Napier's own form of City Assist officers for locals and visitors in need will be officially in action starting from Monday.
A Napier City council statement describes Napier Assist Āwhina Tāngata as "a group of dedicated kaitiaki who will keep a watchful eye over the city, ensuring locals and visitors have safe and enjoyable experiences".
Napier Assist Āwhina Tāngata will be led by former police officer Daniel Hicks, who has experience as a senior case manager for high-risk individuals and families, as well as a family harm investigator.
The team come from diverse backgrounds, including welfare support, youth justice and security.
"We're really looking forward to getting into the city and getting to know everyone. Our goal is to be friendly faces who can inform and advise people," Hicks said.
The Napier City Council says Napier Assist Āwhina Tāngata is based on other city assist programmes, including Hastings.
"The team has gained valuable advice and support from city assist services in Hamilton and Hastings, where they have learned on-the-job by shadowing those teams," the council says.
Napier mayor Kirsten Wise said the service was about partnership. The council worked closely with police, Napier City Business Inc, Hawke's Bay District Health, Ahuriri Māori Wardens, and Whatever it Takes Trust.
She said the initiative had come to fruition from being an idea in the council's Long-Term Plan.
"The Napier community made it very clear in recent consultations that they wanted to feel more safe in their city, and more than 75 per cent of submitters supported proposals for an ambassador programme and upgraded CCTV," she said.
Napier City Business Inc general manager Pip Thompson said the initiative means a huge amount to the Napier business community, describing them as "champions of the city".
"It means there's someone in the street, only a couple of minutes away who can help, so it's very reassuring."
The council says the programme will be focused on Napier CBD to start with, and will expand to other commercial centres it evolves over a five-year period.
Its launch coincides with the recommencement of Napier's CCTV network, which the council says will enhance the group's work by directing them to people who may need help.
Napier Assist Āwhina Tāngata is not taking over the role of police. If people witness criminal behaviour, they should still call 111 or 105.