21 Sep 2005

New Tongan ministers defend their performance

1:22 pm on 21 September 2005

The two popularly elected Tonga MPs taken into Cabinet earlier this year have defended themselves against accusations they have achieved little.

The Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries, Dr Fred Sevele, and the Minister of Forestry, Peauafi Haukinima, were selected from among people's representatives following the general election in March.

They have rejected claims they had not fulfilled their promises when taken into Cabinet - claims made by the leading people's representative, Akilisi Pohiva.

The two Ministers say they have done more for the people who voted for them in the 7 months they've been ministers than in all the years they were outside Cabinet.

Dr Sevele says he has worked on ensuring that all growers were excluded from the Consumption Tax, the reorganisation of Customs, setting up an anti-corruption commission, and establishing a pumpkin market in South Korea.

Mr Haukinima says they are not the type who publicise when every little project is completed.

He says he is doing a lot of work for the Niuas, especially the development of transportation and communication.