13 Nov 2017

Vaea says Tongan MPs need to act, not talk

12:12 pm on 13 November 2017

A Tongan noble says whoever is elected into Parliament this week needs to do more in the House than the most recent set of MPs.

Tongan opposition and Noble MP Lord Vaea

Lord Vaea Photo: RNZI/Koro Vaka'uta

The elections were called a year earlier than scheduled after the King dissolved Parliament in August, due to concerns about the conduct of the government.

Lord Vaea hopes to be re-elected into one of the nine seats set aside and voted for by the 33 hereditary nobles and five life peers.

The remaining 17 seats are popularly elected.

Vaea, who Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva once referred to as the unofficial 'Leader of the Opposition', said whoever made it into the house needs to make sure legislative action occurs rather than just talk.

"We were defeated because we didn't do well and that showed up in Parliament. We spent a lot of time talking on the pulpit, but there is nothing much done and so consequently we've suffered."

He also said that whoever formed a government would need to work closely with the local business community to rebuild their confidence.

"The private sector was isolated over the last two and half years. They were heavily taxed and they moved away from the partnership that they provided government. Especially in small islands, you need that private-public partnership and that's [been] really different because of the costs and because they continually have to fork out to appease the government."

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