10 Sep 2003

Niue's speaker says government functioning with 7 MPs absent

4:40 pm on 10 September 2003

Niue's speaker of parliament, Ata Pana Siakimotu, says the government is still able to function despite seven of the twenty MPs being out of the country.

Included in that number are two cabinet ministers who are travelling on government business.

Opposition MP, Terry Coe, says too much public money is being wasted by too many overseas trips.

It has also resulted in the deferral of parliament until the 17th of September.

Mr Siakimotu says the government is continuing to function without a problem.

"There are only two cabinet ministers within this lot and the remaining members of the house. We've acting ministers for the two members away. It is not a difficult matter to continue with the running of the country."

Mr Siakimotu says parliament will sit on the 17th as this session cannot be deferred again.

And, he says two MPs who have been granted a leave of absence will be back in the country next month.