Karameans Rally to Protest Cop Shop Chop

Off the Top of My Head

By Paul Murray

A review of police services on the West Coast by N.Z. Police Superintendent Karyn Malthus recommended that the Karamea Police Station be “disestablished” and the police constable be relocated. This would mean the region, which is perhaps the most remote rural region of mainland New Zealand, would be without a permanent police presence. Righteous indignation among Karamea residents was the immediate result and and a wave of antidisestablishmentarianism swept through the local populace.

Karamea residents were quick to coordinate their opposition to the proposal. The owners of the Karamea supermarket Juliette and Jason James made T-Shirts and local musician and mum Laura Sonneveldt set up a “Keep Our Community Constable” FaceBook Page that quickly attracted 400 members. A community protest was arranged and people were asked to make signs, wear their T-shirts and assemble in front of the Karamea Police Station on Saturday, February 27, 2016 to make some noise and send a strong message to Wellington that the effective closure of the local cop shop was illogical and unacceptable.

WED_9710

Sanae and Diva Murray arrive at the protest wearing their “Keep Our Community Police” T-Shirts.

WED_9804

Over half the community of 600 people turned out in front of the Karamea Police Station to send a strong message to Wellington that the removal of police presence from Karamea was a very BAD idea.

12784345_10154046817222664_375395214_n

West Coast MP Damien O’Connor and Buller Mayor Garry Howard addressed the peaceful protest and came to Karamea in support of the community request to change the decision to effectively close the police station.

WED_9738

Buller Mayor Garry Howard

WED_9774

West Coast/Tasman MP Damien O’Connor addresses the crowd.

WED_9810

After the protest, the message signs were left in front of the police station.

WED_9727

Protesters from a broad demographic came to express their sentiments…Juniors and Seniors alike.

WED_9777 WED_9730Karamea people were encouraged to write letters to the editor, submissions to the police review and to their local and national politicians expressing their feelings and asking for the decision to be changed. Significant media coverage resulted, submissions flooded in and the BeeHive will be buzzing for the coming months as politicians answer letters and e-mails relating to the issue.

Below are my letters to politicians related to the process…the letters are similar, but contain information specific to their respective portfolios.

KEEP the PEACE…KEEP the POLICE

Rt Hon. John Keyphoto

Prime Minister

Parliament Office

Private Bag 18888

Parliament Buildings

Wellington 6160

(04) 817 6800

j.key@ministers.govt.nz

 

Subject: Proposed Service Delivery Model, West Coast Police Area

Dear Prime Minister,

As a Karamea resident, father and business owner, I am deeply concerned about the proposal on Page 24 of the Proposed Service Delivery Model, West Coast Police Area report by Tasman Police Superintendent Karyn Malthus for the “disestablishment” of the Karamea Police Station and the removal of a permanent police presence from our community.

The stated objective of the report on restructuring the West Coast police force is to “improve service delivery to our communities, with a strong emphasis on “prevention before response.” It is difficult to then understand how this can be achieved by “disestablishing” the Karamea Police Station.

Surely the effective closure of a police station in perhaps the most remote town on Mainland New Zealand can only lead to a response-based service, which contravenes the proposal’s very purpose.

I’m certain you are aware of the economic challenges facing the Buller, and Karamea is similarly affected. Police presence is the cornerstone of a successful community and integral to the economic and social stability of communities.

The report correctly states that Karamea is 66.9 kilometres from the next closest police station in Granity. It, however, neglects to mention that the windy mountain road traverses the Karamea Bluffs and the drive time from Granity to Karamea is over one hour; Westport is 90 minutes away.

In the event of a natural disaster that makes the road impassable, the Karamea community and visiting tourists would be completely isolated from much needed police assistance. The road is closed several times a year by slips, tree fall and flooding and the possibility of a major earthquake occurring is real.

Karamea is the Western gateway to the Kahurangi National Park, which services the Heaphy Track, Oparara Basin and other attractions. The number of people participating in activities provided by these facilities and visitors to the Karamea region is increasing in line with community, regional and national efforts to boost tourism. This would seem to coincide with an increased need for associated police services and a determination of future police requirements based on a purely economic analysis of past crime figures ignores this fact and is rather shortsighted.

The Karamea region has a small largely law-abiding population, which is perhaps due to permanent police presence in the region. The current police officer, has been servicing the region for the past 22 years and the fact that we enjoy a relatively crime free existence is largely due to the efficacy of his police work and that he is very familiar with the region and the people living here. The only possible outcome from terminating his position is an increase in local crime, which is thoroughly unacceptable to the community and not at all in line with the N.Z. Police Code, which is “Helping us live our values every day so we earn the trust and confidence of everyone in New Zealand.”

Inspector Jeff Penno, who resides in Waikato, compiled the proposal and it would appear that he is not at all aware of the geographical logistics of the region or needs of the Karamea community. Perhaps he and Tasman-based Superintendent Malthus could actually visit Karamea and get a first-hand understanding of the situation rather than attempting to remotely rule the region, which is precisely what is suggested by the proposal to end full time police presence at the Karamea station.

A police presence is also helpful to business owners like myself who cater to visitors to the region and the loss of an officer stationed here would be detrimental to the smooth operation of our respective ventures and the feeling of comfort and security it affords our guests. It is also essential for our children to grow up in an environment that has police support and coverage. I want to raise well-balanced, productive and law-abiding children and this will be incrementally more difficult without a police officer stationed in our community to set an example for young people and maintain a peaceful environment for them to experience as they mature into adults.

I consider the proposal to remove the locally based police officer and service the region from Westport is, given the geographical isolation of the community, impractical, unreasonable, not at all feasible and utterly untenable. This sentiment is unanimous among other Karamea residents, who rightly believe that the economic success of our region is inextricably linked to the maintenance of a stable, secure and law-abiding community. This necessitates a permanent police presence.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings on this important issue. In your capacity as Prime Minister, I ask you to consider my thoughts on the subject of the maintenance of the Karamea Police Station and the much-needed permanent police presence in the region, and use your influence to ensure the Karamea section of the West Coast police review is amended accordingly.

If you have any questions, or require more information, please e-mail or call me any time,

Regards from Sunny Karamea,

Paul John Murray

###############################################################

Hon. Steven JoyceSJ_6x8_print__smaller_

Minister for Economic Development

Parliament Office

Private Bag 18888

Parliament Buildings

Wellington 6160

(04) 817 6513

Steven.Joyce@parliament.govt.nz

 

Subject: Proposed Service Delivery Model, West Coast Police Area

Dear Steven,

As a Karamea resident, father and business owner, I am deeply concerned about the proposal on Page 24 of the Proposed Service Delivery Model, West Coast Police Area report by Tasman Police Superintendent Karyn Malthus for the “disestablishment” of the Karamea Police Station and the removal of a permanent police presence from our community.

The stated objective of the report on restructuring the West Coast police force is to “improve service delivery to our communities, with a strong emphasis on “prevention before response.” It is difficult to then understand how this can be achieved by “disestablishing” the Karamea Police Station.

Surely the effective closure of a police station in perhaps the most remote town on Mainland New Zealand can only lead to a response-based service, which contravenes the proposal’s very purpose.

Following your recent visit to our region, I’m certain you are aware of the economic challenges facing the Buller, and Karamea is similarly affected. Police presence is the cornerstone of a successful community and integral to the economic and social stability of communities.

The report correctly states that Karamea is 66.9 kilometres from the next closest police station in Granity. It, however, neglects to mention that the windy mountain road traverses the Karamea Bluffs and the drive time from Granity to Karamea is over one hour; Westport is 90 minutes away.

In the event of a natural disaster that makes the road impassable, the Karamea community and visiting tourists would be completely isolated from much needed police assistance. The road is closed several times a year by slips, tree fall and flooding and the possibility of a major earthquake occurring is real.

Karamea is the Western gateway to the Kahurangi National Park, which services the Heaphy Track, Oparara Basin and other attractions. The number of people participating in activities provided by these facilities and visitors to the Karamea region is increasing in line with community, regional and national efforts to boost tourism. This would seem to coincide with an increased need for associated police services and a determination of future police requirements based on a purely economic analysis of past crime figures ignores this fact and is rather shortsighted.

The Karamea region has a small largely law-abiding population, which is perhaps due to permanent police presence in the region. The current police officer, has been servicing the region for the past 22 years and the fact that we enjoy a relatively crime free existence is largely due to the efficacy of his police work and that he is very familiar with the region and the people living here. The only possible outcome from terminating his position is an increase in local crime, which is thoroughly unacceptable to the community and not at all in line with the N.Z. Police Code, which is “Helping us live our values every day so we earn the trust and confidence of everyone in New Zealand.”

Inspector Jeff Penno, who resides in Waikato, compiled the proposal and it would appear that he is not at all aware of the geographical logistics of the region or needs of the Karamea community. Perhaps he and Tasman-based Superintendent Malthus could actually visit Karamea and get a first-hand understanding of the situation rather than attempting to remotely rule the region, which is precisely what is suggested by the proposal to end full time police presence at the Karamea station.

A police presence is also helpful to business owners like myself who cater to visitors to the region and the loss of an officer stationed here would be detrimental to the smooth operation of our respective ventures and the feeling of comfort and security it affords our guests. It is also essential for our children to grow up in an environment that has police support and coverage. I want to raise well-balanced, productive and law-abiding children and this will be incrementally more difficult without a police officer stationed in our community to set an example for young people and maintain a peaceful environment for them to experience as they mature into adults.

I consider the proposal to remove the locally based police officer and service the region from Westport is, given the geographical isolation of the community, impractical, unreasonable, not at all feasible and utterly untenable. This sentiment is unanimous among other Karamea residents, who rightly believe that the economic success of our region is inextricably linked to the maintenance of a stable, secure and law-abiding community. This necessitates a permanent police presence.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings on this important issue. In your capacity as the Minister for Economic Development, I ask you to consider my thoughts on the subject of the maintenance of the Karamea Police Station and the much-needed permanent police presence in the region, and use your influence to ensure the Karamea section of the West Coast police review is amended accordingly.

If you have any questions, or require more information, please e-mail or call me any time,

Regards from Sunny Karamea,

Paul John Murray

###############################################################

Hon Maggie Barry4622612

Minister of Conservation

Parliament Office

Private Bag 18888

Parliament Buildings

Wellington 6160

Maggie.Barry@parliament.govt.nz

 

 

 

Subject: Proposed Service Delivery Model, West Coast Police Area

Dear Maggie,

As a Karamea resident, father and tourism-business owner, I am deeply concerned about the proposal on Page 24 of the Proposed Service Delivery Model, West Coast Police Area report by Tasman Police Superintendent Karyn Malthus for the “disestablishment” of the Karamea Police Station and the removal of a permanent police presence from our community.

The stated objective of the report on restructuring the West Coast police force is to “improve service delivery to our communities, with a strong emphasis on “prevention before response.” It is difficult to then understand how this can be achieved by “disestablishing” the Karamea Police Station.

Surely the effective closure of a police station in perhaps the most remote town on Mainland New Zealand can only lead to a response-based service, which contravenes the proposal’s very purpose. Police presence is the cornerstone of a successful community and integral to the economic and social stability of communities.

The report correctly states that Karamea is 66.9 kilometres from the next closest police station in Granity. It, however, neglects to mention that the windy mountain road traverses the Karamea Bluffs and the drive time from Granity to Karamea is over one hour; Westport is 90 minutes away.

In the event of a natural disaster that makes the road impassable, the Karamea community and visiting tourists would be completely isolated from much needed police assistance. The road is closed several times a year by slips, tree fall and flooding and the possibility of a major earthquake occurring is real.

Karamea is the Western gateway to the Kahurangi National Park, which services the Heaphy Track, Oparara Basin and other attractions. The number of people participating in activities provided by these facilities and visitors to the Karamea region is increasing in line with community, regional and national efforts to boost tourism. This would seem to coincide with an increased need for associated police services and a determination of future police requirements based on a purely economic analysis of past crime figures ignores this fact and is rather shortsighted.

Following your recent visit to our region via the Heaphy Track, I’m certain you are aware that Karamea caters to a lot more people than just the resident population of about 600 people and that the safety and security of visitors to features, attractions and Department of Conservation assets in the Kahurangi National Park demands a permanent police presence.

Without a police officer stationed in Karamea, it would be impossible to adequately provide associated services to not only the local populace, but also the many visitors to the region every year.

The Karamea region has a small largely law-abiding population, which is perhaps due to permanent police presence in the region. The current police officer, has been servicing the region for the past 22 years and the fact that we enjoy a relatively crime free existence is largely due to the efficacy of his police work and that he is very familiar with the region and the people living here. The only possible outcome from terminating his position is an increase in local crime, which is thoroughly unacceptable to the community and not at all in line with the N.Z. Police Code, which is “Helping us live our values every day so we earn the trust and confidence of everyone in New Zealand.”

Inspector Jeff Penno, who resides in Waikato, compiled the proposal and it would appear that he is not at all aware of the geographical logistics of the region or needs of the Karamea community. Perhaps he and Tasman-based Superintendent Malthus could actually visit Karamea and get a first-hand understanding of the situation rather than attempting to remotely rule the region, which is precisely what is suggested by the proposal to end full time police presence at the Karamea station.

A police presence is also helpful to business owners like myself who cater to visitors to the region and the loss of an officer stationed here would be detrimental to the smooth operation of our respective ventures and the feeling of comfort and security it affords our guests. It is also essential for our children to grow up in an environment that has police support and coverage. I want to raise well-balanced, productive and law-abiding children and this will be incrementally more difficult without a police officer stationed in our community to set an example for young people and maintain a peaceful environment for them to experience as they mature into adults.

I consider the proposal to remove the locally based police officer and service the region from Westport is, given the geographical isolation of the community, impractical, unreasonable, not at all feasible and utterly untenable. This sentiment is unanimous among other Karamea residents, who rightly believe that the economic success of our region is inextricably linked to the maintenance of a stable, secure and law-abiding community. This necessitates a permanent police presence.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings on this important issue. In your capacity as the Conservation Minister, I ask you to consider my thoughts on the subject of the maintenance of the Karamea Police Station and the much-needed permanent police presence to ensure the safety and security of residents and visitors to the region, and use your influence to ensure the Karamea section of the West Coast police review is amended accordingly.

If you have any questions, or require more information, please e-mail or call me any time,

 

Regards from Sunny Karamea,

Paul John Murray

###############################################################

Hon. Ms Judith CollinsJudith-Collins-stares-a-reporter-down-generic-GETTY

Police Minister

Parliament Office

Private Bag 18888

Parliament Buildings

Wellington 6160

judith.collins@parliament.govt.nz

(04) 817 9879

Subject: Proposed Service Delivery Model, West Coast Police Area

Dear Judith,

As a Karamea resident, father and business owner, I am deeply concerned about the proposal on Page 24 of the Proposed Service Delivery Model, West Coast Police Area report by Tasman Police Superintendent Karyn Malthus for the “disestablishment” of the Karamea Police Station and the removal of a permanent police presence from our community.

The stated objective of the report on restructuring the West Coast police force is to “improve service delivery to our communities, with a strong emphasis on “prevention before response.” It is difficult to then understand how this can be achieved by “disestablishing” the Karamea Police Station.

Surely the effective closure of a police station in perhaps the most remote town on Mainland New Zealand can only lead to a response-based service, which contravenes the proposal’s very purpose.

The report correctly states that Karamea is 66.9 kilometres from the next closest police station in Granity. It, however, neglects to mention that the windy mountain road traverses the Karamea Bluffs and the drive time from Granity to Karamea is over one hour; Westport is 90 minutes away.

In the event of a natural disaster that makes the road impassable, the Karamea community and visiting tourists would be completely isolated from much needed police assistance. The road is closed several times a year by slips, tree fall and flooding and the possibility of a major earthquake occurring is real.

Karamea is the Western gateway to the Kahurangi National Park, which services the Heaphy Track, Oparara Basin and other attractions. The number of people participating in activities provided by these facilities and visitors to the Karamea region is increasing in line with community, regional and national efforts to boost tourism. This would seem to coincide with an increased need for associated police services and a determination of future police requirements based on a purely economic analysis of past crime figures ignores this fact and is rather shortsighted.

The Karamea region has a small largely law-abiding population, which is perhaps due to permanent police presence in the region. The current police officer, has been servicing the region for the past 22 years and the fact that we enjoy a relatively crime free existence is largely due to the efficacy of his police work and that he is very familiar with the region and the people living here. The only possible outcome from terminating his position is an increase in local crime, which is thoroughly unacceptable to the community and not at all in line with the N.Z. Police Code, which is “Helping us live our values every day so we earn the trust and confidence of everyone in New Zealand.”

Inspector Jeff Penno, who resides in Waikato, compiled the proposal and it would appear that he is not at all aware of the geographical logistics of the region or needs of the Karamea community. Perhaps he and Tasman-based Superintendent Malthus could actually visit Karamea and get a first-hand understanding of the situation rather than attempting to remotely rule the region, which is precisely what is suggested by the proposal to end full time police presence at the Karamea station.

A police presence is also helpful to business owners like myself who cater to visitors to the region and the loss of an officer stationed here would be detrimental to the smooth operation of our respective ventures and the feeling of comfort and security it affords our guests. It is also essential for our children to grow up in an environment that has police support and coverage. I want to raise well-balanced, productive and law-abiding children and this will be incrementally more difficult without a police officer stationed in our community to set an example for young people and maintain a peaceful environment for them to experience as they mature into adults.

I consider the proposal to remove the locally based police officer and service the region from Westport is, given the geographical isolation of the community, impractical, unreasonable, not at all feasible and utterly untenable. This sentiment is unanimous among other Karamea residents.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings on this important issue. I ask that you as the Minister of Police consider my request to maintain the Karamea Police Station and the much-needed permanent police presence on the region, and for the Karamea section of the West Coast police review be amended accordingly.

If you have any questions, or require more information, please e-mail or call me any time,

Regards from Sunny Karamea,

Paul John Murray

 

 

 

 

About LivinginPeaceProject

Paul Murray is the founder of the LivinginPeace Project. www.livinginpeace.com Paul originally from Australia, but have been living in New Zealand for 14 years. Before that he was in Japan for a decade working as a journalist. He met his wife Sanae in Japan and they married in 2008.
This entry was posted in Buller District Council, Bureaucracy, Children, Department of Conservation, DOC, Drugs, Economics, Efficiency, Heaphy Track, Historical, Kahurangi National Park, Karamea, LivinginPeace Project, Media, Money, New Zealand, New Zealand Police, Oparara, Oparara Basin, Parenting, Paul Murray, Peace, Photography, Politics, Rongo Backpackers & Gallery, Social Commentary, South Island, Sustainablity, Travel, Uncategorized, West Coast and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Karameans Rally to Protest Cop Shop Chop

  1. To whom it may concern,

    I am writing to express my opposition to the possible decision to cancel the police presence in Karamea. I recently visited the town and many residents voiced their dismay about this. This included those who might not ordinarily be expected to wish for a police presence in their lives. I would say this is a near unanimous opinion.

    There are many arguments for keeping a police officer stationed in Karamea, most of which are practical issues surrounding law and order. I will confine myself here to a more philosophical point.

    There are two principal views in Western political discourse as to the origins of civil society. The first is championed by Rousseau who wrote in The Social Contract that man lived in a state of nature before organised society developed. He believed that men were basically good and that this worked well and people lived peacefully. It became necessary to change this situation, however, when human life became more complex and populations grew. A decision was made to form governments which could enhance human life. Some were concerned that government might become tyrannical so, in some cases, government was strictly limited to protect human rights and other freedoms from encroachment by the state.

    A second view, espoused by Hobbes, was that men were completely wild in the state of nature (ie, in contrast to Rousseau, man was essentially bad, not good) and if left to their own devices would tear each other apart (see his classic work of 1651, Leviathan. in which he postulated that life in the pre-government state of nature was a “Bellum omnium contra omnes”, or “war of all against all”, and that life was “nasty, brutish and short”). Therefore, as Hobbes saw it, a strong centralised state was required to maintain order. This state was empowered to control every aspect of its populace’s life. An all-present police force was eventually needed to ensure this happened on the ground.

    The New Zealand polity conforms to the latter model (see, generally, Philip Joseph’s Constitutional and Administrative Law in NZ, on the origins of the NZ state). Some, including me, regret this, as it can lead to tyranny or majoritarian government of the sort that has characterised NZ history from time to time. However, since this is how things are in fact ordered in NZ, I think it is incumbent on government to do it properly and not take short cuts by, as may happen in this instance, failing to provide a police presence in Karamea.

    We live in a Hobbesian state; so let’s do it properly and maintain a strong police presence.

    Thank you.

    David Griffiths

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s