Community police station at Tahunanui.

Tahuna to lose police station


Tahunanui will lose its community police station later this year, with the Nelson Surf Lifesaving Club set to move in before summer.
The move was confirmed by police last week. They say “dwindling numbers” and a more comprehensive policing service means the station at Tahunanui beach is a waste of police resources.
Nelson City Council owns the building and is currently working with police and potential new tenants, Nelson Surf Lifesaving Club, about a handover date. The police lease expires on November 30, but they say they are happy to negotiate an early exit.

Nelson Surf Lifesaving club captain Ed Steenberg says the club expects to be in “well before” summer and it will mean the club doesn’t have to haul equipment up Rocks Rd from its current base at the Rescue Centre every Sunday.
“We need to be at the beach, we have heaps of surf skis and rescue boards and all our nipper gear that for the last four years we’ve tied onto trailers and transported down Rocks Rd every Sunday.”
Ed says storage will need to be added to the building so the club can keep its equipment there, something the council hasn’t agreed to yet. He says the club would ultimately like a new facility on the beach side of the car park but sees the move to the old police building as a “stepping stone” in the right direction.

“The building isn’t where we’d like to be long term, but short term it does give us a presence at the beach.”
Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio says the move won’t be confirmed until it comes to the council table but he was aware council staff were working with the police and the club about the potential shift.
He says the council would like to see how the club goes in the building before committing to building a facility on the beach side of the car park. “For the council there is more of an impact if we put something on the beach side, as opposed to the park side. So we’d like to see how they go and the feedback we get.”

Nelson Bays area commander Steve Greally, says the number of people using the base has dropped over the past few years, so the decision was made not to renew the lease. “Most of the people using it are asking for directions or to hand in lost property, which is fine but it’s not a good use of police resources.”
He says a community constable hasn’t been based at the station for the last 12 months and it is only staffed by volunteers. But he insists the suburb will not be missing out by the move.
“This doesn’t mean that people in Tahunanui will receive a lesser service, quite the contrary. We’re actually providing a much better service.”