News Story

American Hired as Niue Chief of Police

Former missionary returns with his family to beloved island

Ask any missionary what long-lasting effect their mission had on them and the most common answer you’ll get is a love of the people they served.

It is no different for Tim Wilson of Ridgefield, Washington. Tim served on the Island of Niue, a self-governed island nation in the middle of the South Pacific, from 1994-1995. His love of the people, their culture and language, has led him to revisit the 100 square mile island three times in the past four years with his family.


His strong desire to continue to serve the population of what is perhaps the most remote island in the South Pacific, led him to successfully apply for the office of Chief of Police. Niue Chief of Police requires more than just law enforcement. It also carries the responsibilities of Disaster Management and Emergency Operations. In addition, he will also be called upon to protect Niue waters as well as the land. The police department also handles port authority for yachters and airport security and baggage clearance.

Brother Wilson felt this was an excellent way to give back to his beloved islanders for the great love and generosity that had been shown to him 25 years earlier. Wilson has an advanced degree and over 2000 hours of advanced police training. His knowledge of the culture, people and language will be invaluable in his service.

Tim’s style of leadership is such that he never requires a subordinate to do something that he himself would not be willing to do. This is a leadership style that he has learned throughout his service in the church and as a missionary.

It is hard to go anywhere on the island and not have people volunteer that they know the “Palagi” (foreigner) who speaks Niuean like a local. Tim credits his regular reading of the Bible in Niuean with his ability to maintain his language skills.

Tim has been interviewed on the radio in Niuean and spoken to school children in New Zealand about heritage and culture and the importance of maintaining knowledge of where one comes from.

Three of Tim and Carrie Wilson’s five children will join them in Niue, and the two older children will likely visit on occasion. The family is looking forwarded to the move to Niue. They welcome the opportunity to live in a very safe environment with the freedoms that safety allows. The family has already made many friends on previous trips to the island and are anxious to enlarge those circles. Fishing, snorkeling, swimming and gardening are all activities the family hopes to do on a regular basis.

Tim says he can hardly wait to dive into the Niuean food he loves so well and to fill the fridge with husked coconuts to drink. The adjustments will be minimal because the family has already been to Niue for three somewhat extended visits.

Tim wants the island to continue to be a safe place to live. He is hoping that it will be somewhat of a utopia in the middle of the South Pacific where the expat Niueans will want to return and reclaim their heritage.

Missionaries usually tell you how much they love the people they have served for two years. Tim Wilson, joined by his family, is finding a way to continue to serve, even after twenty-five years.

Contributing Editor: Lyle Mortimer

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