After almost 31 years, Sergeant Aaron Nicholson is retiring from the NZ Police today (Monday, May 7).
He has spent over half of his professional adult working life policing in Wanaka, with earlier years of his career spent in Whangarei and Auckland.
“I have, without doubt, immensely enjoyed being part of the unique Wanaka Community and raising my two children here. We are privileged to be able to live in such a beautiful part of the world and be surrounded by an environment I never fail to appreciate every time I look up.
“You only have to walk up Roys Peak (if there is room) and look down on Wanaka to realise that it’s still a small village really. The point of difference in this town is the type of people attracted to the area. I have been amazed at the talent, motivation, capability and sense of community that people bring. Long may that continue,” he said.
Sergeant Nicholson has also spent many years working with Wanaka Search and Rescue. WanakaSAR chairman Bill Day said Sergeant Nicholson would be missed.
“Aaron has been a visionary leader of Wanaka Search and Rescue for the past 18 years. He has had the rare combination of being willing and able to lead from the front when it was necessary but also to stand back where appropriate in order to develop skills and depth in his team.
“He has overseen WanakaSAR grow from a small group of climbing specialists to a wider organisation that encompasses a large range of skills. He has adapted as rescue technology has developed over time but has always remained steadfast in his vision of a multidisciplinary team that provides a total rescue solution to our lost and injured no matter where they are within our wilderness area.
“Aaron has spent more than a decade and a half getting out of a warm bed on stormy nights to look for perfect strangers,” Bill said.
Sergeant Nicholson said in this week’s Crimeline, “My only other real concern for the town is that we think really hard about how we can avoid killing the golden goose. If we get that right the egg will take care of itself.
“In leaving I hope that the reputation of Police as an honest, empathetic and professional group of men and women who are here to serve the community has been enhanced.”
He said he was looking forward to a number of different challenges as he moved into a new era, including convincing his wife that he needed a lot more time mountain biking, climbing, skiing and hunting.
“I know I have been in the right place, doing the right thing as I look back on the past 18 years and know I would not change a thing,” he added.
Photo: Sergeant Nicholson (left) is pictured with Bill Day at Tasman Saddle Hut with Mt Cook in the background.
Click to read the Wanaka Sun
- Enlarge screen by double-clicking on the page
View all earlier editions of the Wanaka Sun here