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Police are saddened to learn of the death in Tonga today of a New Zealand Police officer.
Constable Kali Fungavaka from the Counties-Manukau district died this evening. He was surrounded by his family and partner.
“Kali was an outstanding officer. He received a bravery award in 2006 for going to the aid of a woman who was engulfed in a ball of flames. He managed to extinguish the fire and his actions prevented the petrol station, where the event occurred, going up in flames,” said Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush.
“Kali’s colleagues describe him as quiet and unassuming, very humble and very passionate about policing and making a difference, especially in the Polynesian community. He was always one of those staff members who could be relied upon when the going got tough. He was a valued member of the police family.”
Tongan Police advised on Monday that Kali had been arrested on Friday night for drunkenness in a public place. He had been out with family after the funeral of his grandfather. He was arrested and put in the cells in Nuku’alofa.
“It appears that Kali has been assaulted. He was taken to hospital in Viola and put on life support. He did not regain consciousness.”
The Tongan Police are investigating the alleged assault on Kali.
“We have conveyed our deepest sympathy to his partner and family and our thoughts are with them.”
Background on Kali.
Joined Police on Monday 10th July 2006.
Stationed at Otahuhu Police Station
Was awarded the New Zealand Bravery Medal by the Queen on 14th October 2006 for his actions, as a member of the public, with Operation Film, the homicide at Shell Atkinson Avenue Service Station. He was the first member of the public to provide assistance to Ms Hussein, who was engulfed in flames.
In November 2007 he became a Youth Aid Constable in West Area.
In March 2008 he became a Response Constable on Section 2 in West Area.
In March 2008 received a gratitude letter from Dr Osman Mansoor when Kali assisted him with a theft from a local Motel. Dr Mansoor complemented Kali on his professional service.
In December 2010 he completed his probationary requirements.
Participated in the NZ Police League Tour in 2010.
In February 2011 he became a Constable with the Neighbourhood Policing Team in Mangere East in the West Area.