24 Aug 2012

Tributes for New Zealand police officer killed in Tonga

3:36 pm on 24 August 2012

Colleagues of a New Zealand police officer who died in Tonga following an assault have paid tribute to him.

Kali Fungavaka died in hospital last night surrounded by family after he was arrested by police on a minor drunkeness charge and allegedly assaulted in custody.

The District Commander of Manukau police, Superintendent John Tims, told a press conference Mr Fungavaka was well liked and well known in the community.

"He was a role model for all Pacific people, he was a role model for Pacific police officers, here in Counties and across New Zealand, Kali will be missed by his colleagues here and at New Zealand"

And a close friend and colleague, Lance Mulu, says Mr Fungavaka wanted to make a difference in the lives of Pacific youth.

Kali use to talk to me about how rough it was for him growing up in Mangere and the one thing that he really wanted was to make a difference in the people and the area he grew up in.

Lance Mulu