(L-R) Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu'i'onetoa and Tourism Minister Akosita Lavulavu

Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa said today his concerns about the position of the Police Commissioner reported in Kaniva News did not reflect an immediate reaction to Cabinet’s decision to terminate six amendments once promoted as a way of resolving the issue.

In fact he said the concerns quoted dated to his time as Minister of Police, Prison and Fire in the late ‘Akilisi Pōhiva’s Cabinet.

He said he had spoken about his concerns in about 2015 or 2016 at the Fā’onelua Convention Centre.

A video of his comments at the centre was posted to social media recently and appeared to coincide with the Cabinet decision.

The Prime Minister said in an earlier article in Kaniva News that the king believed Cabinet should not elect the Police Commissioner.

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He said the Police Commissioner was not accountable to the Minister of Police in policing matters, otherwise the Minister could politicise the position.

Hon. Pōhiva said he finally agreed with the king that the Police Commissioner should be independent from the Minister of Police.

The Prime Minister said that during his first meeting with the Tongan community in Auckland there was a huge protest outside the meeting venue against him.

He said he knew some people in the protest swore at him and if the Police Commissioner was under his authority he might order the Commissioner to arrest them.

The main points

  • Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa said today his concerns about the position of the Police Commissioner reported in Kaniva News did not reflect an immediate reaction to Cabinet’s decision to terminate six amendments once promoted as a way of resolving the issue.
  • In fact he said the concerns quoted dated to his time as Minister of Police, Prison and Fire in the late ‘Akilisi Pōhiva’s Cabinet.

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