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NZ Police in Timor-Leste to become part of UN miss

The New Zealand police deployment in Timor-Leste is to become part of the United Nations mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) Police Minister, Annette King announced today.

The UN mission was established last month and has taken up responsibility for policing from the Australian-led Joint Task Force.

"This continuation of assistance reinforces the New Zealand Government's commitment to peace and stability in Timor-Leste," says Ms King

"New Zealand police have shown their ability to make a positive and valued contribution, alongside their international counterparts, to the lives of the Timorese people."

The current 25-strong New Zealand police contingent comes to the end of its three-month term on 10 October.

"They have performed extremely well in challenging conditions, and have brought an effective New Zealand community policing style to their work which has been valued by all they have come into contact with," says Ms King

"We must also acknowledge that any continued involvement in projects such as this also carries an element of risk, and we don't make these decisions lightly."

The replacement contingent of a similar number consists of staff from all over New Zealand. All are volunteers and will serve six months in Timor-Leste. At this stage, a 12-month participation in UNMIT is envisaged. NZ Police have previously served in UN missions in Timor-Leste (before independence), Namibia and Cyprus.

Ms King says the deployment has been fully funded to ensure minimal disruption to domestic policing.

"This will ensure that we retain our numbers to perform the required duties within our own country."


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