick and across east Auckland,” they say.

The meeting will be attended by Counties Manukau East Police inspector Colin Higson and will give the public the chance to ask questions and share their views.

It’s at 7pm on May 25 at Howick Bowling Club, 33 Selwyn Road.

Brown is also keen to hear from any businesses with property in east Auckland that could accommodate the portable Howick police station building should the land be sold.

People can phone his Pakuranga electorate office on 572 0000 or email pakurangamp@parliament.govt.nz.

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