The future of the Howick police station is in doubt as Auckland Council looks to sell the land it occupies.
The station is accessed from Fencible Drive but is part of a property at 34 Moore Street that’s among the parcels of public land the council voted last year to dispose of under its emergency budget.
Council agency Panuku has been assessing the property prior to starting the sale process.
Panuku assets and delivery general manager Marian Webb says the work includes considering options for the rear portion of 34 Moore Street, which is leased to NZ Police.
“No final decision has been made at this stage,” she told the Times.
Webb says the agency intends to take the property to the market as a development site, in accordance with the Howick village centre plan.
“The plan identifies 34 Moore Street as strategically located and which could be utilised to further enhance the Howick village by potentially offering additional retail and or residential [space].”
Webb says it’s anticipated the property will be taken to the market mid-2021.
Counties Manukau East Police relieving area commander Inspector Colin Higson says police have been notified of the council plans to sell the land the station is on in the near future.
There are six officers based at the portable building that serves as the Howick station, he says.
“These officers will relocate to Ormiston police station and continue to serve the Howick and Flat Bush communities along with the wider Counties Manukau East area as required.
“Howick has a great community which is very supportive of police.
“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.”
Higson says police intend to maintain a “public-facing presence” in Howick and are exploring options as to how this can be achieved.
Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown and Botany MP Christopher Luxon say the news the Howick station will soon close will come as a shock to locals who value the hard work its community constables put in every day.
“The police have had a local presence in our area for a long time now based out of the Howick police station, and our community constables do an incredible job keeping us safe.
“They are well known across our community and regularly go out of their way to support victims of crime, engage with residents and businesses on law and order issues and provide a friendly police presence in the area.”
The MPs say they’re concerned the station’s closure will make such work harder to accomplish and “ultimately make our community less safe”.
“We are pleased police have stated their desire to maintain a public-facing presence in Howick and we strongly support such a move.
“However, this presence should also be where our community constables continue to have a local base to operate out of so they can maintain their presence in the local community and continue the great work they do to keep us safe.”