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Youth Council representative contributes to Rural Police Project

24 May 2021, 1:40 PM

A Waitomo District Youth Council representative has been given a unique opportunity to provide valuable feedback on the challenges of policing in rural communities.

Halima Shah was one of a small selection of representatives from both Ōtorohanga and Waitomo Districts who were invited to offer input into The Rural Policing Enhancement Project.

Inspector Paul Carpenter says The Rural Policing Enhancement Project is a strategic piece of work looking to ensure rural policing is fit for purpose and responsive to changing rural needs.

“It also looks to improve how we enable and equip our rural officers,” he says.

“Policing in small communities is unique and comes with different challenges and opportunities than policing in provincial or metropolitan towns and cities. 

“The project is all about ensuring we understand these differences and opportunities to keep our people and communities safe, and deliver the services New Zealanders expect and deserve.”

The project team has held a number of workshops with rural staff, communities and partners in Otago, Southland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty with one key question in mind; How might we ensure we are able to police successfully in a rural environment?

The two-hour workshop held at the Les Munro Centre in Te Kuiti on 18 May was the second one held in the Waikato.

Waitomo District Council Manager Community Development Clowdy Ngatai also attended the workshop alongside Halima.

“This workshop provided questions for invited community members to support research into some of the ways Police can look to enhance their policing in rural sectors around NZ,” says Clowdy.

“It was inspiring to see Halima rise to the challenge and offer her views on behalf of our Youth Council.

“Thank you for stepping up to have your voice noted in the rural sectors research Halima.”


Photo: Inspector Paul Carpenter, Waitomo District Youth Council representative Halima Shah, project team member Shelley Begbie and Waitomo District Council Manager Community Development Clowdy Ngatai recently came together to discuss the challenges of policing in a rural community.