20 Jul 2017

Questions over relevancy of Tongan constituency meetings

8:05 pm on 20 July 2017

A political analyst in Tonga says people are questioning the relevancy of the annual parliamentary constituency meetings currently being held.

The Royal Oceania Institute's Tevita Motulalo

The Royal Oceania Institute's Tevita Motulalo Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

The nearly two week-long series of meetings end on Friday but the Royal Oceania Institute's Tevita Motulalo said many have had a poor public turnout.

Mr Motulalo said in theory the meetings are an important democratic exercise because they offer the community an official public forum and direct connection with their MPs.

However he said with the advent of social media and issues like infrastructure and jobs continually on the meeting agenda, people are wondering if they are still useful.

"These have been kind of worn out, without particular direct results coming out of it in terms of constituents making submissions in these meetings and then seeing it coming into fruition. That is the challenge, is seeing direct results of their concerns reflected in public policy," said Tevita Motulalo.

The 26 MPs are supposed to report back to parliament on their meetings by the end of next month.

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Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

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