2 Aug 2011

Tonga government to have local run the police

3:19 pm on 2 August 2011

Tonga's police minister, Viliami Latu, says it's time for a Tongan to again lead the country's police force.

Police commissioner, New Zealander Chris Kelley, finishes his term this weekend after three years.

He had been expecting the government to offer him a two year extension but that hasn't happened.

Mr Latu says Mr Kelley has done a good job in implementing part of the police development programme which has been funded by New Zealand and Australia.

But he says the government has a different vision and wants to use its own resources, including again having a local heading the force.

"That's the hope of the government and the government believes that we have qualified people within the ministry to carry on with the duty."

Viliami Latu says an international review had concluded the Police Act had been implemented too quickly and this is also a factor in Mr Kelley's contract not being renewed.