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Tokomaru Bay, Te Araroa police stations opened

Tokomaru Bay, Te Araroa police stations opened

Police Minister Annette King has today opened new stations in Tokomaru Bay and Te Araroa on the East Coast, saying the stations show small rural communities that the Government is committed to supporting them in the long term.

"The Government's investment in new police stations is not just an investment in bricks and mortar. And it's not just in our police and in policing generally, though it's certainly that. Most importantly, it is an investment in the safety and wellbeing of small communities, like Tokomaru Bay and Te Araroa, and larger communities all around New Zealand."

Ms King, who has also opened other small stations this year in Taneatua, Te Kaha and Norsewood, and larger policing centres in Taupo, North Shore, Waiheke Island and Mangonui, says the Labour-led Government has now opened 29 new or refurbished police stations since it came into office in 1999.

"Next month it will be 30, when I open the new station in Masterton, and others are at various stages in Counties Manukau, Whangarei, Rotorua, Sydenham and Gisborne. All this investment has been needed because of the way infrastructure was allowed to run down in the 1990s across so many sectors --- like police, transport, health and education.

"The Labour-led Government is determined to continue rebuilding infrastructure as quickly as we can, because new police stations, new hospitals, modernised and new schools and new roads are among the best ways of reassuring communities that we are committed to a real stake in their future.

At both today's openings, Ms King made a plea on behalf of local police for small rural communities to show leadership in terms of road safety.

"Road safety is a particular concern to those who police and look after the East Coast. Death and injuries from drink driving and speeding, particularly involving young people, are having a traumatising effect on families all around the East Coast, but the sad reality is that education campaigns will only be really effective when communities themselves accept that enough is enough and that we all must work together to change attitudes."

ENDS

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