Leaky, black mould-ridden police stations may close as Police Association pleads for funding 

The Police Association says decades of underinvestment has left some police stations with thick black mould, rotten floors and water leaking down walls - and more funding is desperately needed.   

Police buildings across Aotearoa are facing "momentous infrastructure issues", according to an article in the February issue of Police News.    

Staff in "dozens of locations" are "struggling with major issues", Police News' inquiries have confirmed.    

The Greymouth Police Station has been leaking for years, allowing black mould and rot to take hold.    

Grey District Mayor Tania Gibson told Newshub "it's really not good enough".   

"The working conditions of staff are terrible and they're having to put mitigations in place."   

In 2023, the station closed temporarily after air quality testing found unsafe levels of black mould.    

A run down room with no carpet in the Greymouth Police Station.
A room in the Greymouth Police Station. Photo credit: NZ Police Association

Police Association president Chris Cahill told Newshub: "They've got serious black mould, a lot of which needs to be treated monthly."   

"There's water leaking out of roofs, water leaking out of wall sockets."   

One member of the Police Association described the Greymouth Station as "an embarrassing and sad state of affairs".   

Dozens of other stations across Aotearoa have fallen into similar states of disrepair.   

Nelson's police station has "weather-tightness issues" and when it rains "rivers of water run down the walls of the cells".   

Buckets on the floor to catch water from a leaky roof.
The Upper Hutt Police Station in Wellington. Photo credit: NZ Police Association

Blenheim's station was all but torn down because of earthquake damage before the plan was scuppered because of its cost, leaving staff with trip hazards and "questionable plumbing".   

Whakatāne's station is built for two-30 staff but now must support 130.    

Rolleston station is also fit to bursting, with one officer's locker a metre from the urinal while others have theirs in the disabled toilet cubicle.    

Cahill said the Police Association's February report shows that stations have not received adequate funding for "a long time and that underinvestment is now coming home to roost".

National's belt-tightening directive does not give police much hope for the future.   

Police must cut costs by 6.5 percent before the next Budget year and reinvest them into frontline services, but it's still unclear whether property is frontline or an area where savings will be sought.    

"You need to budget for that moving forward, we're only going to have more stations that get into this state. They're not going to get better if you do nothing," Cahill said.

Prime Minister Chris Luxon said at the post-Cabinet stand-up on Monday "we know there are real challenges across the whole portfolio of Government buildings but we need to make sure we've got a good assessment and find a way fiscally that we can make those investments to improve those situations".   

Police officers across the country only hope that they find a way soon.