This programme level strategic evaluation covers police work in the Pacific region funded through the New Zealand Aid Programme by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and implemented by the New Zealand Police during the period 2005-2011. The evaluation’s purpose was to assess the overall achievements of the programme and make recommendations as to how it could be more effective, sustainable, relevant and efficient in the future. These issues were tested against a conceptual framework which addressed police technical capacity development as well as the broader institutional and governance context for policing.

The evaluation was undertaken by way of a document review, stakeholder interviews and field observations. There are two main findings. First, New Zealand Police have contributed effectively and efficiently in developmental contexts, to building the technical capacity of national police services. The second finding relates to the sustainability and relevance of these achievements. In some countries covered by the programme, the boundaries of legitimate state action, and thus of the police as the public face of the state, is contested. While New Zealand’s international police programme is highly relevant in terms of its peacekeeping role and developing capacity to address ‘individual crimes’, interventions have not been sufficiently contextualised within some of the more serious policing issues in the region, related to inter-communal and state-community tensions. As a result, the long term robustness of achievements remains uncertain.

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