28 Jul 2011

Tonga ends NZ police chief's role

9:25 pm on 28 July 2011

The government of Tonga has decided not to renew the contract of the New Zealander in charge of its police force.

Chris Kelley was appointed the Pacific nation's first police commissioner after a three-year stint as police commander and is the first foreigner to head the force.

Mr Kelley is widely acknowledged as having done much to restore credibility to the police, but has also faced challenges from within the force over stricter discipline and the introduction of merit-based promotion.

Radio New Zealand International's correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu says people want Mr Kelley to stay and will be surprised he is leaving on Friday without some kind of public discussion.