6 Dec 2006

Cook Islands government says police commissioner should go in wake of review

4:42 pm on 6 December 2006

The Cook Islands Prime Minister, Jim Marurai, says the country's police commissioner is "not up to the job" and should resign.

Mr Marurai, who's also the minister for police, made the comments after a review of the police force identified financial mismanagement and poor leadership as major concerns.

The review was conducted by independent consultants led by former New Zealand police commissioner Rob Robinson.

Mr Marurai says the fate of the police commissioner, Pira Wichman, was discussed in cabinet this morning.

"Reading the report it's quite obvious that he's not up to it. There are demands for me to replace him. We may have to ask him to resign - that's one alternative - or wait until the expiry for his contract - which is in another months. He could go either way."

Mr Wichman says he has no intention of resigning, and blames lack of money and lack of support from government for the police's current problems.