25 May 2005

New Zealand declines comment on Solomons police funding request

2:49 pm on 25 May 2005

The New Zealand minister in charge of aid has declined to confirm reports that New Zealand has offered to fund the position of deputy police commissioner of Solomon Islands.

The minister's office has however confirmed that talks have been held on the issue at an officials' level.

Sources in Honiara say the offer was made following positive feedback from a cross section of the community over the role of New Zealand police serving as part of a regional assistance mission, or RAMSI.

The post is currently held by Sandi Peisley of Australia, with Canberra also funding the police commissioner's position as of last month.

New Zealand provides the second largest contingent in the RAMSI mission.