Minister of Internal Affairs ‘Akosita Lavulavu told Kaniva News her Ministry would help town reunions because the strong participation of members who lived overseas would help generate sources of income for their community development.
Annual sporting tournaments including football and netball were planned for each town and island.
Revealing details of the Ministry’s 100-day plan, Lavulavu said it included an effort to improve its reputation after it was the subject of the second highest number of public complaints to the Ombudsman.
Those complaints were lodged because the public were dissatisfied with the Ministry’s services, the Minister said.
Lavulavu, the only female Minister in Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva’s cabinet, said she undertook to hire and employ experts in areas where there were shortfalls in the Ministry in the past five years.
She said these shortfalls led to the Ministry’s failure to create an approved corporate plan, annual report, regulate laws, acts and policies that were necessary for it to function well.
Minister Lavulavu said she expected laws regarding fono (community meeting) to make sure they could be fixed to suit current circumstances.
She said she planned to also create the Ministry of Internal Affairs Act, Community Sports and Recreational Acts, Social Welfare Services Act, Employment Empowerment and Creation Act and Local Government Act.
The Ministry of Sports is also under her control and the 100-day plan included trialling of high school athletes at the end of February.
She expected to visit all districts and meet with the Ministry’s partnerships and stakeholders in Tonga and overseas.
She said she would look for sister cities for Tongan towns in overseas countries including New Zealand, Australia and Korea.
Nuku’alofa is twinned with Whitby in the United Kingdom and Hazleton in the United States.
Photo caption: Minister of Internal Affairs ‘Akosita Lavulavu