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Iwi And DHBs To Benefit From Old Police Mobile Road Safety Bases

Tasman region is the first to benefit from Police decommissioning its old 
fleet of mobile road safety bases.

The district health board, Nelson Marlborough Health, is making good use of 
the Police district’s old base as a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

Currently the former MRSB is acting as a mobile vaccination hub as part of 
the Nelson Marlborough Health COVID response but plans for the vehicle go 
well beyond that according to Nelson Marlborough Health’s Emergency 
Manager, Pete Kara.

“We’re excited about the enhanced health services we can provide with 
this mobile hub. To get something similar off the ground on our own would 
have been months in the making. It’s great that we’ve had the opportunity 
to keep this asset in our community and it’s one of the many benefits of 
having a close working relationship with Police in Tasman,” Kara says.

Assistant Commissioner Bruce O’Brien, Deployment & Road Policing, says as 
part of the decommissioning, Police are looking for ways to see how our ‘no 
longer fit-for-purpose’ old bases could be repurposed to help support 
communities, and the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out had provided an immediate 
opportunity.

“This initiative absolutely aligns with our priority of focused prevention 
through partnerships,” A/C O’Brien says. “We are also gifting the old 
bases enabling partner agencies to redirect funds towards other community 
initiatives that would have been used to secure a mobile asset.”

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Nelson Marlborough Health has plans to eventually convert the base into a 
mobile treatment facility, with a refit that will include an examination bed 
to be used for minor procedures ensuring those in the region’s remote areas 
can still receive the care they need.

Discussions are underway for further vehicles to be repurposed, with similar 
arrangements to the Tasman initiative, A/C O’Brien says.

Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha, Iwi and Communities says “these include 
a base being gifted to Ngāi Tūhoe for a multi-purpose health mobile unit to 
provide medical and dental checks, and vaccinations to people in remote areas 
of their rohe. Another base may be gifted as a mobile driver licence learning 
centre for a youth-focused community group in Waitomo.

“This is a great opportunity for community organisations to give a new life 
to a significant resource that otherwise would have likely been scrapped or 
sold to a private entity.

“This is also a really great example of what can be done when you open your 
mind to operating differently and operating in a more culturally attuned way 
with our Treaty partners. We believe repurposing these bases will benefit 
Māori-Crown relationships and strengthen how we can all care for each 
other,” says D/C Haumaha.

All of the mobile road safety bases being repurposed have undergone 
inspection to ensure they are safe for their next life.

Bases from the old fleet are able to be offered because Police has introduced 
28 new purpose-built vehicles – six Isuzu trucks and 22 VW Crafter vans – 
that will allow evidential breath testing to be processed at the roadside.

Most of these new vehicles have already been delivered and deployed to Police 
districts throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and don’t require an HT licence 
to drive, so they are easier for all police staff to use. 
 

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