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‘Akosita sets 100-day benchmark for her ministry

Hon 'Akosita Lavulavu has challenged her staff with a 15-point work-plan for the first 100 days of 2018

NUKU’LOFA-January 30, 2018: 4.15pm (Nuku’alofa Times): The new Minister for Interrnal Affairs and Sports has drawn up a 15-point work-plan for her and her ministry for the first 100 days of work year in a bid to bring about change and professionalism in the deliverance of services from her ministry.

Hon ‘Akosita Lavulavu, the lone female in the current Cabinet, has revealed her plans to introduce change that would benefit the people of Tonga; encourage closer working relationship between communitiesm, town officers and their district officers; promote community sports programs that would help identify talents that could be marketed overseas and help local women grow in their different fields.

“My plan is to put together a work plan that would help us in our service delieveries and also help members of the public rate our work and see whether we have been able to deliver according to their satisfaction and expectations,” Hon Lavulavu said.

“These are issues I would like my ministry to work on in the first 100 days of our work this year.”

Hon Lavulavu said the Ministry of Internal Affairs has an important role to play in the daily lives of Tongans here and abroad and the staff must be up to standard so that they can deliever the services needed across the board.

The new Minister wants changes to how her staff serve members of the public.

The new Minister wants changes to how her staff serve members of the public.

She added that one concern is the fact that there are too many complaints against MIA with the Ombudsman’s Office and things need to change now for the better.

One of the highlights of her work plan is her hopes to see sports being driven as a tool that can bring Toga together right from the grassroots level.

She wants to introduce regular village and island tournaments in the country, including annual rugby and netball fixtures.

She wants to build up community spirit from the grassroots and believes sport is a key to doing so.

“Sports is the unifying tool that will contribute to a higher quality of life through healthier lifestyles, increasing opportunities to talented Tongans, perhaps through tournaments and sporting activities throughout all the communities within Tonga,” she said.

“Everybody, and I mean everybody and anybody, has the potential to excel.”

Hon Lavulavu said recent history showed the impact sports could have on a country.

“We can just see, especially with the past Mate Ma’a Tonga rugby league games that we have just had, it brought unity amongst everybody in the country,” she said.

“I believe that sporting tournaments within the community will bring happiness amongst the people and it will unify us all and it will build a relationship amongst everybody at all levels.”

Raising the capabilities of local women to be able to be self-reliant and empowered to run businesses and economic activities to help sustainable living for themselves and their families are also important in her work-plan, moving forward.

Here are her 15-point work plan for the first 100 days in the office:

  1. We must find people that we can trust and have faith in to do the job and they have the experience and the knowledge to perform the duties in the various fields and sectors. This was something that has been identified as having shortfalls in the last five years.

These staff must be able to work with and help in formulating Corporate Plans, Annual Reports, legislations and regulations, Acts that needs to be drawn up and used to help our deliverance of services to the communities we serve.

The time has come to change the status of the ministry from bad to good.

  1. We must reduce the number of complaints from members of the public lodged with the Ombudsman’s Office and that can be done by ensuring that we serve our people efficiently and promptly.
  2. We must put together a policy or hand book on how town officers and district officers are supposed to be carrying out their duties in their service to the communities they serve.
  3. Improve the village by-laws.
  4. Work on drafting legislations and regulations that can become part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Act, the Community Sports and Recreational Act, Social Welfare Services Act, Employment Empowerment and Creation Act, Local Government Act and other laws that can be drafted before the first 400 days in office.
  5. To have a calendar of sports events that communities around the island here on Tongatapu and the outer islands of ‘Eua, Ha’apai, Vava’u and the Niu’as can follow. This is to include sports programs for the different sports like rugby union, rugby league, netball and other sports in 2018 and 2019.
  6. To have sports talent identification programs and audits for colleges and schools around the country and have that done by April this year. That is the be carried out the Director and the team from the Institute of Sports.
  7. To have Ministerial visits to the outer islands and the villages and meet stakeholders at the different levels. This would include meeting funders and donors both here and internationally.
  8. To have a planned reunion program and activities for different villages and islands in Tonga and assist with community development programs.
  9. To set up partnerships by way of having sister cities or villages both locally and internationally. This would mean villages from the outer islands having sister villages in Tongatapu and also having those with cities in New Zealand, Australia, United States of America, Japan, China and Korea. This would ensure there is working partnership between the local villages with their sister cities overseas and vice versa.
  10. Improve the performances of staff within the ministry and those from the outer islands to a better level than what we currently experience and see.
  11. To ensure that offices in Vava’u and Ha’apai are also improved to cater for the needs of the local communities there.
  12. To see that vehicle needs for the outer islands are also met so that they are able to perform their duties better.
  13. To make sure that all offices in the outer islands have all their equipment needs, especially for computers.
  14. To set up projects that would help empower local women so that they are able to earn incomes for themselves and their families.



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