22 Dec 2016

Sport: Pacific Games Council and Vanuatu Govt on "same page"

1:07 pm on 22 December 2016

The Pacific Games Council says it's finally on the same page as the Vanuatu government regarding preparations for next year's Mini Games.

The government had been witholding money from the Games' organising committee but turned the funding tap back two weeks ago on after making legislative changes.

President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, said the problems they have encountered have always been with bureaucrats who did not properly understand their responsibilities under the Games Host Contract.

He said constant changes of Prime Minister and Minister of Sport added to the challenge but things are now looking up.

"None of them were being properly advised as to what the Government's role is," he said.

"They were going to the extent of saying, "no we can disregard the Pacific Games Association and the Government can organise the Games."

"Well according to our rules that cannot happen so we have spent a lot of time trying to educate Prime Ministers and different Ministers of Sport as to how the Pacific Games is structured."

Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Pacific Games Council President Vidhya Lakhan at the PGC General Assembly.

Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Pacific Games Council President Vidhya Lakhan. Photo: ONOC

Vidhya Lakhan said it got to the stage where a decision had to be made about the future of the Games and whether Vanuatu would remain as host but fortunately common sense prevailed.

"People realised and I think some people took the opportunity to review our Games Host Contract, and the Prime Minister and the Minister of Sport...clearly understood what the Government's role is," he said.

"And that is to provide funds to the organising committee so they can get on with the business of organising the Games."

Vidhya Lakhan said, after wasting months and months trying to educate different people about what exactly is required - and following last week's no-confidence motion in the government being defeated in the Vanuatu Parliament, he's hopeful there will be a period of stability in the remaining 12 months until the Mini Games get underway.

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