New Zealand Parliament supports democracy in Tonga
26 August 2011
To support Tonga's political reform processes by providing training to parliamentary officials is the aim of a one week visit by the Manager of New Zealand Parliament's Select Committee to Tonga.
Lesly Ferguson is here to help strengthen the work of different Standing and Selective Committees of the Legislative Assembly.
During her visit, she worked closely and advised the House Committee's Secretary Elsie Tupou on different aspects and functions of Parliamentary Committees.
She also assisted the Clerks in developing their roles in the committees as well as advising them on parliamentary practices to service the seven Parliamentary Committees effectively.
Ferguson also put forward ideas by providing framework on New Zealand Parliamentary practices to help guide members in Parliament.
"This is ensuring that democracy can grow and keep moving forward and stronger," said Mrs. Ferguson.
Working for 10 years as Manager of New Zealand Parliament's Committee Ferguson notes there are no public gallery in the Tongan Parliament and also for the Select Committee's meeting, therefore she points out it is important to have public involvement.
"Getting public submission on a piece of legislation helps democracy grow and moving forward...in this way they know how to make a difference with their involvement in Committees," explained Mrs. Ferguson.
This is an ongoing assistance from New Zealand to Parliaments in the Pacific, Tonga included.
The follow up in house training is funded by UNDP through a collaboration with Tonga New Zealand High Commission's office.
Ferguson leaves Tonga for New Zealand tonight.
Issued by the: Parliament of Tonga, Legislative Assembly, Nuku'alofa, 2011.