21 Feb 2018

Vanuatu climate change minister apologises to high chiefs

10:49 am on 21 February 2018

Vanuatu's Minister of Climate Change Ham Lini has used custom protocol to apologise to high chiefs of Central Pentecost after a breach of protocol.

Vanuatu politician Ham Lini.

Vanuatu politician Ham Lini. Photo: RNZI

Mr Lini, who is himself from North Pentecost, was present when the official caused the blunder in the chief's traditional meeting house, or Nakamal, at the end of last year.

He did not say what the official had done wrong but asked for the chiefs' forgiveness and said he was sorry for what happened.

He offered two custom red mats and the chiefs accepted them.

A spokesman for the chiefs said his action reflected the high position Mr Lini holds in Pentecost custom as a paramount chief as well as at a political level.