14 Aug 2006

New Zealand to help combat domestic violence in Tonga

4:06 pm on 14 August 2006

New Zealand police and Tonga's ministry of police are working closely to set up a new division within the Ministry to handle cases of domestic violence in the Kingdom.

Work has been undertaken by local police officials and two officers from New Zealand as part of a NZ initiative to prevent domestic violence in the Pacific.

New Zealand police officials will also work with police in Samoa, Kiribati and the Cook Islands.

Tonga's deputy police commander, Taniela Faletau stresses the importance of recognising the increasing problem of domestic violence in Tonga.

He says the number of women and children affected by this type of violence is increasing.

And, Mr Faletau says setting up the new unit division will help in the fight against domestic violence.

"We take it as a move towards a positive direction in law enforcement and recognising the problem and setting up this area."

He says the unit should be in operation by October.