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NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Aug. 31) - Tonga’s National Committee for Political Reform (NCPR) will present its report this evening to King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV at Mercy Hospital in Auckland.

Originally chaired by the late Prince Tu'ipelehake, the committee was set up with a mandate to report to the King and government following consultations with the people of Tonga, both nationally and overseas, relating to political and social reforms. It was to recommend changes to legislation with a view to building national unity and promoting the social and economic advancement of the people of Tonga.

The new NCPR chairman, Dr. Sitiveni Halapua, will personally present the NCPR's100-page report to the king in Auckland this evening.

[PIR editor’s note: Sitiveni Halapua, who is director of the Pacific Islands Development Program at the East-West Center in Honolulu, has been on leave since January of this year when he was invited to participate in political reform efforts in Tonga. ]

Meanwhile, in Nuku’alofa, a copy of the report was presented to the Prince Regent HRH Prince Tupouto'a at the office of the Lord Chamberlain, this afternoon by NCPR committee members, who included vice chairman Samiu Vaipulu, Vili Kaufusi Helu, ‘Aisea Taumoepeau, Dr. ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki, Dr. Langi Kavaliku and the nobles Tangipa and Malupo

Siaosi Vete of NCPR said that a copy of the report would be presented to the Tongan Parliament before the end of September.

The formation of the National Committee for Political Reform was approved by the Tongan parliament on October 24, 2005, and it began its ‘Talanoa’ meetings with the Tongan people on January 30, 2006.

By the end of May it had completed its meetings throughout the Tonga islands and continued to New Zealand and Australia in June where it held meetings with Tongans living there.

In July the NCPR headed on the final leg of their ‘Talanoa’ meetings to the United States where the untimely death of former NCPR chairman Prince Tu’ipelehake on July 5 in a road accident in San Francisco [PIR editor’s note: See story.], brought international recognition of the peace-making work of the NCPR.

September 1, 2006

Matangi Tonga: www.matangitonga.to/nav.html


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