24 May 2005

NZ policeman returns to Bougainville after death threat rumours

9:16 pm on 24 May 2005

The head of the New Zealand police contingent on the Papua New Guinea Island of Bougainville has returned to the province following rumours of a death threat.

Inspector Bazz Bailey was one of five community police officers flown to Port Moresby a week ago after stories that a Meekamui leader wanted to kill a foreign policeman on the island.

Inspector Bailey say's he's returned to work in Buka after discussing security issues with the head of police in the province, Joseph Bemu, the provincial administrator Peter Tsiamalili and the New Zealand High Commissioner, Laurie Markes.

He says New Zealand police national headquarters in Wellington decided he should return.

"There's always people around that are not going to comply with the rule of law and order, that's a risk that we take every day of our life whether we be in Wellington or Port Moresby or Buka. Comments were made, we had to treat them seriously, as a result of what's happened in the last few days I'm very comfortable to be back here."

Inspector Bailey says he hopes the other four will join him as soon as flights are available.