Training of Tongan Police Force

Training of Tongan Police Force


Following the brief Australian and New Zealand intervention in the Kingdom of Tonga in 2006, the two countries have extended their support for Tonga’s police and military services through training and supply of equipment.

Government sources


Visit to Tonga, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, Media release, 3 June 2009.

“This morning, I presented nine police vehicles to the Tonga Police Force as part of Australia’s and New Zealand’s contribution to the Tonga Police Development Program. This program, jointly established by Australia, New Zealand and Tonga, aims to improve community confidence and the capacity of the Tonga Police. These vehicles will have an immediate impact on the ability of the Tonga Police to perform key operational and community policing duties. In particular they will improve response times and assist in improving the management of traffic regulations. This increased visibility and capacity of the Tonga Police will contribute to the growing sense of safety and security in the community.  Australia has been greatly encouraged by the impact that the Tonga Police Development Program has already achieved in its first phase. As the program progresses, the provision of much needed equipment, infrastructure and technical skills will continue to improve the capacity of the Tonga Police.”

Speech at the Presentation of Vehicles Ceremony to the Tongan Police Force Commander and Senior Officers. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, Nuku’alofa, 3 June 2009.

“In addition to having a warm and friendly and long-standing partnership with Tonga, Australia of course works closely with New Zealand. With the Police Development Program, of course, we have a tripartite arrangement – a partnership between New Zealand, Tonga and Australia to help build the capacity of the Tongan Police Force. It’s evidenced by nine, flash, shiny white cars! “


Annual Report 2007-08, Australian Federal Police, p58

Resulting from a joint Australia and New Zealand scoping mission in 2007, the Tonga Police Development Program was established to facilitate the development of the Tonga Police Force. Australia’s initial contribution to this joint initiative involves the deployment of two AFP members in advisory roles. These members were deployed to Tonga on 22 May 2008. Funding of $1.6m for this initiative was approved by the Government for 2008-09.”

Tonga Police Force’s own Local Forensic Specialist, Tonga Now, 24 May 2007

Pacific Forensic (Fingerprint) Assessment and Accreditation Process (PRPI) – When the PRPI was established in early 2004, consultations with relevant stakeholders indicated a need for sustainable capacity development in the area of forensic fingerprinting for Forum Island Countries (FIC), as short courses previously provided by New Zealand, Australia and other donors did not meet the needs of the region’s Police Chiefs.

As a consequence, with inputs from experienced Pacific forensic officers, PRFI Forensic Adviser Bryn Jones, developed the Pacific Islands Fingerprint Training Course – which has been endorsed by the Law Faculty at the University of the South Pacific.  To also address the need for consistently assessing the course, Jones drafted and submitted the Assessment and Accreditation Protocol to the Pacific Island Chiefs of Police (PICP). The process was endorsed and Fiji’s Police Commissioner became Chairman of the Pacific Forensic (Fingerprint) Accreditation Board on behalf of the PICP.

Under the guidance of Mr. Bryn Jones, trainee officers in Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga began studying the course modules in 2005 before coming to Fiji in May last year to go through the pilot Assessment and Accreditation Process. Corporal Tevita Vailea of the Tonga Police Force took part in this pilot assessment and achieved Forensic Fingerprint Specialist status.”

Technical and Vocational education and training in Tonga, Reply to questions on notice, Senate estimates 2006-07

“There are 12 Government funded TVET institutions: The Community Development and Training Centre, The Tonga Institute of Education, Distance education and Communication Centre. Tonga Institute of Science and Technology, Short Term Training Centre, Queen Salote School of Nursing, Tonga health Training Centre, Tonga Police Training School, Tonga Defence Force Royal School of Science and the USP Tonga Centre.”


Women in policing in the Pacific: ‘our journey’, Lautoa Faletau (Assistant Police Commander, Tonga Police Force), Fourth Australasian women and policing conference, Darwin, 21-24 August 2005

“Today [2005] out of a total of 375 officers, there are 77 women who make up 20.5%. Tonga’s strength lies in its strong representation at Executive and senior management level and the highest ranking woman is our Deputy Commander Human Resources who sits at the equivalent of the Deputy Commissioner rank and was the first woman to top her recruit as the baton of honour student back in 1972. 3 of the 5 Assistant Commander’s are women and we make up 50% of the Police Executive and 33% of the Commissioned officers. 3 of the 4 contingent commanders from Tonga to RAMS! are women and the current Team Leader of the Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Center in Suva is a Tonga woman. Our first in-house accountant, legal advisor and computer specialist are all women and women are deployed in all areas of policing in this small island kingdom.”

Corrections in Tonga, Chief Warder Gimball Longopoa, presentation to NSW Corrective Services Academy

In 2004, AusAID approved the funding of a professional from Australia to assist in the overhaul of the Prison Act. If that overhaul is a success, the Tonga Prisons will be on the way to the next level in corrections.”

Kingdom of Tonga – NZ Police International Services Group

A 45 strong contingent of New Zealand Police Officers were deployed to provide an efficient and effective contribution to the recovery efforts and to help investigate crimes committed during the rioting and also to provide support to frontline Police in the Community. Since then a small contingent of NZ Police Officers have maintained in and around Nuku’alofa to help support Tonga Police.”

See also:

Pacific Regional Policing Initiative (PRPI)