16 Apr 2003

New Zealand to help rebuild police posts in Solomons

6:46 pm on 16 April 2003

New Zealand Army engineers are to help Solomon Islands to rebuild police posts, a school, a courthouse and a market in June this year.

In a recent tour of provinces the new Solomons police commissioner William Morrell said he was stunned by the appalling conditions that some police had to work in.

Now the New Zealand Defence Force has confirmed it will build four new police posts under the Mutual Assistance Programme.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Phil Goff, says the exercise will fit in with New Zealand's other contributions to the restrengthening of the Royal Solomon Islands police service.

"One of the things that we have targeted this year for the defence forces to do is to help the construction of the community policing posts, which dovetails quite neatly into the work that we are doing, with our ten police officers in the Solomons,.... working alongside their counterparts, in the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force"

Phil Goff.

At the same time other engineers, taking part in the ongoing Operation Tropic Twilight, will spend a month in Western Province, repairing the Munda Court House, Dunde School and a market building.