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More NZ Police To Tonga

More NZ Police To Tonga

Police Minister Annette King today announced that a further 20 New Zealand Police staff will travel to Tonga tomorrow following riots in the capital, Nuku'alofa, last week.

Annette King said this deployment will bring the number of New Zealand police in Tonga to 45 and would provide more support to the Tonga police.

"The situation in Nuku'alofa is calm and good progress is being made by Tonga police, with support from New Zealand and Australian police, on crime scene investigation and the building of cases against suspects."

"The extra 20 staff, which includes several Tongan speaking officers, have been drawn from all over New Zealand, and will have minimal impact on the delivery of operational policing in New Zealand.

"The extra numbers of police, together with the situation Nuku'alofa continuing to improve, will facilitate the return of New Zealand military personel.

"It is anticipated that the total of 45 New Zealand Police staff in Tonga will start to reduce as circumstances permit over the coming weeks to resume their domestic policing duties.

"More remains to be done to support Tonga police and New Zealand police is exploring further areas of assistance. We are keen to find ways of comprehensively supporting Tonga police to enable them to continue their lead role in maintaining law and order in Tonga, " Annette King said.

Ends

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