Wednesday 19th October 2016
Nuku’alofa Times - Page 03
Parliament to discuss motion within 14 days
NUKU’ALOFA (Nuku’alofa Times): Parliament will now be able to take a vote on a motion of no confidence within 14 working days, after changes were passed on Section 84 of the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Order.
Draft of seabed minerals law ready
NUKU’ALOFA (MEIDECC): The Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources presented the first draft of the Seabed Minerals Fund Regulation to representatives from line ministries and stakeholders at a consultation workshop at Fa’onelua Convention Centre this morning. The Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources and Geologist Taniela Kula said the workshop aimed to share the first draft of the regulation with stakeholders. “The first draft of the regulation has been completed so we are here today to share it with stakeholders, government ministries, NGOs and private sectors for their comments and input,” Mr Kula said. “Seabed mining and minerals are limited re-
sources and if we continue to use the money collected from seabed mining, when minerals are gone all the income collected from it will be gone too. So this regulation is formed to secure the income from seabed mining and we will be able to invest the money somewhere far where we won’t be able to use it every time. “When the minerals are gone, the money that we invested from it will be useful for this generation and the next generation.” Mr Kula stated that similar regulations have been implemented in developing countries around the world and also in the Pacific region. “Countries that have implemented this kind of regulation have collected more money in a short period of time, which is
a great example for us as we are one of the smallest countries with limited resources,” he said. “After today and the feedback we have received from the participants, we will have to consider it and redraft the regulation and there will be another consultation in the future. We hope for a more extensive consultation as many of the stakeholders did not make it to the workshop today.” The Ministry of Lands, Survey and National Resources was assisted by a legal consultant, ‘Alisi Taumoepeau in drafting the regulation. The drafting of the regulation was funded by Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the European Union, under the Deep Sea Mineral project.
Nineteen Members of Parliament voted for the changes as the House debated what should be done to help ease government’s systems and operations once the motion of the vote of no confidence is filed. Speaker Lord Tu’ivakano
told the House that leaving the motion to be discussed and action taken for too long disrupts government’s operation. He said this is because civil servants and the government’s central system would be uncertain on what to do – in case the
ruling government is voted out. The changes have been made following revelation by Lord Vaea, the Tongatapu Nobles 1 Representative, that he will be filing a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva and his government.
NUKU’ALOFA (Nuku’alofa Times):The Hon. Penisimani ‘Epenisa Fifita – the People’s Representative of Tongatapu 9 – has been appointed the new Minister for Internal Affairs. His appointment was effective from Friday, October 14. He replaces Fe’ao Vakata, who was sacked three weeks ago. Hon Fifita served as Chairman of the Whole House Committee of the Legislative Assembly recently. His appointment was approved by His Majesty King Tupou VI. He took his oath in Parliament on Monday morning. The former civil servant
was elected to Parliament in 2014. The Minister has over 38 years of experience in Government at the Ministry of Education and Training since 1975 until he retired from the civil service in 2013. From 2011-2012, the Minister was also the Acting Deputy Director for the Cultural Division of Ministry of Internal Affairs. The appointment means that Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva has lost the opportunity to appoint the lone female MP, Hon Akosita Lavulavu as a Cabinet Minister. Although there have been calls for PM Pohiva
to appoint a female Cabinet Minister, he has denied that and opted for Hon Fifita.
Hon Fifita is new Internal Affairs Minister
Hon. Penisimani Fifita
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Farmers corned beef off the shelves
NUKU’ALOFA (Nuku’alofa Times): The Farmers brand corned beef has been ordered off the shelves from shops in the Kingdom. This follows the work
done by the Task Force team of government, which includes Revenue and Customs, Health and Labour/ Commerce. Although the Nuku’alofa Times is still awaiting offi-
cial word from the Consumer Unit, media reports have confirmed the ban. It is understood that the FIJI made product has some defaults that has warranted the action taken.
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