1 Apr 2010

NZ High Commissioner to Vanuatu welcomes response to coroner's report

10:35 am on 1 April 2010

The New Zealand High Commissioner to Vanuatu has welcomed the Government's first official response to a damning Coroner's Report on the police paramilitary Vanuatu Mobile Force.

That report had been written by a New Zealander, Justice Nevin Dawson, who was investigating the death of a prisoner, who died soon after being interrogated by VMF officers.

He found a force that considered itself above the law and recommended sweeping changes.

While the Government has only spoken in general terms about changes at the VMF, High Commissioner Jeff Langley, says the response is very significant, given that in the past reports such as the Coroner's have been ignored.

"The fact that the Government has put out a press release is a positive step. Importantly, several times in the release the Government underlines the point that the rule of law must prevail. I think it uses those words in particular, so I think the fact the Government has put out this press release is a demonstration of positive intent."