12 Jun 2014

Suspicion over NZ plan for Papua

12:39 pm on 12 June 2014

It has emerged that the recent decision by Indonesia to axe New Zealand's planned police training programme in Indonesia's Papua region stems from suspicions over hidden motives.

The planned US$5 million programme, slated to commence this year, would have seen a small number of New Zealand police stationed in Papua training their Indonesian counterparts in community policing.

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Photo: Johnny Blades / RNZ

A pilot version of the programme was held in Papua in 2009 and 2010, and deemed a success by New Zealand police.

However, last month Indonesia advised New Zealand that it was unable to support the planned programme.

The Jakarta Globe now reports that the deputy chief of the Indonesia National Police, Commander General Badrodin Haiti, cited concerns about the programme's motives as the reason for its cancellation.

He said input from the Indonesian police security intelligence agency warned that there could be a hidden motive behind the aid.

The New Zealand government has consistently maintained its support for Indonesian sovereignty in the western half of the island of New Guinea, where a separatist conflict has been simmering for decades.