The Dargaville police station is now open 24 hours a day seven days a week - creating new jobs and increased coverage on the ground at night.
"This was an operational decision to ensure that we had an increased police presence in the Dargaville area, improve our response times to incidents around the clock and help reduce crime and victimisation in the area," said Acting Area Commander for Whangarei/Kaipara region, Senior Sergeant Rob Huys.
The decision has added seven new positions at the station and means police are available to cover the Kaipara area 24/7.
Huys said police had access to more resources in feeded at short notice. The increase in patrols and operating hours started on October 1, but wasn't publicly announced until recently on Facebook. A posted video included comments from the Mayor Dr Jason Smith who said, "I'm delighted that we are getting much better levels of service from the New Zealand Police here in Kaipara. This community is already safe and it's going to be even safer now."
Business owner Johnny Matich said: "I feel it would only be beneficial for the Dargaville community and the business community as a whole, what more could you want?"
Dargaville Acting Sergeant Willie Paniora says the feedback he's received from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.
"The community are super supportive of the move."
Pouto Lighthouse's future 'all depends on us'
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is working with the Department of Conservation, Waikaretu Marae (as Kaitiakitanga) and the wider community to protect one of the Kaipara's heritage status structures.
The Pouto Lighthouse, at 135 years old, is one of New Zealand's last remaining wooden lighthouses.
"We are about to start a project that will address some of the immediate environmental issues around the historic lighthouse – including a programme of planting to tackle erosion," said Natalie McCondach, Heritage New Zealand's northern assets manager.
"Plans to erect some appropriate fencing around the building to ensure that the lighthouse is safeguarded against potential damage – without impacting its visual presence – are also under way. In the meantime visitors are being asked to exercise some caution around the building."
The North Head lighthouse was built to help safeguard shipping coming in and out of the Kaipara Harbour.
Today, people can still view the lighthouse, and many visit the maritime heritage site – driving to it is a favourite trip among four-wheel-drive enthusiasts – and although people are encouraged to go and admire this beautiful building, Heritage New Zealand is also reminding people not to drive up to the lighthouse, but rather keep a safe distance between them and the building.
"The future of this lighthouse depends on all of us – so we're just reminding all visitors to take care around this special landmark," she said.
"The land immediately surrounding the base of the lighthouse is exposed from the weather, the environment and other factors, and so we need to do everything we can to protect it from further damage.
"This building has looked after us for almost a century and a half – let's make sure we return the favour so our great-great grandchildren can enjoy it in a hundred years." Coming Up: The Pouto Lighthouse Challenge, Saturday February 15, 2020. Look out for more details soon.
Renewed calls for information in robbery case
Dargaville police are renewing appeals to the public for information after anaggravated robbery in September last year.
"We know that there are people out there with information about this cowardly attack," said Detective Andrew Bailey. "Relationships and allegiances change over time and our message to anyone with information about the identity of those involved is to do the right thing and come forward to police."
On Wednesday September 18 last year, a man was injured in an unprovoked attack at about 10.30pm somewhere between Plunket and Awakino Sts in Dargaville.
The victim was driving adistinctive orange/copper metallic coloured Lexus IS200 saloon but stopped to pick up a stereo that was in the middle of the road.
A man approached the car, yelled at the victim, reached into the car and removed the keys.
The victim was then dragged out of the car and was hit on the head and knocked unconscious.
A womanis believed to have been with the male offender and they have stolen the vehicle, which then crashed at the eastern end of Victoria Rd in Dargaville a short time later. The offenders then fled. Anyone who has information about the attack is asked to contact Detective Andrew Bailey on 021 191 5765 or Detective Kyle Dalbeth on 021 191 2075.
You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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