Maunga are a big part of the Central Police District and are represented in the cultural narrative of the refurbished public spaces at Palmerston North Police Station.
The waiting area, counter, interview rooms, and community meeting room were blessed by Rangitāne kaumatua Wiremu Te Awe Awe on Tuesday.
The new counter faces the doors, unlike the old one that was side on. The community meeting room has a video conferencing facility.
Māori responsiveness manager Inspector Cliff Brown said the geometric design on the windows, floors and walls represents maunga across the district - Taranaki, Central Plateau and Tararua and Ruahine ranges. As well as Manawatū staff, staff from across the Central District often work there.
Manawatū area commander Inspector Sarah Stewart said the front counter area meets police national standards for safety and security but is also welcoming. The genesis of the work was earthquake strengthening the building, which provided an opportunity to make the ground floor fit for purpose.
The front counter was at the next door Central District Police Headquarters for 10 months.
Brown said artwork and more signs will be added to the new areas. Te reo Māori is at the top of signs with an English translation below. An example of this is putanga is in bold on the left door as you leave and exit in a lighter font on the right-hand door.
There is a greater level of privacy and noise reduction in the public spaces, he said.
LT McGuinness Building Contractors is undertaking the strengthening and refurbishment and work on the rest of the station will be completed by March.
The station was opened in 2005 by then police minister Annette King. Te Awe Awe was at that ceremony too.
+ INFO The Palmerston North Police Station is open seven days a week, including public holidays, 7am-9pm. There is an after-hours assistance button.