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Solomon's deployment welcomed

Wayne Mapp National Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

29 June 2003

Solomon's deployment welcomed

National says it welcomes the Government's deployment of defence forces to the Solomon Islands, National Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dr Wayne Mapp says.

"Securing peace in our region is absolutely vital for our own security, and New Zealand and Australia must work together in this because they have the primary responsibility for maintaining security in the region.

"New Zealand has to anticipate that it will take many months if not years to bring order to the Solomon Islands. and bring the country to a state where it can operate free of unrest, just as occurred in Bougainville and East Timor.

"While we support the deployment, we have to question whether the increase in the police numbers should come from the military police rather than our stretched police force

"The Government must ensure that there will be no reduction of police services in New Zealand as a result of this deployment. After all, our defence forces role is dealing with external problems and our police forces are for law and order within our own country," Dr Mapp said.

Ends

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