New Zealand High Commission Port Vila, Vanuatu

New Zealand Police award medals to Vanuatu Police Officer

Hamish Garae medal presentation

A Vanuatu Police Force officer has received two New Zealand Police service medals for his ‘’exemplary work’’ in Bougainville.

VPF Senior Sergeant Hamish Garae was deployed for 18 months alongside New Zealand police officers with the Bougainville Community Policing Programme in Buka.

The programme is a New Zealand-led initiative designed to improve the standards of community policing in Bougainville, and was established in 1999.

Senior Sergeant Garae was awarded two medals at a ceremony at the Royal New Zealand Police College, near Wellington, New Zealand, recently.

The medals were the New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 – Non Warlike (Bougainville Clasp) and the New Zealand Operation Service Medal.

He was presented the medals by New Zealand Deputy Police Commissioner Viv Rickard.

Deputy Commissioner Rickard said Senior Sergeant Garae’s contribution to the programme had been ‘’exemplary’’. He had been initially deployed for 12 months but was asked to stay a further six months because of his outstanding contribution.

‘’New Zealand and Vanuatu police officers have worked alongside each other in Bougainville since 2009, and the outstanding contribution of officers such as Hamish is very much valued both by the programme and the people of Bougainville,’’ Deputy Commissioner Rickard said.

While in Bougainville, Senior Sergeant Garae worked as a training adviser, writing eight topics for the programme and assisting with an upgrade to Bougainville’s police training facility.

He also mentored local police officers working in the Buka watch-house and improved the conditions of the cell block and the front counter office.

New Zealand Police have established a community policing programme in Vanuatu.

Six New Zealand police officers work on Efate, Santo and Tanna during three visits a year, focusing on mentoring VPF officers on community policing methods.

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