Police Commissioner dedicates new EV to ethnic communities

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster at the launch of the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV (with ‘Hello’ painted in 70 languages) at the Counties Manukau Police Station on Thursday, September 7, 2023 (Photo Supplied)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, September 7, 2023

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster today launched a new electric car in Auckland, dedicating it to the ethnic communities.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV joined its predecessors Pirihimana (Maori), Va’a (Pacifica) and Rainbow (Pride) cars, reflecting the increasing diversity in the New Zealand Police.

Mr Coster unveiled the new Hyundai in the presence of the Members of the Police Commissioner’s Ethnic Focus Forum and the media at the Counties Manukau Police Headquarters Hub near the Manukau City Centre.

Among those present were Deputy Commissioner of Police (Iwi and Communities) Wallace Haumaha, Superintendent of Police (Manager, National Partnerships Ethnic) Rakesh Naidoo, Ethnic Liaison Officers of Tamaki Makarau Police and members of the media.

While the livery on the car depicted the word ‘Hello,’ in 75 different languages that are more commonly spoken across the country, Mr Coster said that the new EV reflected the diversity within the New Zealand Police, which in turn represented the growing multicultural and multilingual fabric of our society.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster and the members of his Ethnic Focus Forum unveiling the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV at the Counties Manukau Police Station on Thursday, September 7, 2023. Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha is at the far right (Photo Supplied)

Significance of visibility

“This vehicle will serve as a tool to support the New Zealand Police when our staff are out engaging with our ethnic communities, which accounts for more than 230 ethnicities speaking at least 170 different languages. The EV is a gesture of respect to people for whom English is the second language and will help increase the trust and confidence through inclusion, consultation and recruitment,” he said.

Mr Coster said that the Hyundai Ioniq 5 will be used as a community engagement vehicle by Ethnic Services staff based in Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland). It will not however replace the operational fleet used by Frontline and Traffic Police.

“The visibility of this community car is significant. It is a way for us to reach out and build trust and confidence with our ethnic communities. We want our young people to be able to see their identities reflected back at them. We want them to feel safe when they approach officers and get excited when they see a colourful car like this and perhaps consider joining the Police,” he said.

Mr Coster said that the New Zealand Police is becoming increasingly diverse with the ethnic communities accounting for about 9.3% of the total workforce of about 15,000.

Superintendent of Police (Manager, National Partnerships Ethnic) Rakesh Naidoo at the wheels of the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV on September 7, 2023 in Auckland (Photo Supplied)

Diversity in the Police

“We value the strength and unique skills that they bring to our organisation through their lived experiences and language abilities. We hope that this new community car, which is a part of our Police fleet showcases our dedication and commitment to the diverse communities that we serve. This vehicle symbolises our ongoing commitment to inclusion consultation and recruitment by valuing diversity, which is one of our core policing values as an organisation,” he said.

According to Mr Coster, the use of EVs will help the New Zealand Police to cut down on emissions while fulfilling carbon reduction targets.

“This vehicle fits within existing project funding due to it being an EV. An existing EV from the Waitemata District fleet pool was repurposed for this project. The car is part of a wider fleet involved in the electrification project. The expectation is this car, along with the others in our fleet will reduce carbon emissions by around 176.1 tonnes annually. This aligns with global policing innovations and modernises and transforms our fleet while seeking to meet our carbon reduction targets,” he said.

Operational BMW EVs

The New Zealand Police announced in June 2023 that BMW i4 has been selected as a trial vehicle for operational needs over the next six months.

The BMW EV was reported to have successfully met the performance requirements while fulfilling carbon reduction targets and fitting within existing project funding. Road Policing was identified as a suitable trial for operational use with the trial limited to five vehicles.

If the trial is successful, it will create an opportunity for the Police to consider future options for EVs to transition into suitable areas of the fleet.

This trial is part of a wider fleet electrification project, introducing 45 electric vehicles into the New Zealand Police Fleet and the associated charging infrastructure. The expectation is this will reduce carbon emissions by around 176.1 tonnes annually.

This trial aligns New Zealand with global Policing innovations and modernises and transforms our fleet while seeking to meet our carbon reduction targets.

Work is also underway to identify practical ways to reduce fleet carbon emissions by analysing what the fleet comprises, how we use our vehicles and alternative means of travel.

While unveiling the trial vehicle Mr Coster said the vehicle represented an important commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

“Police vehicles are fundamental to our ability to serve the public and provide safer communities across New Zealand. We are proud to take these new steps seeking to reduce transport-related emissions while keeping New Zealanders safe,” he said.

This project is supported with $1.7 million in co-funding from the State Sector Decarbonisation Fund, administered by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority).

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