Lower Hutt Police will re-establish a response team based in Wainuiomata, led by a local man with a passion for the community.
Sergeant Patrick (Pat) Tangipo is a dad, a rugby coach and player – and a police officer. He'll be the new community sergeant for the area based in the Wainuiomata Station, which will reopen after almost a decade.
Tangipo loves Wainuiomata, and says he can't wait to do good for the community.
"I've always wanted to come back, making Wainui a safer place to live for the community and my own children is my mantra.
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"The opportunity to do that is very exciting."
He'll be responsible for community relationships and policing and says he prefers to work with whānau to supply them with the tools to keep themselves and others safe.
"I see the challenges Wainui faces and I am committed to overseeing and ensuring it is safe."
Tangipo will work in collaboration with Community Patrol, Māori Wardens, Kokiri Marae and Wainuiomata Marae. He is determined to reverse the statistics and make a positive change in the lives of his community.
"Māori are over-represented as offenders and as victims. This position is a privilege and an opportunity to change the script on that."
Tangipo will be joined by two community constables and two youth aid officers, and together they will form a permanent police presence in Wainuiomata.
"We really want to invest in Wainuiomata and be a part of a thriving community."