Pursuing Games dream would be “stupid indeed” for Tonga says Justice Minister

    'Oku 'i lalo ha fakamatala faka-Tonga

    Justice Minister, Sione Vuna Fā’otusia said today the Pacific Games Council had lost nothing from Tonga’s decision not to host the 2019 Pacific Games.

    Hon Fā’otusia told Kaniva Tonga it would be stupid to host the Games when it could damage the country economically.

    The Pacific Games Council has taken the government to court and is claiming millions of pa’anga in damages.

    Lawyers Dr Rodney Harrison and Dr Sela Moa are working on the case.

    Dr Harrison informed Lawyer Clive Edwards, who was representing Pacific Games Council,  on June 8 that he was representing the Kingdom of Tonga.

    “This has been an unavoidable delay since service of the proceedings, while my client and specifically Cabinet investigated possible conflict of interest in term of choice of lawyers to represent the kingdom and ultimately resolved to appoint me in that capacity,” Dr Harrison said in a letter seen by Kaniva News. 

    “This case if funny indeed as the Pacific Games Council did not lose anything at all from Tonga’s cancellation,” the Hon Fā’otusia said.

    He said the only people who lost from the Games were the chief executive of Tonga’s Pacific Games Organising Committee, Lord Fred Sevele and his team who would have benefitted from being involved.

    “Tonga is not in a position to spend millions of dollars in doing something that it is obvious not going to benefit the country.

    “In fact, sport is dead in the island. Why be stupid and be hard-headed in pursuing a course of action that will put the country in harm’s way?

    “Stupid indeed!

    “We have to start with cultivation of sport in the country then thinking about hosting the Pacific games.  Maybe in the next 20 years or so?”

    In 2016 the government announced it had sacked Lord Sevele, a former Prime Minister, in an attempt to improve management and cut costs.

    However, Lord Chief Justice Paulsen overturned the dismissal.

    The Pacific Games Council had argued that the dismissal was an infringement of the hosting contract.

    Last year Lord Sevele said he and Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva should work together to ensure that the 2019 Games were a success.

    Samoa will host the Games next year, with the opening ceremony scheduled for July 8 and the closing ceremony on July 20. The First south Pacific Games were held in Suva in 1963.

    For more information

    Tonga’s Chief Justice re-instates Sevele

    Lord Sevele calls for political unity, to get the 2019 Pacific Games back on track


    1. Kuo pehē ‘e he Mnisitā Lao’ Sone Vuna Fā’otusia he ‘aho’ ni ne hala ke mole ha me’a ‘e taha ‘a e Kosilio Keimi ‘a e Pasifiki’ ‘i he tu’utu’uni ‘a Tonga ke ta’ofi Sipoti 2019.

      Na’a’ ne pehē ki he Kaniva Tonga’ ‘e fakavalevale ia ke fakalele ‘e Tonga e Keimi’he taimi ‘e lava ke ne maumau’i faka’ekonōmika ‘e ia ‘a e fonua’.

      Kuo mahino ‘eni kuo ngāue fakalao ‘a loea Dr Sela Moa mei he ‘Ōfisi ‘o e Palēmia’ mo Dr Rodney Harrison ‘o na fakafofonga’i e pule’anga’ ‘i he hopo ko ‘eni’.

      ‘I ha tohi ‘i he ‘aho 6 ‘o Sune 2018 ne fakahā atu ai ‘e Dr Harrison kia Clive Edwards ko ia ‘oku’ ne fakafofonga’i ‘a e Pule’anga’.

      Na’a fakamahino foki kia Edwards na’e tupu e tōmui ‘a hono ‘oatu ha tali ‘a e pule’anga’ ki he ‘eke ‘a e Kosilio’ he ne ‘i ai e fakatotolo ne fai ‘e he pule’anga’ ke ‘oua na’a fepakipaki e fiema’u’ mo ha taha ‘e fili ke loea ma’a Tonga pea kuo nau toki aofangatuku ‘o mahino ko Harrison ‘e loea’.


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