The final count of the ballots from Niue’s Fono Ekepule returned 11 votes to five against the motion defeating the vote of no confidence in Premier Dalton Tagelagi Cabinet.
The sixteen members present all spoke after the presentation of the motion by Common Roll member Terry Coe.
Despite Speaker Hima Takelesi’s decision that the vote will be by secret ballot, the members all made clear where they stood in support of or against the motion. The outcome was not a surprise because Coe told BCN news last week that they may not have the numbers but it is important to have the debate and to hear their reasons for putting the motion in.
Members in support of the government said the motion of no confidence is uncalled for given that the government has done its best to keep the country free from Covid 19 for two years.
Ministers spoke of how difficult it is to be a member of the Cabinet during this pandemic, having to do their work knowing that not everyone is satisfied with their efforts.
Minister Mona Ainuu challenged the members to put their hands up to help instead of putting a vote of no confidence in the Cabinet.
In response Terry Coe said that he did put his hand up and offered to help but was laughed at, at the time. Coe spoke of the many projects still behind and the conditions of the roads and long-standing issues still not addressed.
O’love Jacobsen spoke about the need for transparency and for consultations; that putting forth this motion is one way to alert the government that they as the peoples’ representatives and raising their concerns.
Those in support of the motion spoke of the lack of consultation from the Cabinet on the issue of opening of the borders, some members calling on a temporary pause of the flights from New Zealand. Some of the members said that this lack of consultation from the Cabinet is seen in the recent decisions on the official opening of the new parliament building.
The sixteen members who attended the meeting include all four members of Cabinet, Premier Dalton Tagelagi, Ministers Tatui, Ainuu, and Tongatule. Members of the Fono John Operator Tiakia, Makaseau Ioane, Dion Taufitu, Opili Talafasi, Tofua Puletama, Va’aiga Tukuitonga, Ricky Muiaki Makani, Pita Vakanofiti, Talaititama Talaiti, Ritchie Mautama and Common Roll members O’love Jacobsen and Terry Coe.
Member from Liku Pokotoa Sipeli and member from Namukulu Jack Willie Lipitoa and common roll MPs Stanley Kalauni and Richard Hipa are both overseas. Richard Hipa has been in New Zealand for health reasons since July last year.
SOURCE: TV NIUE/PACNEWS