PINA changes as PNG leads – Tonga’s 4 reps on the Board
NUKU’ALOFA – May 25, 2018: 3.55pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Tonga has four reps on the new Board of the Paxcific Islands News Association (PINA) elected during the association’s special general meeting and elections held here in Tonga on May 11.
Three new Board members elected include Vice President Katalina Tohi of Broadcom/87.5FM, Radip rep George Lavaka of Broadcom/87.5FM and Viola Ulakai of Radio and TV Tonga.
The three join media consultant and Nuku’alofa Times owner Iliesa Tora on the Board.
Mr Tora is the Online/New Media rep, now serving his second term with PINA after first being elected at the 2016 Pacific Media Summit in Palau.
The PINA elections also closed off the 2018 Pacific Media Summit here in Nuku’alofa.
The Managing Director of Papua New Guinea’s National Broadcasting Corporation, Kora Nou, was elected PINA President.
He replaced Moses Stevens of Vanuatu who stepped down after serving for 10 years.
In accepting the support for President Mr Nou said he was honoured to have been elected but realised that he was stepping into big shoes left vacant by Mr Stevens.
“I am honoured to have been elected and will do my best to lead the Board in the new direction that we are going to go into,” he said.
“I will rely on the Board to work with me as we move PINA in the new pathway set for us, especially with the new Strategic Plan that we now ave to work with moving forward.”
Mr Nou defeated two other candidates for the top position – Mr Moses Uludong and Ms Leilani Reklai – both of Palau.
Mr Uludong was a PINA Vice President.
Ms Tohi was the only nominee for Vice President and was unanimously elected.
She said this was a chance to give something back to PINA and media in the region.
“I am grateful for the support of the local media team who worked hard to ensure that we had support amongst all our colleagues,” she said.
“Now we have to work to ensure that we drive PINA in the right direction so that media in the region can get the benefits of what we are doing.”
The industry and association reps were elected from within their industry groupings.
Close to 80 regional media operators and journalists attended the Summit from May 7-11.
Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva opened the Summit on May 8 at the Epworth Hall in Kolofo’ou.
Meanwhile, the next Summit will be held in the Solomon Islands in 2020. The Solomon Islands Media Association (MASI) won the bid to host the next event.
SI president Charles Kadamana was grateful for the PINA support.
“I wish to thank the PINA board for accepting the bid I submitted for MASI to host the next summit,” an elated Mr Kadamana said.
“I also wish to acknowledge Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela for throwing his weight behind the bid with a supporting letter from the government,” he added.
“It’s the prime minister’s letter that made the difference.”
Mr Kadamana said organizing an event of this size can be challenging and has called on all MASI members to put their heads and hands together.
“While this may be challenging, it’s also an opportunity for MASI members to stand united and work for the common good,” he said.
The Auckland based Pacific Media Netowkr also bid for the event in 2020.
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