18 Oct 2012

New Zealand to keep investing in Pacific police and judiciary

2:34 pm on 18 October 2012

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully says New Zealand will continue to invest significantly in the police and judiciary around the region.

He says upholding the professionalism and independence of those institutions is part and parcel of a democracy.

Mr McCully was speaking at the opening of a conference on democracy in the region, being held at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.

He says good standards in the police and judiciary have been met by the majority of Pacific Island countries.

"But we still do receive the occasional reminder that a proper understanding of the respective roles of the legislature, the executive, the judiciary and the police cannot be taken for granted within the region. We need to continue to invest into building these key institutions and building an understanding of the respective roles that exist between them."

Murray McCully told delegates, including senior ministers from the region, that there is a good deal of optimism for democracy in the Pacific.