Police were pleased to get in among the vibrant sights, sounds and tastes of the Wellington Pasifika Festival this year.
District Pacific Liaison Coordinator, Sergeant Franz Fleischanderl said the mission for the afternoon was positive community engagement and getting to know the locals.
“Police have had a positive presence at the festival for several years now,” he said.
“Events like the Pasifika festival provide us with an opportunity to positively engage with our Pasifika people outside an operational policing context.
“There was great feedback from the organisers and members of the public about our participation and many enjoyed having the presence of the Va’a.”
As well as the Pasifika Va’a (a police car with Pasifika designs), the Police stall at the festival also featured a virtual reality simulation and members of the public could meet their local police officers.
Present alongside Police were volunteers from the Wellington and Porirua Pasifika Patrol groups who work with Police year-round to keep communities safe. Patrollers at the event engaged with attendees, conducted foot patrols, and took part in the festivities.
“The Pasifika Va’a was a crowd pleaser for both young and old. The bright yellow and blue designs showcase the unique culture and diversity of the Pacific peoples in our community,” said Sergeant Fleischanderl.
“Some young people thought the car was “sick” (slang for cool) because they could see something which represented their culture in the design of the car.”
Despite the weather turning sour later in the afternoon, a great day was had by all!