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NZ says it will keep police in West Papua and look into allegations

Radio New Zealand International - March 6, 2014

After criticism over New Zealand's police training programme in Indonesia's remote Papua province, the foreign minister says he will take reports of police violence seriously.

Murray McCully says there's no point criticising Indonesia from afar, and that is why the three-year, 5 million US-dollar programme is still in place, despite calls for it to be stopped.

Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand wants the programme to end, saying peaceful pro-independence events in the provinces are being brutally disrupted by military and police.

He says he will take up issues of concern with the Indonesian government should he have any as a result of the regular ministry reviews of the programme.

"Our default position on this is that by having our people participate in West Papua we are significantly assisting the law enforcement authorities in lifting standards there. But since some allegations have been made we will look at them as we always do and if there are issues of concern we ll take them up with the Indonesian government who in my experience have been very open to that sort of process."

Murray McCully says if New Zealand was to pull police out as soon as allegations are made then many police efforts in the Pacific would be worse off.

Source: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/238087/nz-says-it-will-keep-police-in-west-papua-and-look-into-allegations