30 Jun 2017

NZ to keep eight police in Solomons post RAMSI

4:48 pm on 30 June 2017

The Regional Assistance Mission ends its role in the Solomons today, after arriving 14 years ago.

Mrs Bennett said RAMSI had done a remarkable job of helping restore security and stability in Solomon Islands, and New Zealand is proud to have been involved.

She said New Zealand would provide $US9.1 million over the next four years to support the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and to ensure it can maintain the gains made under RAMSI.

She said this would fund the deployment of eight New Zealand police advisers, who will help to implement crime prevention strategies, with a focus on community policing, and ultimately help ensure that stability is maintained.

Ms Bennett also said she wanted to reassure all Solomon Islanders that New Zealand will always be there for them.

Many Solomon Islanders, and particularly women, said RAMSI's departure had left them feeling uncertain about their future.

But she offered reassurances to those people who were still worried about the impact of RAMSI's departure in Solomon Islands.

Solomons Police Minister Stanley Sofu with NZ counterpart Paula Bennett

Solomons Police Minister Stanley Sofu with NZ counterpart Paula Bennett Photo: supplied

"We will still be here through our high commission and our investment. This is our second largest aid contribution in the Pacific, we're not walking away and sort of leaving it there. We will stay involved and be keeping a close eye.

"Like I say it's not whether they have challenges, everyone does, it's whether or not they have the means and capacity to actually deal with them and I have every confidence that they do."

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