PM says claims his son-in-law’s company won Teufaiva construction bid “absolutely wrong”

    Tonga’s Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva has denied  that his son-in-law’s construction company in Hawaiʻi was given the task of building the Teufaiva Stadium for the South Pacific Games in 2019.

    The Prime Minister was responding after a letter circulated on social media last week, asking whether it was true he had won the contract.

    The letter was claimed to be from Tonga’s Media Council, but the name of the letter’s writer was not shown on the part of the document uploaded to Facebook. The Council has not claimed responsibility for the letter.

    Hon. Pohiva said his son-in-law recently helped with the construction work for the Va’epopua National Park while he was holidaying in Tonga with his family.

    The Prime Minister said this was part of his effort to contribute to the building of his country before they returned to Hawaiʻi.

    Hon. Pōhiva said his son-in-law was doing the work voluntarily. He was not being paid by the government and had not asked to be paid.

    The Prime Minister’s daughter told Kaniva News this evening her husband did not own a construction company in Hawaiʻi.

    ʻAna Fifita Koli said her husband was a stonemason and worked for his brother in Hawaiʻi.

    The letter circulated on social media last week was addressed to the Acting CEO of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Pesalili Tuiano, asking him to hold a press conference with the Tongan media.

    “I wish to ask you on behalf of the Tonga Media Council for a press conference pertaining to the following issues,” the letter said.

    “Is it true that the Prime Minister’s son-in-law’s construction company from Hawaiʻi got the reconstruction of Teufaiva Stadium?”

    “If it’s true, was it advertised to the public? And how many construction companies bid for the reconstruction of Teufaiva? And who pick the company of the Prime Minister’s son-in-law?”

    The letter also asked Tuiano whether it was true or not same company will conduct that construction work as well?

    “What do you think if the above questions are all true? Do you think it’s a conflict of interest?”

    “Looking forward to your available time for the requested press conference as we all want to inform the public with the truth but not hearsay or rumours.”

    In a press statement this afternoon Hon. Pohiva said the rumour that his son-in-law would lead the building of Teufaiva Stadium for the Pacific Games was “absolutely wrong.”

    He said the reconstruction of Teufaiva would be led by a team from the government of Papua New Guinea and the requirements for the work were still being discussed.

    The Prime Minister said the construction of the first part of the Va’epopua National Park was jointly funded by all government’s ministries and businesses.

    The budget and planning for the rest of the work had been finalised and the government was seeking funding from stakeholders and overseas donors.

    The government was optimistic funding from donors, businesses and stakeholders would be enough to complete the Va’epopua National Park.

    The Prime Minister has donated TP$10,000 for the project and that money and funds from donors who had pledged financial support would be deposited into a new vote opened at Treasury.

    The government  said money could be allocated from the 2016-17 budget towards the work.

    The Prime Minister said Tongans who had the talent and experience should be given the opportunity to contribute to the building of Tonga.

    “We ask the people of the nation and stakeholders to work together and help what the government do to keep our environment beautiful,” he said.

    The main points

    • Tonga’s Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva has denied that his son-in-law’s construction company in Hawai’i was given the task of building the Teufaiva Stadium for the South Pacific Games in 2019.
    • The letter was claimed to be from Tonga’s Media Council, but the name of the letter’s writer was not shown on the part of the document uploaded to Facebook.
    • In a press statement this afternoon Hon. Pohiva said the rumour that his son-in-law would lead the building of Teufaiva Stadium for the Pacific Games was “absolutely wrong.”
    • The Prime Minister’s daughter told Kaniva News this evening her husband did not own a construction company in Hawai’i.

    For more information

    Tonga will host the Pacific Games 2019

    1 COMMENT

    1. Kuo fakaʻikaiʻi ʻe he Palēmia ʻo Tongá ʻAkilisi Pōhiva ʻa e lau tokua kuo maʻu ʻe he kautaha ʻa hono foha ʻi he fonó mei Hawaiʻi ʻa hono toe langa foʻou ʻo Teufaiva ki he Sipoti ʻa e Pasifiki Sauté ki he 2019.

      Ne ʻi ai e tokoni ʻa hono foha ko ʻeni ʻi he fonó ki hono kamata langa ʻo e Paaka Fakafonua ʻo Vaʻepopuá ka ne ʻikai ke ne ʻeke ha totongi pea ʻoku teʻeki totongi atu ʻe he puleʻangá ha paʻanga ki ai.

      Ne fakahā ʻe he ʻofefine ʻo ʻAkilisí ki he Ongoongo ʻa e Kanivá ʻoku ʻikai haʻana kautaha langa mo hono malí ʻi Hawaii pea ʻoku ʻikai langa ʻa hono hoá ʻona.

      Ne pehē ʻe ʻAna Fifita Koli ko hono hoá ko e tangata tō maka pea ʻoku ngāue pe ia ki hono tokoua ʻi Hawaiʻi.

      ʻI ha ongoongo tuku ange mei he ʻŌfisi ʻo e Palēmia he ʻahó ni ne tuku mai ai ʻa e fakamatala ko ʻení:
      “Fakama’ala’ala mei he ‘Eiki Palēmia, Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva ki he ngaahi ngāue ki hono teuteu’i ‘o e Paaka Fakafonua ‘i Va’epopuá”

      ‘Oku ‘oatu ‘a e fakamatala ni, mei he ‘Eiki Palēmia, Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, ke fakama’ala’ala mo fakaikiiki ‘a e ngaahi ngāue kuo fakahoko pea ‘oku kei toe ke fai ‘a hono fakahoko ki he Paaka Fakafonua ‘i Va’epopua.

      ‘Oku kei tu’u pe ‘a e taumu’a ‘a e Pule’anga ke ngaahi ‘a e feitu’u ko eni na’e laku’anga veve fuoloa ‘i Va’epopua ke hoko ko e ‘paaka’ pea ‘iloa ko e Paaka Fakafonua Va’epopua, ke ma’a mo faka’ofo’ofa ai ‘a e matātahi ‘o e feitu’u ni pea ke hoko ko ha feitu’u ke ‘eve’eva mo malolo ki ai ‘a e kakai. ‘Oku ‘i ai e tui ‘e hoko eni ko e matanga ke ‘ahia ‘e he kakai tokolahi ‘o Tonga ni.

      Na’e ‘osi kamata ‘a e ngāue ki hono teuteu’i ‘o e Paaka ko eni ‘i he ta’u ni, ‘o taki ‘e he Potungaue ki he Ngaahi Ngāue Lalahi pea tokoni ki ai e ngaahi potungaue kehe ‘a e Pule’anga pea pehē ki he Ngaahi Kautaha Pisinisi ‘a e Pule’anga, ki hono fakatoka lelei mo tata ‘a e ngaahi tafa’aki ka ‘oku kei toe lahi ‘a e ngāue ke fai. Na’e fai eni hili ‘a hono savea’i ‘o e anga ‘o e ‘atākai ‘o e feitu’u ni hangē ko e tongo etc.

      Na’e ‘ikai ke kau ‘a e ngaue ni ‘i he patiseti ngāue ‘a e Pule’anga ki he ta’u ni ko ia ‘oku ‘ikai ha seniti fakahangatonu ke fakahoko’aki ‘a e ngaue ni. Ko e ngaahi fakamole ki he ngaue na’e ‘osi fakahoko, na’e tu’utu’uni ‘a e Kapineti ke vahevahe hono fua ‘e he ngaahi Potungaue mo e Ngaahi Kautaha Pisinisi ‘a e Pule’anga.

      Ka kuo ‘osi maau ‘a e palani ngāue mo e patiseti ke fakahoko’aki ‘a e ngaue ni. Kuo ‘osi ‘oatu ‘a e palani ngāue mo e patiseti mo e kole tokoni ki he ngaahi hoa ngāue mei tu’apule’anga pea ‘oku ngalingali ‘e ma’u mai e ngaahi tokoni pa’anga. Kuo ‘osi ‘oatu foki mo e palani ngāue mo e patiseti mo e kole tokoni ki he ngaahi kautaha pisinisi fakakomēsiale pea kuo ‘i ai ‘a e ni’ihi kuo nau ‘osi fakapapau (pledge) mai ‘e ‘i ai ‘enau tokoni pa’anga.

      ‘E toki sio ‘a e Pule’anga he teuteu ‘o e patiseti ki he 2016/2017 pe ‘e malava ke ‘i ai ha pa’anga ‘e vahe hangatonu ki he ngāue ko eni ka ‘oku te’eki ke fakapapau’i.

      Kuo ‘osi ngaue ‘a e Potungāue Pa’anga mo e Palani Fakafonua ‘o fokotu’u ‘a e vouti fo’ou ke fakahū ki ai ‘a e ngaahi tokoni pa’anga kotoa pē ki he ngāue ni. Na’e foaki ‘e he ‘Eiki Palēmia ‘a e $10,000 ke kamata’i ‘aki ‘a e pa’anga ngāue ni. ‘Oku ‘i ai ‘a e tui ‘e kamata leva hono fakahū hake ‘o e ngaahi fakapapau tokoni (pledge) he na’e fakatatali ke fokotu’u ‘a e vouti.

      ‘I Tisema 2015 ki Sanuali 2016 na’e ‘i Tonga ni ‘a e ‘ofefine ‘o e ‘Eiki Palēmia mo hono hoa mo e famili ko ‘enau malōlō ‘eve’eva mai ki Tonga ni. Ko e foha ‘i he fono ‘o e ‘Eiki Palēmia ‘oku ‘i ai ‘ene taukei ki he ngaahi ngaue ‘o hangē ko ia na’e fai ki he Paaka Va’epopua, pea na’e tokoni leva ki he ngāue. Ko ‘ene ngāue ni, ko ‘ene ngaue’ofa ‘ikai ha totongi, ko e fie tokoni pe ki he langa ngāue ‘a e ‘Eiki Palēmia mo e fie tokoni pe ki hono fonua tupu’anga ko Tonga.

      Ko ia, na’a ne fakahoko ai ‘a e tokoni ki hono kamata’i ‘o e ngāue. Kuo foki ‘a e tokotaha ni mo hono famili, ka na’e fai ‘e kole ki ai pe ‘e toe fie foki mai ‘o tokoni, pea ‘oku fiefia pe ke foki mai ‘o tokoni ki he ngaue, ko e fie ngaue ‘ofa pe ki he fonua. ‘Oku te’eki ke ‘i ai ha pa’anga ‘e totongi ki ai ‘e he Pule’anga pea ‘oku ‘ikai ha pa’anga te ne ‘eke.

      ‘Oku ‘i ai ‘a e tui ‘oku totonu ke ‘oange ha faingamalie hotau kakai Tonga nofo mo ngāue ‘i muli ke nau tokoni mai ki he langa ngāue ‘oku tau fai ‘i Tonga ni he ‘oku nau omi mo ‘enau taukei ngāue mo e ‘ilo. Ko e ngaahi talanoa ‘o pehē ko e tokotaha ni te ne fai mo e ngāue ki Teufaiva ‘oku hala ‘aupito ia, he ko e ngāue ki Teufaiva ‘e taki ia ‘e he Pule’anga Papua Niukini pea ‘oku ‘i ai e ngaahi fiema’u ia ke fakakakato, pea ‘oku ‘ikai ke kau ia ai.

      ‘Oku ‘oatu ‘a e kole ki he kakai ‘o e fonua mo e ngaahi kupu ngāue fekau’aki kotoa pe ke tau fengāue’aki mu’a, ki he ngaahi me’a ke fakalakalaka ai ‘a e feinga ‘a e Pule’anga ke langa hake mo tauhi ‘a e faka’ofo’ofa mo e ma’a hotau ‘atākai.

      ‘E faka’osi ‘a e ngāue kuo kamata ki he Paaka Fakafonua ‘o Va’epopua ‘i ha maau ha seniti fe’unga, ngaahi me’a ngāue mo e kau ngāue ke fakahoko e ngāue ni pea ‘e taki ‘e he Potungaue ki he Ngaahi Ngaue Lalahi. Ka ‘ikai ma’u ‘e he Pule’anga ha seniti fe’unga, ‘oku tui ‘a e ‘Eiki Palēmia ‘e lava pe ‘a e ngāue ia ‘i he ngaahi tokoni ‘e ma’u mai he ko hono fakakatoa ko e ngāue eni ma’ae ma’a mo e faka’ofo’ofa ‘a e fonua fakalukufua.

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