Commoner given Governor role in Tonga
In an historic move the king of Tonga has appointed a commoner to the position of Governor of Ha'apai for the first time. Mo'ale Finau missed out in a seat in parliament by just 4 votes in last year's elections but says he is honoured to have now been given the new post.
In an historic move the king of Tonga has appointed a commoner to the position of Governor of Ha'apai for the first time.
Mo'ale Finau missed out in a seat in parliament by just 4 votes in last year's elections but says he is honoured to have now been given the new post.
Mr Finau told Koro Vaka'uta his appointment is another example of commoners finally being entrusted with responsibility and political power.
MO'ALE FINAU: It symbolises a willingness by the king of Tonga to finally give an opportunity for the commoners to come in and join in, if they are worthy, to be governor. I feel this is some type of freedom for the commoners to be trusted by the king to become a governor so for me it really is history for someone to be chosen from the commoners. This is a victory for the king not me because the king must of had a vision for the future of Tonga.
KORO VAKA'UTA: To have commoner-dominated government and the first elected commoner prime minister and now the first commoner governor in Tonga, I guess it's historical times in the kingdom.
MF: I think this is a momentous time for the kingdom of Tonga. For the first time we have a prime minister totally elected by the people. The same thing happened here in Ha'apai. This is a time that the people of Tonga are united. The king of Tonga finally decides to include the people. This is a very historic moment for the kingdom of Tonga, for the future of Tonga. I believe the future generations should be happy because we paved the way for Tonga to be a stronger nation in terms of politics and also economically and socially we are moving towards the right direction.
KV: In terms of now being governor of Ha'apai, what needs to be done now as governor?
MF: There have been lots of plans that the former government has put into place and what I will do now is to just follow those plans and make sure that the plans that are worthy to be carried out are implemented. First of all after the Cyclone Ian now the reconstruction of the houses that have been devastated by the cyclone that's one of my priorities and also to build roads and sea walls and to make sure that we deliver good services.
KV: Are you happy with the progress and the speed of the reconstruction since Cyclone Ian?
MF: I will work on speeding it up a little bit. As of now I'm not too happy. To me, it's way too slow. There have been some misunderstanding between contractors and the former government. What I'm doing now, I'm going to work and connect different levels in the government and outside the government to make sure the reconstruction works.
KV: How do you feel about the connection between Ha'apai and Tongatapu? Is there still those connections with government?
MF: That connection is growing stronger now after the new government ministers have been in their positions, like Lavulavu and Sovaleni who have been visiting the islands. The connection between Ha'apai and the government now is stronger than what it was before. That is one of the main reasons I believe the development of Ha'apai will be much, much stronger now in this new government.
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