6 Aug 2011

New Zealander dumped as Tonga's police chief encouraged to re-apply

12:06 pm on 6 August 2011

The Tonga government says it was wrong to end the contract of the police commissioner Chris Kelley and it will now encourage him to re-apply for the position.

The prime minister, Lord Tu'ivakano and King George Tupou the 5th met today after the Lord Privy Seal said earlier in the week the government's actions were illegal because the appointment of the police commissioner is the King's responsibility.

A spokesperson for the prime minister, 'Ahongalu Fusimalohi, calls it an oversight and says both the King and prime minister now agree the government wants all chief executive positions to be re-advertised when contracts end.

Earlier this week the police minister, Dr Viliami Latu, said it was time for a local to replace Mr Kelley but Mr Fusimalohi says with the decision to advertise the post they'll be encouraging him to re-apply.

"Yes, yes exactly because of his most exemplary services especially since the riot of 2006 Commissioner Kelley's appointment has been the driving force in re-instating the people's trust in the Tonga police force."

'Ahongalu Fusimalohi.