Christchurch polite police out in force

Christchurch’s ‘Polite Force’ will be out on the city beat this month, targeting “polite and playful interactions” with the public.

The Gap Filler-backed uniformed members of the Polite Force will take command of fun social connections in the city until May. It may be opening a door, pressing the pedestrian crossing button, acknowledging polite actions by the public, playing ‘polite’ interactive games – such as Polite-square and Polite-scotch – giving directions, offering advice or patrolling the Polite Station.

Gap Filler project developer, Elisha Blogg says while it seems “all fun and games”, the aim is to “promote active citizenship and encourage others to create a Polite Force” within their community.

In another playful move, Gap Filler will also launch a sociable project called “Sit!”.

A playful experiment with public seating, it will “add” to existing seating in Oxford Terrace.

Project developer, Simone Reynolds says that by “weaving playful features into our civic infrastructure, we are exploring ways to turn in-between spaces into playful pathways”.

“We hope this makes for a better city experience for people of all ages and contributes to general health and wellbeing,” she says.

City bench sitters need to be ready for quick-fire fortune seeking, word games, a conversation across the waters and surprises under benches.

Ngā Pirihimanaaki o Aotearoa New Zealand Polite Force members will officially ‘graduate’ on Monday on The Terrace from 11.30am. Gap Filler hopes both projects will bring fun and creativity to city spaces while promoting positive social interactions within the community. 

Gap Filler’s projects are supported by the Christchurch City Council.