7 Apr 2011

Tonga Police Commissioner overwhelmed at support following petition

8:25 am on 7 April 2011

Tonga's Police Commissioner says he's been overwhelmed at the level of support shown him since officers submitted a petition calling for his removal to Cabinet almost a month ago.

New Zealander, Chris Kelley says in three meetings with aggrieved officers the promotion by merit system has surfaced as their main concern.

He says under the new Tonga Police Act appeals against promotion decisions can be submitted to the Police Board and he's obliged to comply with its direction.

Mr Kelley says he's disappointed some people chose to express dissatisfaction by way of a petition but heartened by the support it's generated for him.

"I couldn't say anteing else but I'm extremely heartened by the level of support from the media, from the public, from a range of organisations in the private, the public sector and government ministries, it's just been overwhelming."

Commissioner Chris Kelley says he's already received a couple of appeals against promotion decisions and they'll be referred to the Board.