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Ngāi Tahu and police sign deal to develop police stations in the South Island


Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive officer Arihia Bennett, left, and NZ Police Commissioner Andrew Coster signed a new agreement to develop new police infrastructure in the South Island.

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Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive officer Arihia Bennett, left, and NZ Police Commissioner Andrew Coster signed a new agreement to develop new police infrastructure in the South Island.

Police and Ngāi Tahu have signed a new deal that will see the iwi’s property company develop new stations and other law enforcement buildings in the South Island.

Ngāi Tahu chief executive officer Arihia Bennett said the deal, signed on Friday, would involve redeveloping old police stations and building new infrastructure for the service.

The iwi’s property arm, Ngāi Tahu Property, would invest in the new infrastructure and then possibly lease it to police, she said.

Work is already underway to redesign and redevelop Dunedin central police station into a “policing hub’’.

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Bennett said other places where new police infrastructure could be developed included Mosgiel, Queenstown, and Frankton.

“As police look at renewing, developing, growing, extending and changing their infrastructure they will work alongside us in development and property,’’ she said.

“We are already starting to look at the design. The police commissioner is very clear about creating whānau-friendly environments where whānau and the community can come and engage with the police, with an emphasis on safety, but in a way that is not too confronting.”

The new agreement would see Ngāi Tahu Property develop new police infrastructure in the South Island.

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The new agreement would see Ngāi Tahu Property develop new police infrastructure in the South Island.

The agreement builds on the iwi’s already existing relationship with police. Ngāi Tahu Property already owns Dunedin and Queenstown police stations, she said.

Bennett said the agreement also involved working with police to improve outcomes for mana whenua.

“There are two parts to this agreement,’’ she said. “It has that business development side, but there is also the social and cultural aspects of greater relationships and greater cultural outcomes that can be infused into practices in that region.

The deal was signed at Tamatea Marae on Friday.

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The deal was signed at Tamatea Marae on Friday.

“It begins with developing a business relationship and looking at the infrastructure – designing and building it together.

“Then we will be coming back and looking at strengthening practices around social and community outcomes. Our intent is to build on that later on.”

She said the agreement did not yet have a dollar value for the iwi.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said the new agreement was “a step towards a new model of practical partnership”.

“We know that if we are to achieve our vision of being the safest country then we must be successful with and for Māori.”

Ngāi Tahu Property owns assets worth more than $600 million and manages the iwi’s right of first refusal to purchase Crown property assets.

The company developed the Wigram Skies and Prestons housing subdivisions in Christchurch, along with Wigram Business Park, the Christchurch Civic Building and The Landing in Wigram.



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