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The Nation Waits


The Nation Waits….

The main event might be over, but behind the scenes, the drama continues. Who will Sir Toke select to sit with him on the round table?In the absence of any information from the Office of the Premier there is some speculation that there could be a change in the cabinet line-up. But if there is to be a change, just who is going to be the sacrificial lamb and who from the back-bench will move to the front? Or one that the electorate is dreading, who of the rookies will be rapidly promoted to the heady heights of a full ministerial post?

Of the old line-up, the most senior is Hon Pokotoa Sipeli. He has been with Sir Toke from day one. His advancing years may work against him but he is seen to be a steadying influence; every cabinet needs a Ulumotua. Whether this is sufficient to keep him in cabinet is not certain.
The second most senior would be Hon Billy Talagi. In addition to his ministerial duties, he is also charged with keeping things together in caucus. By all accounts he has been a very effective glue. If push comes to shove, he may be asked to fall on his sword. Comes a time though when even Baldrick can get the better of Captain Blackadder.

Waiting, waiting, waiting – pic PixaBay

And then there is Hon Dalton Tagelagi, the youngest member in the line-up. He was returned by his village of Alofi South with a significant majority in the elections. His electorate would prefer it if he paid a little more attention to the village and a little less to the island as a whole, but this is not always easy for a Minister of the Crown.

The positions of Assistant Ministers are an important consideration when it comes to keeping caucus together. Sir Toke had used the posts as training ground for potential ministers or as a form of appeasement for demoted ministers. Based on that premise alone, is it now time for Talaititama Talaiti to move up the ranks? Or will Sir Toke do what most people are dreading – the appointment of a token female representative in cabinet. The last such appointment had a mixed reception from the electorate.  Any suggestion at tokenism is likely to be received with absolute disdain by the island’s educated and well informed women.

But this is politics, Niue politics in particular. The final decision rests with just one person…and experience has shown that he will do what he has to do to ensure his survival.

In reference to the island’s well placed women, here’s a sample:
Gaylene Tasmania           Director General, Ministry of Social Services
Dr Josie Tamate               Director General, Ministry of Natural Resources
Birtha Togahai                  Director of Education
Christine Ioane                 Director of Cabinet and Parliamentary Services
Peleni Talagi                     Solicitor General
Sonya Talagi                     Director Dept of Transport
Moira Enetama                 Director Taoga Niue
Rosslyn Mitiepo                Director Meteorological Services
Suefane Touna                 Acting Director, Public Service Commission Secretariat

Dog waiting with the Nation… pic – pixabay