City Centre partnership boosts public safety in Auckland

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown with representatives from the Tāmaki Makaurau partnership, including Auckland Council CityWatch and Compliance teams, Police, Auckland Transport, Māori Wardens and Community Patrols New Zealand on December 7, 2023 (Photo Supplied)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, December 9, 2023

The Auckland City Council has launched a new partnership initiative to foster safety in public places under the banner, ‘Together for Tamaki Makaurau’ (Together for Auckland).

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown, who held a meeting of the Group on December 7, 2023, said that the partnership involves the Auckland Council Group (including the Council-Controlled Organisations), the New Zealand Police, government agencies, business associations and social support services.

He said that ‘Together for Tamaki Makaurau’ aims at an improved and more visible safety presence from Karangahape (K) Road to the Waterfront in the City Centre areas.

“I believe that all Aucklanders should feel safe in the City. A safe City is one where people feel comfortable living, working, and playing. I am comfortable that we have the right approach, so I encourage people to come into the City during the festive season to enjoy themselves at our planned events and to shop at our prime retail spots,” he said, at the meeting.

The move comes in line with the new government’s promise to implement a series of measures to improve law and order across the country within the ‘first 100 days.’ Police Minister Mark Mitchell told this reporter during a conversation in Wellington on December 6, 2023 that his government was serious about safer communities through better law and order.

High-visibility partnership days  

As a part of this focus on collaboration, a series of weekly Together for Tāmaki Makaurau partnership days are being trialled in the run-up to Christmas.

Various groups will provide a high visibility street presence in the City centre, with Auckland Council CityWatch and Compliance teams, Police, Māori Wardens and Community Patrols NZ (CPNZ) coordinating efforts to set expectations for appropriate conduct and address issues around anti-social behaviour and crime.

Mr Brown said that these days are representative of a strengthened and ongoing collaboration as key groups continue to coordinate activities into the new year.

Auckland Council Regulatory Services Director Craig Hobbs said that the ‘Together for Tāmaki Makaurau Collaboration’ is one of the many initiatives being undertaken with its social and commercial partners including Heart of the City and Karangahape Road Business Association to improve experiences and public perceptions of safety in the City centre.

“It is fantastic to see so many public and private organisations express an interest to come together in support of our shared goal to make our City centre a safe and vibrant place to live, work and enjoy.  In addition to the safety initiatives, there is also a concerted effort underway to draw more people into the City centre, with attractive spaces, activations and events which will help make our places busier, and therefore safer too,” he said.

Auckland City Police Central Area Commander Inspector Grant Tetzlaff said that the Police are continuing to build strong relationships with a range of partner agencies in the Central City, which supports such initiatives.

“Police have been working with our partners to support and complement the work we each do every day.  We are focused on our staff being visible and mobile across the City centre where there is high demand or as part of prevention activity. We are continuing to focus on having staff on the beat for our community to engage with. Working alongside other guardians and coordinating our deployment in our City centre will help in reassuring the public as they move safely through public spaces,” he said.

New dedicated safety role

Equal funding from Auckland Council and the Proceeds of Crime Fund administered by the Justice Ministry has enabled the Council to appoint a dedicated City Safety Coordinator to work across all City centre safety activities.

The funding is supporting the continued operation of a safety hub at Queen’s Wharf operated by trained volunteers from Community Patrols NZ (CPNZ) as well as a pilot of two additional hubs in High Street and Queen Street.

According to Mr Brown, the new hubs will provide operational bases for the various volunteer groups who give their time to make our City feel safe, including CPNZ and Māori and Pacific Wardens. While the current focus is on ensuring a high level of visibility in the community, there are plans for the additional hubs.

“Auckland Council has also established with its partners an online safety portal which enables residents, workers and visitors to take action on safety issues and find the right contact information quickly. The portal can be accessed at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

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