Tauranga's thin blue line has a new tool to help keep local highways safe, and it matches the uniform.

A new blue highway patrol car has been issued to Western Bay of Plenty police this week. It is one of 10 being distributed around New Zealand.

The blue car replaces an older white version and local police hope the new version will pique interest from drivers.

Western Bay of Plenty head of road policing acting Senior Sergeant Wayne Hunter said having coloured cars instead of the standard issue white sparked conversation among people.


Hunter said having more people talking about police cars on the road helped contribute to road safety.

"Often you'll see a car on the road and see it's a police car, it makes people think about their driving. Instead of thinking 'it's another police car', it's a blue car.

"People will hopefully reflect a little bit more on their driving behaviour."

Hunter said there was no stringent method as to who got which cars and why. The blue car was very much "the next one off the rank".

Kerikeri and Dunedin are also being allocated a blue car. The other seven are expected to distribute next year.

"It looks pretty classy," Hunter said.