Constable moves to island life
Moving from trauma to relative tranquillity is an opportunity new Waiheke police Constable Gabrielle Thomson grabbed with both hands.
She joined Sergeant Peter Knight and staff at the Ocean View Rd station on Monday after finishing work as a detective in Canterbury.
"All I've done is deal with dead people for quite a long time. I'm looking forward to my island in the sun."
Police work is Gabrielle's third career. She was in the army for nine years as an engineer before leaving to have a baby. And then she bought a sheep paddock in North Canterbury, eventually selling it to start her new career with the police.
Now she is looking forward to her work on Waiheke, relishing the chance to live on an island again - something she did as a child.
She was a resident of Pitt Island in the Chathams and, later, lived on a tiny Pacific island called Nauru for a couple of years.
She is looking forward to seeing all the vineyards as well and says she is not surprised by the industry's growth.
"It's such a tiny little piece of land, people are all trying to get some. The wine's beautiful from Waiheke. There are lovely vineyards."
Her children are now grown up and studying at Auckland University so she is looking forward to being closer to them, as well as much nearer to her parents on the Coromandel.
But it is the work Gabrielle will be doing in the community as a police constable that appeals the most.
"I am a detective at present and have been working on a homicide for the last ‘millennium'. I'm looking forward to not being on a homicide and getting out from behind my computer and talking to people."