13 May 2004

Tonga chief secretary highlights poor response to NZ select committee inquiry

5:25 pm on 13 May 2004

Tonga's chief secretary to cabinet says she questions the usefulness of the New Zealand parliamentary inquiry into bilateral relations given that only about 70 submissions have been made.

Eseta Fusitua says there has been a miserable response from the public to explore relations.

She also says the groundrules of inter-governmental relations should have been followed in setting up the inquiry which she says followed highly critical comments about Tonga made by some members of the New Zealand select committee.

"There is only about 70 submissions. Now, for a Tongan population here of about 40,000 and for a highly publicised review and to get 70 submissions that's t its very, very miserable. And I think that's a public comment on the exercise itself."