“New Zealand and Vanuatu have worked together in the law enforcement and justice sectors for a long time. We’re now looking to extend that cooperation by providing additional support to the Vanuatu Police Force and significantly stepping-up our defence assistance,” said New Zealand High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Jonathan Schwass.
New Zealand will provide NZ $7 million [VUV 540 million] in policing support, including the deployment of three New Zealand Police officers to advise on community and preventative policing, road policing, prosecutions, and investigations.
“We will also significantly step up our cooperation with the Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF). This will focus on improving the VMF’s humanitarian response capability, delivering planning support to the VMF Executive, and providing access to leadership and technical training courses,” Mr Schwass said.
This work will build on New Zealand’s existing defence ties with Vanuatu, which includes the secondment of a New Zealand Defence Force Warrant Officer to the VMF’s Engineer Platoon, and joint training exercises and maritime patrols.
“Vanuatu is an important partner for New Zealand in the Pacific, and we are pleased to be stepping up our cooperation on security issues, “Mr Schwass said.
Vanuatu Minister of Internal Affairs, Andrew Napuat, has welcomed the strengthened security co-operation with New Zealand.
“It not only focuses on stepping up our defence engagement – beyond that, the general population will benefit from New Zealand's expertise in community policing. The policing support aligns very well with the government's decentralisation policy of bringing government services closer to our communities,” Mr Napuat said.
Photo supplied. Caption: Vanuatu Minister of Internal Affairs, Andrew Napuat and New Zealand High Commissioner, Jonathan Schwass, shake hands to seal the agreement