NZ Police leave for East Timor and the Solomons

NZ Police leave for East Timor and the Solomons

Wellington

Three Wellington police officers are included in the group of 11 that leave on Friday for United Nations or international peace monitoring roles in East Timor and the Solomons.

Inspector Bazz Bailey, Operations Support, Office of the Commissioner, leads the fifth contingent to East Timor, where he’ll be the district commander in Suai. Mr Bailey, who has been in the police 28 years, has worked in a variety of roles in both the Wellington District and at the Office of the Commissioner.

The two other Wellingtonians are Constable Andrew Sissons, an experienced general duties officer based at Porirua, and Sergeant Kahu Ratana, a recruit trainer at the Police College.

Constable Sissons has been in police nine years and Sergeant Ratana, 25 years. It’s the second UN posting for Sergeant Ratana – he was part of the 32-strong NZ Police team to Namibia in 1989-90. Sergeant Ratana will be working in Dili as a specialist trainer helping develop the new East Timor Police. Another NZ officer, Sergeant William Wairoa-Harrison is already in Dili as a specialist trainer.

Other members of the team to East Timor are:

 Senior Sergeant Greg Phillips, Dunedin, who will be the second in charge of the contingent.
 Detective Constable Linda Simpson, Auckland CIB.
 Detective Sergeant Mark Williamson, Counties Manukau.
 Detective Dave McKenzie, Invercargill.
 Constable Paul Donaldson, Glenfield.
 Detective Constable Richard Ayers, Papakura.

The team to the Solomons is:

 Senior Sergeant Gordon Gunn, Kaitaia. He will be the senior NZ officer and will work from the International Peace Monitoring Team headquarters in Honiara.
 Sergeant Tony Sampson, Picton, who will work from a new IPMT site at Maluu on the island of Malaita. This will be the most northern IPMT base.

It’s the fifth New Zealand Police contingent to East Timor and the third to the Solomons. The nine officers heading to East Timor will be away six months and the two for the Solomons will spend four months overseas.

Both groups have been in pre deployment training at the Royal New Zealand Police College since 3 June. During this time they’ve been briefed on their role, had final medical vaccinations, undergone comprehensive medical and four wheel drive training.

Those heading to East Timor will have further UN training in Darwin before flying to Dili early next week. It’s anticipated four staff will be based in Suai, another four in Airnaio, east of Suai, with the specialist trainers in Dili.

Ends

Kaye Calder, Wellington District Communications Manager, cell 021 373 020