Summary of Deliberations
17th of August 2015
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF TONGA
The Speaker asked the Members of Parliament to please note the Legislative Assembly’s schedule for sitting days and asked the Prime Minister to remind Honourable Ministers that when they do travel abroad they must submit a letter informing the Speaker of their absence and the Members’ whereabouts. That there not be any parliamentary visits next year so that all matters the public are concerned with are dealt with so that they are happy.
The Honourable Prime Minister thanked the Speaker and Members of the House for the coronation and apologised to the Speaker for the Legislative Assembly being adjourned because Honourable Ministers were busy. Supported the proposal to hold parliamentary visits biannually and he supports it because it is the same thing year after year. Cabinet will learn from their shortfalls and also apologised if there had been any misunderstanding. And any misunderstanding should not bear any personal grudges. Pledge that the objective of this mission is good governance. The government needs the media to be balanced in the news they distribute.
The Nobles’ Representative for Éua stated that he did not believe that adjourning the visits to hold it biannually because what his constituents brought up last year was totally different from what they wanted this year. These are needs of the public and these Parliamentary visits are empowered by the Constitution. The Media has caused a lot of damages by not reporting what is right. The Media should not give their opinion.
The Prime Minster supported the media and newspapers to carry out their duties which is to monitor government activities and if one is not happy then refer it to government.
The Speaker stated with regards to visit funds there is no need for Parliamentary visits as they are already entitled to four air tickets a year and they should utilise that and some mutual understanding as to what the needs are. The fund that is allocated is from government.
The People’s Representative No. 15 for Vavaú asked if they could consider that next year as no one knows what the future holds. This year the issue was water if the direction could be held off until next year.
The Minister of Infrastructure and Tourism stated that this was a special year as the Coronation took place this year and the agricultural show was a Coronation agricultural show. The Ministers and Nobles has a responsibility to His Majesty.
Regulations read out.
Electoral Regulations 2014 Amendments voted on first reading and passed asked that it be stood down after second reading.
His Majesty’s Armed Forces Retirement Benefits Regulations 2014 Amendments. First reading voted on by 18. Second reading Nobles’ Representative No.1 for Tongatapu asked to have it stood down to the Whole House Committee.
Income Tax Regulations 2014 Amendments First Reading voted on 18/0. Second reading and Nobles’ Representative No.1 for Tongatapu asked that it be stood down to the Whole House Committee.
Magistrates Courts Regulations (Justice of Peace) 2014 Amendments. First reading voted 17/0. Second Reading Nobles’ Representative No.2 for Haápai asked to have it stood down to the Whole House Committee.
Electoral Boundaries Regulations.
Electoral Boundaries Regulations 2014. First Reading voted 16/0. Second reading Nobles’ Representative No.2 for Vavaú asked to have it referred to the Whole House Committee.
Motion for Impeachment.
The Speaker directed that it be read out and there would be no deliberations on the matter and in accordance with Rule 87 of the Rules of Procedure. That the matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Privilege before the matter is tabled in the House. The Minister of Infrastructure and Tourism stated that he was happy with these allegations because it is a clear sign that politics in the nations is vigorous. He wanted to be allowed the opportunity to reply as there is a conflict of interest in the committee.
The deliberations continued as the Minister of Infrastructure and Tourism was frustrated and the Speaker ordered that he take his seat to which the Minister responded that the Speaker was a dictator and that he would have him impeached.
The Speaker directed that Regulation No. 5 be struck off the agenda as that has already been passed. Member to take note of Rules 52, 53 and 49. The motion that was tabled was read out in part and matter has been stood down to the Standing Committee on Privilege. The Minister had not been warned and will therefore not be penalised.
The Minister of Infrastructure and Tourism apologised.
The Deputy Speaker asked that the earlier exchange between the Minister of Infrastructure and the Speaker may be struck off the record under Rule 53(2). People’s Representative No.15 for Vavaú stated that the records should remain as it is so that it be a learning point.
Whole House Committee.
Regulations 1 and 2 voted on and passed in a vote of 18.
Regulation 3 voted on 16/1
Regulation 4 voted on by 17
Regulations 6 voted on by 14
All Regulations were voted on again the House with same number of votes as in the Committee.
PARLIAMENT IS ADJOURNED TO 10:00AM TUESDAY 18TH AUGUST 2015.