An audio of the Prime Minister’s meeting in Vava’u was provided by his office and transcribed and translated into English by Kaniva News. This English version of the audio had been abridged.
Prime Minster Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa has briefly summarised his meeting in Vava’u last week saying safer water tanks, flush toilets for every household and road constructions and maintenance were Vava’uans’ urgent needs.
He said these were priorities for the people of Vava’u apart from the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Tino.
He said he understood there might have been obstacles but his government undertook to complete them.
He said tenders for the rocks for the roads were underway as part of the government’s attempts to get cheaper prices for the road project.
He said once the tender processes were completed everything would be fine to go.
READ AND LISTEN TO ALL STORIES ON PRIME MINISTER’S MEETINGS IN HA’APAI AND VAVA’U:
- PM’s Vava‘u meeting: Visit to cyclone damaged areas, new bridge for ‘Ōtea / Falevai, safe drinking water and flush toilet projects
- PM’s Vava‘u Meeting: Concerns over unfair business competition; poor airline services; gov’t vows to deal with concerns
- PM’s Vava‘u Meeting: Officers complain about “poor road conditions” believed to have existed since 1910s; people at meetings fully support gov’t’s new roads project
- PM’s Ha‘apai meeting: 100 days rebuild and repair pledge after cyclone Tino as residents plea to repair ‘poor road conditions’
- PM’s Media Questions: Road Construction Project funding sources; debate on claims PM was a traitor; Vava’u visit and dialysis facility
- PM Talking Points: Lack of equipment, work practices meant road project missed deadline, but PM says changes plans will help make plan a success
Hon Tu’i’onetoa said more roads were needed in some parts of Neiafu to make transport to plantations more convenient.
He said he talked to two airlines last week and there was hope the complaints about the domestic services would be resolved shortly.
100-day pledge / Civil Servants
The Prime Minister said the government undertook to rebuild and repair damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Tino in Vava’u within 100 days.
He said he knew some of the civil servants were still loyal to the former government.
“And that’s true. But I asked them to please leave the past and work with us together. Let’s love one another so that we can move on because after all we share all the benefits we had from what we are doing,” the Prime Minister said.
China / Tonga Security Council
The Prime Minister told the meeting in Vava’u China has said it has spoken for Tonga at the United Nations’ Security Council.
Hon Tu’i’onetoa said this was because China was a member of the United Nations’ Security Council while Tonga was not. He said it was not “normal” in the United Nations for China to speak for Tonga.
He said it was just China trying to say that if something was raised about Tonga in the Security Council China would stand by the kingdom.
The Prime Minister also said Tonga did not officially lose its vote at the United Nations General Assembly because of a failure to pay its membership fees.
He said the procedure should include the UN sending a letter of warning to Tonga saying it had not paid its fees, but Tonga had not received such a letter.
He said the outstanding money had been paid and Tonga would continue to vote at the General Assembly.
Allegations on Facebook
The Prime Minister denied allegations shared on Facebook that actions the government pursued to fulfill its policies and priorities included illegal activities.
The Prime Minister thanked those who attended the meeting for their supports and patience.
Vava’u Governor Lord Fakatulolo congratulated the Prime Minister for the opportunity he had given the people of Vava’u to share their concerns and priorities directly with his government.
He warned the people of Vava’u the roads were to be repaired for them to go to their plantations, but not for the robbers to go and steal others’ crops.