The members of the Tourism Board of Authority were justifiably dismissed and the decision was made according to advice from the Ministry’s legal advisers, Tonga’s Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet Dr Palenitina Langaʻoi said in Auckland.
Dr Langaʻoi, who is currently the Tourism’s acting CEO, said the dismissal was made as stated by the law and the contract signed by the former Minister between the ministry and the former board members.
She said the Ministry has elected new board members.
The new directors are Ken Walker from Air New Zealand, Lovely Maka from the Fiji Airways, Tevita Palu from the Real Tonga Airline, Stafford ‘Aho of the Rising Sun Tour and Saia Moehau, the chairman.
Dr Langaʻoi has confirmed there was an issue with the Ministry’s bank account at BSP bank after a complaint lodged by the former board members.
Tomifa Paea, the former chairman of the Board said in a letter that BSP bank has frozen the Ministry’s bank account.
Dr Langaʻoi said she discussed the matter with the Minister of Finance before she left for Auckland on Friday and they were really concerned at the bank’s action.
She said they have considered moving the Tourism’s bank accounts to ANZ bank.
Dr Langaʻoi was responding after Paea released a letter of complaint to the commissioner of public relation against the Ministry’s Minister Semisi Sika.
Paea claimed the decision by Sika to dismiss them was illegal.