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Saying ‘Hello’ to the New Community Police Car

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It was a great pleasure for me to participate in the launching ceremony of a  ‘New community Police Car’ on the 7th of September 2023, at the Counties Manukau Police station, Manukau, Auckland. 

The Commissioner of Police, Andrew Coster, started the launch by delivering the welcome speech. He thanked and appreciated everyone who worked hard to make this car a real one and welcomed all the invitees with an honour. Then, the launching of the vehicle took place with the participation of all community representatives.

‘We hope this new community car, which is a part of our police fleet, showcases our dedication and commitment to the diverse communities we serve,’ the Commissioner emphasised during his speech. ‘The visibility of this community car is significant. It is a right for us to reach out to build the trust and confidence in our ethnic communities. We want our young people to be able to see their identity and even consider joining New Zealand Police,’ he added.

He said further that this vehicle would serve as a tool that would support ‘New Zealand Police’ when they are out engaging with a community that is comprising over 230 ethnicities. Also, this car symbolises everybody’s commitment to inclusiveness and partnership with all ethnic communities while accepting the diversity of our core values.

Once the celebration started, I witnessed the elegantly decorated Hyundai Ioniq 5, the dedicated EV, earmarked for the use of diverse New Zealand communities. The brand-new cream white Ioniq 5 EV was selected for the new livery as the ‘Community Engagement Vehicle for Ethnic services.’ The Police Ethnic Services needed a suitable vehicle in line with the Pirimana (Maori), Va’a (Pasifika) and Rainbow (Pride) vehicles in the police diversity fleet. They mentioned that this new EV will be used by Waitemata District contributing to the sustainability goals of the Police by reducing Carbon emissions. 

I was lucky to have a thorough look at this vehicle. The livery on the car represented the word ‘HELLO’ in 75 of the more than 170 different languages spoken by our ethnic communities in New Zealand. I was over-rejoiced to see the blooming word ‘ආයුබෝවන්’ in Sinhalese. Use of the multiple language for the signage reflected the sense of social unity amidst ethnic diversity within New Zealand Police and the people’s respect for those in our community who use English as their second language. The presence of the vehicle will increase the trust and confidence of the communities in the institutions like the New Zealand Police and their recruitment. Also, it acknowledges unity among the diversity in our multicultural communities, where I live. 

Excitingly, this car has a QR code which allows to scan to the Police website for information, about joining the police, etc. To live in a multicultural society where everybody’s treated and valued equally, is a pleasant experience. Everybody feels inclusive and participates in society alike. I was highly privileged to participate in the event and witness the proceedings, representing the trilingual community newspaper, Sri LankaNZ.

By Achala Nelunika – Auckland

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