New police commissioner for Tonga awaits King's approval

The name of the New Zealand Police Inspector who was honoured with a Defence Service medal last year has been recommended and if His Majesty King Tupou VI approves he would become Tonga’s new Police commissioner.

Steve Caldwell was recommended for the top job following an interview in Nukuʻalofa couple of weeks ago to choose a replacement for Grant Charles O’Fee when he finishes early as Tonga’s Police Commissioner.

Tonga’s Police Minister Hon. Siosifa Tūʻutafaiva told Kaniva News this morning “The panel recommended Steven. But his name is being taken to the king for approval.”

Hon. Tūʻutafaiva was responding to a request to confirm information that Steve Caldwell from New Zealand Police got the job

The minister said the interviewees included Deputy Commissioner ‘Unga Fa’aoa and Lau’aitu Tupouniua from the Tongan Police.

Caldwell has served the New Zealand Police for 36 years and he is currently the superintendent of New Zealand police in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.

He was among the 22 Police Officers who were honoured in 2013 by the New Zealand Police with Defense Service medals in recognision of his long-service and good conduct.

When we contacted O’Fee for comment he said: “No we cannot confirm who the new Commissioner will be”.

In July 5, 2012 a statement from the government of Tonga read: “Tonga has now inaugurated Mr. Grant Charles O’Fee, from Wellington New Zealand as the new Police Commissioner on a three year term contract”.

The three-year term finishes in July next year, eight months from now, but Hon. Tūʻutafaiva said O’Fee leaves the job early and the handover will be in next week December 5, 2014.

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