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President of TASANOC and Chairman of the Organizing Committee questions whether Government supports the 2019 Sports or NOT

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 31/01/2017

There is no evidence of a forward move in preparations for the upcoming 2019 pacific sports during the period January 2016 to January this year.

The issue was highlighted in a letter read in Parliament this morning and signed by the President of TASANOC – Lord Tupou and the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Lord Sevele of Vailahi.

The letter also stated concern on whether the Government truly supports the Games OR NOT, because the differences between the Prime minister and the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee can led to cancellation of the games.

The letter stated the Prime Minister’s attempt to intervene in the Construction work has hindered any development.

It also stated that the Prime Minister has tried to take the lead in the construction work which resulted in many delays and changes in decision making which also includes changing the venues for the golf course, eight times.

Lord Tupou and Lord Sevele also stated in the letter we only have about 900 days left before the games and the Prime Minister’s intervention has become a problem that needs to be addressed.

The issue was then referred to the Whole House Committee for discussion.

Meanwhile, in a press conference with media yesterday the Prime Minister Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva said the changes in the venue for the golf course was based on several reasons.

He said, when they entered Government the initial plan was for the golf course to be constructed at Niumate, however there was a change of plan and they then had to request for His Majesty’s estate.

They were directed to build the course at Kauvai, however, the Prime Minister said he was concerned over the safety of the Athletes because the location was far into the country.

There were other options and disagreements but they eventually decided to construct the new golf course at Popua.

The Prime Minister then continued that PNG has agreed on an official letter signed by the Prime Minister Peter O’neil that a team will visit Tonga on January, but January ends today.

However we will continue with other works while awaiting PNG’s pledge.

He also says it is important that all stakeholders’ takes responsibility with their roles such as TASANOC to only focus on training our athletes to win a medal.

Also at the press conference was the Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. ‘Aisake Eke saying all contract for the maintenance of Teufaiva has been completed apart from the Teufaiva where they are still waiting on the NZ Company to complete the requirements.

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