The programme, which follows a pilot in 2009/10, is to be funded by the New Zealand aid programme and implemented by New Zealand police.
Murray McCully says his government wants to encourage police and others in authority in the Papua region of Indonesia to understand good commmunity policing initiatives.
“The whole basis of community policing is training people to be able to use their authority in a way that is going to engender respect from the locals. It is precisely the expertise that New Zealand imparts through the community policing project,” he said.
“It’s simply an area that New Zealand has had a long-term interest in providing assistance in. We believe that to the extent that there have been difficulties in relation to Papua, those are best dealt with by encouraging police and others in authority to understand good community policing initiatives. And that’s a capability that we’re providing through the Indonesian government at the moment.”
“It’s one of the great aspects of New Zealand police that we are world-class at community policing and that’s something we’re doing in West Papua,” he explained.
Though the program has been criticized with the Green Party saying New Zealand should instead put resources into facilitating dialogue between the West Papuans and Jakarta, McCully says that he is more broadly aware of a lot of work that is going on in Indonesia at the moment to improve that overall environment and to improve communication in relation to West Papua.
He thinks that the Green Party and others who want to go pointing fingers at difficulties in West Papua need to get themselves updated on the significant amount of work that is being done by parties in Indonesia, in West Papua and Papua to achieve better understanding and to try and improve overall relationships.
“There’s a lot of good work being done, and I want to see the New Zealand government play its part in reinforcing that work, rather than simply standing back, as the critics do, and trying to identify problems,” he said.
Source: Radio New Zealand International