Topic: Katikati Police Station and Jail

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Construction of the Katikati Police Station and Jail was authorised on 5 February 1880 and completed in early July of the same year. The police station was replaced in 1939 and again in 1985, when the jail was also replaced. The original jail now stands in the grounds of the Katikati Heritage Museum.

Construction of the Katikati Police Station and Jail was authorised on 5 February 1880. The tender was accepted of Messrs Gray and Sims for a cottage with outhouses, stable and lock-up.  On 26 February 1880 Constable AJ McCluskey arrived from Whanganui to become the first policeman in Katikati.  The police station was to be completed by 14 April 1880, but it was not until 8 July that its completion was reported by the Bay of Plenty Times.  Constable McCluskey moved in on 19 July. The Bay of Plenty Times also reported that a Magistrate’s Court would sit there and sessions were advertised for 9 September and 11 November. Constable McCluskey was granted a gratuity of 35 shillings by the Road Board for “efficient collection of the dog tax”.

Old Katikati Jail

The police station was replaced in 1939 and again in 1985. At this latter time the jail, which had served the community for 105 years, was replaced also. The old jail was moved to the Tauranga Historic Village in 1987, but returned to Katikati after the Katikati Museum was built. There are few stories about those who spent time in the jail, but one about a prisoner who did not!  Constable McCluskey "had a hard tussle . . . . with a native who got obstreperous and ran off while handcuffed. The constable very obligingly sent the key with another native so he could release his companion, but the ungrateful Maoris never returned with either handcuffs or key”. The constable was forced to travel to Tauranga for replacement handcuffs.

The following is a list of policemen who served in Katikati until 1991 when a second constable was appointed to the station:

             1880-83           Adam McCluskey (from Wanganui)

            1883-85           Joseph Kelly (from Mercury Bay)

            1885-88           Timothy Cahill

            1888-1922       Charles (Charlie) Thomas Dunne*

            1922-44           Alfred O’Neill* (from Tauranga)

            1944-58           Hugh Hunter* (from Gisborne)

            1958-66           Victor Woodward*  (became caretaker for Katikati College)

            1966-70           Orme Power (from Ohakune)

            1970-80           Raymond Ruane (from Wellington)

            1980-84           Brian Foote (from Waiouru)

            1985-91           Stanley Sickler

            1988-91           Keith Morrisey (becomes Katikati’s first second constable).

            1992                William Segewick

            1973 (Oct)      Ian Simpson (appointed Katikati’s first Traffic Officer and  stayed on as  a policeman when the two services merged in 1992).


This account based on The History of the Police in the Bay of Plenty by Jinty O’Rourke and material in the Katikati Library Archives.

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Katikati Police Station and Jail