17 Nov 2010

Aid donors offer training to new Tonga MPs

2:50 pm on 17 November 2010

Tonga's aid donors are to provide training for the new crop of MPs to be elected in next week's historic poll.

On November the 25th, Tonga's voters select the majority of their MPs for the first time.

New Zealand, Australia and other neighbours are to send election monitors, which the New Zealand High Commissioner in Tonga, Jonathan Austin, says is part of a package to help manage the political transition.

He says the new parliament will face greater responsibilites and play a more active role in Tonga's affairs so MPs need to know how the institution works.

"So there's an issue around what's the role of parliament and how things like select committees in parliament work, but there will also be that standard issue in any new Parliament of a large number of new MPs. MPs who perhaps haven't served as a member of parliament before and who'd benefit from some training and some sort of induction I guess, on how a parliament works and what their role as a member of parliament is."