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New wheels . . . Oamaru Police Constable Steph Coubrough (left) and North Otago Motor Group managing director Peter Robinson with the new Skoda police vehicle. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Oamaru police have a new set of wheels.

Last week, the Oamaru station received its first Skoda police vehicle from North Otago Motor Group.

The vehicle was one of 10 new Skoda police cars now operational in the Southern District Police area.

Skoda was selected to replace Holden as the police frontline vehicle, after Holden was removed from the New Zealand and Australian markets last year.

North Otago Motor Group held the previous Holden contract. When the change was announced, managing director Peter Robinson entered into discussions with Skoda and North Otago Motor Group was awarded the new contract.

Mr Robinson was rapt to hand over the first vehicle and to continue to support the Oamaru police.

“We’re really pleased to continue our relationship, because we’ve had a relationship with the police for 29 years,” Mr Robinson said.

“We’re really happy that we’re continuing that on with Skoda brand.”

Mr Robinson spent time in Auckland with Giltrap Group, becoming familiar with the vehicle model for police.

A North Otago Motor Group technician had visited Auckland to learn about the changeover, he said.

Oamaru police’s fleet, consisting of about 28 vehicles, would all be gradually replaced by Skoda vehicles.

Oamaru Sergeant Tony Woodbridge said it was pleasing for police to still have a relationship with North Otago Motor Group.

“It is good to keep it local. That way we get things done in a timely manner. They know us, we know them … they’re a very helpful crew,” Sgt Woodbridge said.

The car was another “tool” for police and it was great to have a brand new car added to the Oamaru fleet, he said.