Work is about to start on Tāneatua’s new police base – now the hunt is on to find someone to design an artwork to sit in front of the base.

Police has appointed Vivian Construction to build the base, which has been designed to reflect the valleys of the local area.

A blessing of the site has been held and work onsite will now get underway.

Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander Inspector Stuart Nightingale says appointing the contractor and getting work underway on the site is a significant step.

“The community has been involved in this project since the very beginning and we know how important this police base is to them.

Vivian Construction is working on opportunities for the community to be involved with parts of the build process which is really exciting.”

Inspector Nightingale says the artwork installation, which will sit outside the base, is another key opportunity, with expressions of interest now open.

“Right from the outset, this rebuild has been about getting a facility that really fits the area.

We’ve worked incredibly hard on a design that is unique and that will reflect the community it sits in and their aspirations.

“This piece – whether it be a sculpture, carving or something else – is another way to ensure the special essence of the community is reflected in this police base.

I’m confident it’s going to be unlike any other police building and I’m really excited to see what designs people come up with.”

Throughout the process New Zealand Police has worked alongside our community partners, including Ngāi Tūhoe, embracing the themes which came from the local community around connection, protection and presence.

“We want to see these themes, as well as our police values, reflected in the chosen design.

The judging panel will be looking for a piece of art that builds on the unique design of the building, draws on the collaboration with the community and reflects the role of Police within the community and the outcomes Police is trying to achieve.”

The selected artist will get $10,000 to produce their piece.

The invitation is open to all artists, however connection to the rohe and community is important to the project and the judging panel will consider a tie to the community as an advantage.

Meanwhile, Vivian Construction commercial director Matt Vivian says the company too will consider ways to engage the local community.

“In the past we have engaged in the local community to help deliver these projects in various capacities from labouring and earth brick building to placing locals with contractors to carry on into apprenticeships.

There are a number of areas we would love to engage the community in on this one.”

For more information on Expressions of Interest for the artwork, see the Police website, Bay of Plenty and Taupo Police Facebook page or email for more details.