29 Mar 2006

Tonga ponders joining Transparency International

7:50 pm on 29 March 2006

Tonga could soon join Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands as a member of the anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International.

Members of Transparency International from New Zealand are in Tonga this week for discussions about how the apolitical organisation functions.

One of the group, Chris Wikaira, says they have had discussions with many sectors of Tonga society, including members of the government who have given them a positive, if not enthusiastic welcome.

He says there seems to have been a general acceptance that the time is right to have an independent voice which sits to one side:

"And is there to espouse this is what you do to have transparency, this is what you do to have open government. These are some of the tools and mechanisms and processes that you can use to make sure that your processes are good and nice and straight and open."

Chris Wikaira