Monday, 31 July 2023 - 12:02pm

RAMSI remembered

2 min read

News article photos (2 items)

Inspector Warwick McKee shaking hands with medal recipient Sergeant Dave Nichols at the RAMSI monument.
The RAMSI monument.

New Zealand Police staff gathered with our partners in Honiara last week to mark the 20th Anniversary of RAMSI - the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

Police, members of the Defence Force and New Zealand High Commission met at the RAMSI monument in the Central Police Station park on Monday (24 July 2023).

Police Advisor Sergeant Lara Beisly read an outline of the history of RAMSI and its work to enable a peaceful and secure Solomon Islands over the 14-plus years of its mission.

New Zealand High Commissioner Jonathan Schwass and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Divisional Manager for Melanesia Mark Ramsden spoke at Monday’s ceremony, recognising the key work and contribution of New Zealand service personal through RAMSI.

Australian-led RAMSI deployed to the Solomon Islands in 2003 to help the nation rebuild after years of civil strife.

By the time the mission officially ended in 2017, around 800 New Zealand Police staff had been deployed to help build the capacity of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).

Since 2017, New Zealand Police has continued to support the RSIPF with a small team of senior advisors and advisors under the Solomon Islands Policing Support Programme (SIPSP).

“This anniversary is important for New Zealand and the Solomon Islands,” says New Zealand Police Team Leader Inspector Warwick McKee.

“New Zealand deployed hundreds of Police and military personnel here to the Solomon Islands to assist with keeping the Solomon Islands safe, to ensure stability and freedom for all Solomon Islanders.

“There are a number of people back in New Zealand who will remember the RAMSI mission fondly and their contribution to the overall mission. We are proud to have contributed and assisted with the RAMSI mission to Helpem Fren.”

After the speeches, New Zealand Police SIPSP Senior Advisor Sergeant Dave Nichols was presented with the New Zealand Overseas Service Medal and the General Service Medal Solomon Islands.

  • The RAMSI monument, designed by local artist Frank Haikiu, was commissioned by the Solomon Islands government and unveiled as RAMSI ended. It features the flags of the Pacific nations which contributed to RAMSI and the figures of two men representing the reconciliation of the two provinces at the source of the tensions, Malaita and Guadalcanal.