TONGA CABINET MINISTER NAMES SON TO HEAD

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AGENCY
Clive Edwards puts son David in driver’s seat

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, March 23, 2011) - The Tonga government has appointed the son of the public enterprises minister to head a state-owned business it says is in considerable financial difficulty.

It gas appointed David Edwards as the new chairman of Tonga Timber Ltd, which reportedly has debts of nearly US$200,000.

The public enterprise minister, Clive Edwards, earlier spoke of mismanagement and poor governance in the state-owned enterprise sector.

He said there’d been significant losses or minimal profits from the government’s commercial enterprises and a culture of non-compliance going back three years.

The government says to protect staff and assets at Tonga Timber it will restructure the company and undertake a recovery programme.

In addition to David Edwards, two current directors, Viliami Tiseli and ’Anau Falekakala, will be retained and they have three years to turn the company around.

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