Prime Minister John Key ma' />

New Zealand will contribute a further $2.5 million to Tonga's police force and further boost the annual aid programme.

Prime Minister John Key made the announcement after meeting with King George Tupou V and Tonga Prime Minister Dr Feleti Sevele in Nuku'alofa today.

Mr Key landed in Tonga this morning on the first leg of his four country tour of the Pacific in four days.

Through NZAID, New Zealand has already committed $5 million to the Tongan police force.

Mr Key said New Zealand's bilateral aid programme with Tonga will increase to $16 million in 2010 and 2011 and further increase to $18 million in 2012.

He confirmed New Zealand and Australia's support for the process of political and constitutional change in Tonga and praised the Prime Minister and King for their part in the process.

Earlier, in his first meeting with the Tongan King, Mr Key declared him a "a charming fellow".

After arriving in Tonga Mr Key went straight to the King's quarters for an "audience" and they were later joined by ministers Georgina te Heuheu and Pita Sharples.

Mr Key said the two discussed the changes to the Constitution and New Zealand's opportunity to contribute in Tonga.

He said the King was "very optimistic" that things were on track. While debate was still underway, the final version of the report into constitutional reform was expected in November and elections would be held in 2010, as predicted.

He said King George was confident there would be no repeat of the 2006 riots.

- with NZ HERALD STAFF