16 Mar 2010

New Zealand looking into Coroner's report on Vanuatu police

1:47 pm on 16 March 2010

The New Zealand Government is considering the impact of a report from the Vanuatu Coroner on some of its aid programmes in that country.

The Coroner, Justice Nevin Dawson who's a New Zealander, called for the Vanuatu Government to reconsider the role of the paramilitary Vanuatu Mobile Force after officers displayed contempt for his inquiry into the death of a prison inmate.

That man, John Bule, died after a VMF interrogation.

Justice Dawson called the behaviour of the VMF officers shameful and wrong and recommended the Government re-assert control over the agency.

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully says he's seeking advice on the Coroner's report.

"We have had a very critical report from the Coroner. We are looking into it. New Zealand has been involved in rendering some of the support for the programmes involved. We are having a look at what the Coroner's report means to those programmes and we should best go forward."

Vanuatu is one of the main recipients of aid through the New Zealand aid agency, NZAID.