29 Jul 2019

NZ to provide additional support to Tonga police

6:08 pm on 29 July 2019

New Zealand is to provide an additional two years of support to Tonga's police force to strengthen its capacity to disrupt transnational crime.

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Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koro Vaka'uta

This was announced today by New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters during a visit by Tonga's Minister of Police, Mateni Tapueluelu.

Mr Peters said New Zealand is committed to confronting "the scourge of criminal gangs and organised crime" causing harm in Pacific Islands communities.

In February 2019, New Zealand signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia, Tonga and Fiji to target transnational and organised crime in the Pacific.

New Zealand, Tonga and Australia will jointly fund a programme which will see New Zealand Police officers seconded into the Tonga Police to provide training and technical assistance.

The Tonga Police Programme is aimed at supporting leadership development, community policing and ensuring that the Tonga police force has adequate infrastructure to deliver on its mandate of safer Tonga Communities.