Home' Hastings Mail : January 31st 2012 Contents 5
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and tilta doors,
and service &
Fears police cuts
Havelock North's community police
station could soon be left unmanned
for long periods, reigniting fears it
will eventually be closed.
In a major re-housing of police
resources, all traffic and child protec-
tion staff are now based in Hastings,
while all organised crime squad
detectives are now based in Napier.
Police have confirmed that the
receptionist positions at the Have-
lock North and Taradale police
stations will be gone by next month.
The two positions will be moved to
a new centralised file management
centre in Napier.
That meant that Havelock North's
two community constables, often
called on to work in Hastings, would
be the only remaining staff based at
that station, following the recent
relocation of the region's Serious
Crash Unit to Hastings.
Police announced that the two
receptionist positions would go last
September as part of Operation Bold,
a staff restructure designed to
relieve the administrative burden of
front-line officers and get more police
back on the beat.
Concerned residents from both
suburbs called community meetings
after the announcement was made to
demand assurances from police
about the future of the both stations.
After the Havelock North meeting,
councillor Wayne Bradshaw wrote to
police to seek assurances there
would be a continued police presence
in Havelock North and the station
would remain open.
Hastings area commander Inspec-
tor Chris Wallace replied that both
community constable positions
would remain in Havelock North,
and there were no plans to close the
But Mr Wallace could not give an
undertaking that central Govern-
ment would not introduce cost
saving plans'' in future.
Last week Mr Bradshaw said the
loss of the front counter staff mem-
ber and the relocation of the serious
crash unit could signal the beginning
of the end of the Havelock North sta-
That's always been my concern,
and that's been the concern of
residents and why Havelock North
and Taradale held community
meetings last year,'' he said.
My fear is that in any amalgama-
tion or restructure, or whatever it is
you want to call it, there will be less
emphasis placed on these peripheral
The relocation of the Serious
Crash Unit to Hastings was just one
of many police staff movements
within Hawke's Bay recently.
Police spokesperson Kris McGehan
confirmed all of Hawke's Bay's road
police groups were now under one
roof at the old Hastings' courthouse.
The Highway Patrol group and
Commercial Vehicle Investigation
Unit (CVIU) had moved there from
Flaxmere, and the Hastings Stra-
tegic Traffic Unit had also moved out
of the Hastings station into the
Napier's Child Protection Unit
officers were moved to Hastings last
year, while detectives from
Organised Crime Squad were all now
based in Napier.
Out of work: Machine operator Collins Manswell was one of 44 staff laid off after the Hawk Packaging plant
in Hastings was destroyed by fire.
Picture: JOHN COWPLAND
Staff laid off after
Owners of a Hastings company
destroyed by fire have been
forced to lay off 44 staff after
finding their insurance policy
did not cover wages.
Hawk Packaging manage-
ment told workers at a meeting
last week they would lose their
There is a chance they will be
re-employed when the company
re-opens at a new site in July,
but there are no guarantees.
The building in Tomoana Rd
was burned to the ground last
The blaze covered Hastings in
ash and threatened nearby
The lay-offs came as a shock
The day after the fire, owner
and managing director Tim
Combs said the company was
insured and none of the 55 staff
would lose their jobs.
Hawk Packaging's recruit-
ment manager Kelly Fenwick
said the company's business
interruption insurance would
not pay wages if people were not
We thought we would be
covered to retain our full work
force. In reality, we weren't.''
Staff were paid four weeks in
compensation and would have
first dibs'' on jobs in the new
They are key staff with key
information. We'd like to retain
them,'' Mrs Fenwick said.
However, she was realistic
that many workers would have
secured other jobs before Hawk
Packaging could offer them
Company customers, such as
Heinz Watties, had come for-
ward with offers of seasonal
work for those let go.
Machine operator Collins
Manswell was using the redun-
dancy to take a step back and
think about life and what direc-
tion to go in''.
He had learnt to save well
after he was made redundant in
his previous job as a cabinet
maker. He was not hedging his
bets'' on work at the new plant.
He had been offered two jobs
since the announcement and
would likely accept one of them.
However, he was sad to leave
Hawk Packaging. Mr Manswell
met workmates in Hastings on
Friday night to spend the
remaining social club money.
Police said investigations
were continuing into the cause
of the complex'' blaze. -- Fairfax
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