19 Mar 2012

Niue MP asks High Court to rule on appointment of associates

7:20 pm on 19 March 2012

Niue MP and former Secretary of Justice, Togia Sioneholo, is asking the High Court to rule on whether the appointment of assistant or associate ministers breaches the constitution.

He had challenged the government's use of associate ministers and an earlier court sitting ruled those MPs were not entitled to the higher salaries and that money should be returned.

But Mr Sioneholo also wants a ruling on the constitutionality of the process.

"All of those appointments affecting any member of the Assembly or any appointment to the executive of government are stipulated in the constitution. And what happened, because it was very difficult to change the constitution they tried to introduce it by way of normal legislation, and that is not constitutional. It is not within what is provided for in the constitution. Therefore those appointments are invalid."

Togia Sioneholo.

He is expecting the issue to go to the Niue High Court before the end of March.