Prime Minister of Tonga ‘Akilisi Pohiva. Photo/Tnews (Youtube)
Tonga’s Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva said Tonga’s Association of Sports and National Olympic Games Committee (TASANOC) spending at last month’s Pacific Games was being audited.
He said if the audit discovered any money had been mishandled and any TASANOC members had failed to perform their duties they would be dismissed.
The Prime Minister said TASA had failed to make a financial report to an overseas donor which led to a loss of about $100,000 that was supposed to help fund Tonga’s participation in the Games.
Speaking to the Tongan Television programme TNEWS, Hon. Pohiva said TASA had caused huge damage before and during the Games and this was not the first time they had created problems.
Hon. Pohiva said it was important that Tonga’s preparations for the Pacific Games were in the hands of a reliable and responsible organising body. He said the government was keeping a close eye on the committees assigned to the tasks.
Tonga Pacific Games 2019 Organising Committee
The Prime Minister said he was also unhappy with the Tonga Pacific Games executive committee because it was behind schedule with preparations for the 2019 games.
He said the construction of the golf course should have already been started, but nothing had happened so far.
He said if government found out the TPG committee members could not do what was expected of them, they could be replaced.
Hon. Pohiva revealed that Papua New Guinea had promised to support Tonga financially and he was expecting millions from them. He said he would meet with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill again soon.
He also said it was Papua New Guinea’s head of state’s advice that gave him the confidence that Tonga can host the Games.
He said China was also interested in some of the facilities for the Games, particularly the swimming pool and rugby fields. The communist country had requested plans and financial proposals for these facilities.
He said it was possible China would fund four major facilities for the Games.
He said two sports facilities that required a lot of money were the swimming pool and the golf course, but it now appeared there were donors to fund them.
Prime Minister Pohiva said countries like China, Japan and New Zealand would like to see Tonga hosting the Games so that the kingdom’s sporting facilities could be upgraded to a more international level.
Samoa hosted the Pacific Games in 2007 and after Hon. Pohiva talked to their Prime Minister he found out the neighbouring country had hosted some of the sporting competitions for the recent Commonwealth Games because they still had their sport facilities like swimming pool.
The Prime Minister said the government would upgrade ‘Apifo’ou College, Tonga College and Tupou High School’s sport fields and dormitories to be used by the Pacific Games officials and athletes.
Local sport facilities like the Sia’atoutai cricket ground and Kolomotu’a rugby fields would also be upgraded.
The Prime Minister said Tonga was the smallest country to host the Pacific Games.
He said he feared that if Tonga turned down the opportunity to host the 2019 Games there was no guarantee it would have the opportunity to do it again.
The main points
- Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva said Tonga’s Association of Sports and National Olympic Games Committee (TASANOC) spending at last month’s Pacific Games was being audited.
- He said if the audit discovered any money had been mishandled and any TASANOC members had failed to perform their duties they would be dismissed.
- Pohiva said he was also unhappy with the Tonga Pacific Games executive committee because it was behind schedule with preparations for the 2019 games.
- He said if government found out if the TPG committee could not do what was expected of them, they could be replaced.
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