Ha’apai Police Station is the third Police station in Tonga in as many years to receive a significant infrastructure facelift.
The cost of the Ha’apai upgrade was approximately TOP$560,000 (or NZD$390,000). Previous work includes the new community police station in Vaini in 2010 and the redevelopment of ‘Eua Community Police Station in 2011. 2012 will also see the redevelopment of Mu’a station, which services parts of the Eastern district of Tongatapu and Fu’amotu International Airport.
Lord Tu’iha’angana officially opened the new police station in Pangai last week with the High Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand as well as Police Commissioner, New Zealander Grant O’Fee and Deputy Police Commissioner Taniela Faletau. Police Commissioner Grant O’Fee, previously in charge of the Police operation for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, began his three year term as Police Commissioner to Tonga in July. Also present were New Zealand's High Commissioner to Tonga Dr Jonathan Austin and Thomas Roth, Australia's High Commissioner to Tonga.
These upgrades and the renovation of Ha’apai Police Station, completed last month, were funded under the Tonga Police Development Programme (TPDP) jointly funded by New Zealand and Australia. The TPDP was set up to provide institutional and individual capacity building and the provision of infrastructure and equipment to Tonga Police.
The Tonga Police Strategic Plan 2009-2013 sets out the mission for the TPDP: ‘To be the leading police service in the Pacific, working in partnerships to maintain law and order, keep the peace, prevent crime and road trauma, and enhance public safety’.
Police Commissioner Grant O’Fee, previously in charge of the Police operation for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, began his three year term as Police Commissioner to Tonga in July.
"Ha'apai is a great plus for the police there. Until it was renovated the building was insecure, leaked and was a health hazard. The cellblock was insecure and the working conditions unacceptable. As always, a new building lifts the attitude of the staff working there. It will enable a better level of service for the public of Ha'apai. The Tongan police are grateful for the support from the NZ and Australian Governments which enabled this building to be renovated," Mr O'Fee said.