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Police Minister turns sod at new Richmond station

Police Minister turns first sod at new Richmond station

Police Minister George Hawkins today turned the first sod at the site of the new $1.1m Richmond Police Station.

The new station, to be built at 196 Queen St, will be the township's first purpose built police station and has a completion date of early September this year. The new station has been designed to accommodate 15 staff.

Mr Hawkins said when completed, Richmond would be the 14th new station to be opened since the Labour-led government took office in December 1999. Richmond is one of four new stations currently under construction around New Zealand, with three other new stations also to be built this year alone.

Almost 50 police stations police stations had been upgraded or extensively refurbished since late 1999, Mr Hawkins said.

"While only $720,000 was spent on capital works in each of the last three years by the previous National Government, the Labour-led Government is committed to spending $60m on police capital works over the next five years. A committed police capital works programme ensures staff enjoy comfortable, satisfying conditions in which to do their important work, " he said.

The new station would provide staff with working conditions a long way from those endured by the site's first resident, William Stanton. Constable Stanton served between 1845 and 1854 and combined his police duties with Postmaster and small store and news agency operator.

Mr Hawkins said In 1860 a small gaol built of kauri at a cost of 80 pounds and erected on the corner of Wensly Road and Oxford Street, became Richmond township's first police building. The current site housed the last resident constable, with the former police station designated a patrol base in 1972. Since then the house and patrol base have become the centre for policing in the Richmond Area.

Opus International will project manage work on the new station, with Colin Corsbie of the same company the architect and Nelson firm Kidson Construction the contractors.

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