The Minister for International Development and the Pacific met with Commissioner of Police Maara Tetava at National Police Headquarters and held discussions on a number of topics.
Cook Islands Police Service media liaison officer Trevor Pitt said the close cooperation between the police service the Australian Federal Police, and Australian Defence Forces was of particular importance to the Cook Islands-Australia relationship.
“The service has a long history of ties under bilateral and multilateral arrangements, and benefits from ongoing programmes and assistance from Australia,” he said.
“Most significant is the Pacific Patrol Boat Programme, under which the acquisition of Te Kukupa has had a major impact on maritime surveillance and the curtailment of illegal fishing in Cook Islands’ waters.
“The deterrence factor in our ability and capacity for surveillance cannot be overstated as the value of the patrol boat has been immense over the past decades. The Cook Islands Police Service also engages fully with the Australian Federal Police on regional policing activities and keeping abreast of transnational crime trends.
“The Australian Federal Police continues to provide Cook Islands police with technical training and equipment, which is most appreciated.”
The Commissioner gave the minister a briefing on the scope of the cooperation, and also organised a visit aboard Te Kukupa at Avatiu harbour.