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Queenstown's new community guides will be on duty from Friday night in a three month trial of the new position, Queenstown Lakes District Council Curbing Alcohol Related Violence (CARV) officer Merv Aoake said.
The four guides would create a whole new night time presence in the heart of the resort town.
The community guides were employed by the council and funded through the Ministry of Justice crime prevention unit’s CARV programme.
Having the guides on the street was the culmination of 18 months of work with community groups and agencies, including the council and the police, Mr Aoake said.
The council advertised for the roles in May with a high caliber set of individuals applying.
“I was really delighted with the standard of the people who have applied, I know the four people we have selected will do an outstanding job,” Mr Aoake said.
The main role of the guides would be to promote safety in the centre of town, reduce alcohol related crime and give directions and information.
“The initiative is a proactive response to the ongoing issues associated with a resort town at night,” Mr Aoake said.
The guides would adopt a friendly and helpful approach but would also act as eyes and ears for the police and other services and agencies.
The team, which consists of one woman and three men, would receive a briefing each night and would have radio contact with emergency services. They would also be trained in first aid as a first response," he said.
"They are all strong communicators and I believe they will have just the right amount of patience and empathy, plus a sense of humour always goes a long way," Mr Aoake said.
The guides would generally be on duty from Thursday to Saturday with a presence between the hours of 11pm and 4am.
“They will be highly visible, you can’t miss them in their high visibility gear and community guide branding. They will be very approachable and people should feel really comfortable to ask for help or just say hi,” Mr Aoake said.