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Tonga International Archives Day: Speech by Deputy Prime Minister

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10 June 2013 Message from Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Cabinet's Sub-Committee for the Freedom of Information work while welcoming the Prime Mnister  and guests at the Opening Ceremony for the first International Archives Day in Tonga.

Tapu ki he ‘Afio ‘a e ‘Otua Mafimafi
Tapu ki he ‘Ene ‘Afio, Tupou VI - koe Hau ‘o e Fonua  mo e Fale ‘o Ha'a Moheofo
Tapu ki he ‘Eiki Palemia, Lord Tu'ivakano mo Lady Tu'ivakano
Tapu kia Hou'eiki mo Ha'a Matapule
Tapu ki he Hou'eiki Minisita
Tapu foki ki he Sea mo e Hou'eiki memipa ‘o e Fale Alea
Tapu ki he kau fakafofonga mei he Ngaahi Pule'anga Muli
Tapu ki he Palesiteni mo Ha'a taki Lotu
Tapu mo e fakafofonga ‘oe UNESCO
Tapu mo e Komiti pea mo kimoutolu hono kotoa pe ‘oku tau ‘i heni he        pongipongi ni

Hange pe koia kuo mou mea'i, na'e fuofua kamata hono ngaue'aki ‘a e ‘Fokotu'utu'u Ngaue ki he Tau'ataina ‘a e Ngaahi Fakamatala' ‘i Sune ‘o e ta'u kuo'osi, pea koe fuofua taimi ia ke fokotu'u ai ha ngaue pehee ‘a e Pule'anga, koe taha ‘oe ngaahi makatuliki mahu'inga ‘oha pule'anga fakatemokalati, ke ‘ata ki tu'a ‘ene ngaue mo toe vaofi mo fetokoni'aki moe kakai ‘o e fonua.

Na'e hoko atu leva ‘a e ngaue ki hono fakahoko pe implement ‘a e polokalama mahu'inga ni, pea koe taha eni ‘o e konga mahu'inga ‘o e polokalama ni ko hono fakama'opo'opo ke kakato mo maau, mo tauhi ke malu, pea mo fakatolonga ‘a e ngaahi fakamatala ko eni. Koe'uhi koe taimi pe ‘e fiema'u ai ‘e he kakai pe koha taha pe, ‘e ma'u atu pe ia ‘i he taimi pe koia.

‘I he ngaue ko eni, kuo fakatokanga'i makehe ai ‘e he Komiti moe Pule'anga ‘a e mahu'inga ‘a e ngaue ‘aufuato ‘oku fakahoko ‘e he ngaahi ‘aakaivi, ngaahi mesiume, moe ngaahi laipeli ‘i hono tauhi mo fakatolonga ‘a e ngaahi koloa tupu'a ko'eni ‘a e fonua. ‘Oku ‘i ai ‘a e tui koe ngaue ko eni kuo tau kamata ‘i he ‘aho ni ‘e toe kakato ange ai mo taha mo maau ‘a e fakama'opo'opo ‘a hotau hisitolia moe ngaahi ngaue mahu'inga ‘o e kuohili, pea koe koloa ia ma'a kitaua Tonga pea pehee mo ‘eta fanau.

Ko e taha pe foki ‘eni e ngaahi langi mama'o ‘a Ha'a Moheofo talu meia Kuini Salote, ‘i hono fakamahu'inga'i ‘o ngaue ni - ‘aia koe taha ‘o e ngaahi ngaue ola ko hono fokotu'u ai ‘o e mesiume fakamanatu ‘o Tuku'aho ‘i Toloa, kae'uma'a e komiti talafakafonua pe (Tonga Traditions Committee) ‘i he ‘ofisi ‘o e Palasi. Na'e toe fokotu'u foki moe Mesiume Fakafonua ‘e he Ta'ahine Pilinisesi Pilolevu Tuita, ‘i he mokoi ‘a e La'a kuo unga Fonua, Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.

‘Ikai koia pe, ‘oku fonu foki ‘i he ngaahi aakaivi ‘a e ngaahi Siasi ‘a e hisitolia tupu'a hotau Fonua ni pea pehee ki he ngaahi famili taautaha pe ‘oku nau lolotonga tauhi ‘a e ngaahi koloa mahu'inga ko eni.

‘Oku lolotonga fakahoko foki ‘i he taimi ni ‘a e ngaue ‘a e Potungaue Lao ki hono tauhi fakatisitolo pe digitized ‘a e ngaahi tohi ta'u, tohi mali, tohi mate mo e ngaahi tohi mahu'inga ‘oku nau tauhi, ‘a ia ‘e tolonga ai hono tauhi ‘a e ngaahi koloa ko eni mo ma'u vave atu ki he kakai ‘i he taimi ‘oku fiema'u ai. ‘Oku ou fakamalo heni ki he Potungaue ko eni he taki lelei ‘oku nau fakahoko.

Ko e ngaue ko eni ko hono uki ke fakama'opo'opo ke toe maau ange mo kakato pea ke malu'i lelei ‘a ‘etau ngaahi mata'ikoloa ko eni, pea ke tau poupou kotoa pe kiai mo teke ‘a  e ngaahi visone ko eni. ‘Oku ‘iai ‘a e fokotu'utu'u ke fokotu'u ha laipeli fakafonua pe National Library mo ha ‘aakaivi fakafonua pe National Archive ma'ae Fonua. ‘I he maau malie ‘a e ngaahi ngaue ko ‘eni ‘e hoko ko ha ngaahi fale maama ketau polepole kotoa aipe mo fiefia hotau ki'i Fonua ko Tonga.

King Tupou VI, Queen Nanasipau'u and members of the Royal Family
Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano and Lady Tu'ivakano, and Nobles of the Realm
Ministers of the Crown
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Representatives from the UNESCO
Church Presidents and members of the Clergy
Exhibitors, Librarians, Archivists and Curators
Ladies and Gentlemen

As you all know, the first ever ‘Freedom of Information Policy' for Tonga was launched in June of last year, 2012. This policy is one of the crucial cornerstones of democracy, which was adopted by Government to ensure its work is transparent and accountable, and call at the same time for a closer and more cooperative working relationship with the people it serves.

The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Freedom of Information Policy also recognized the importance of improving recordkeeping and filing systems of Government, in particular. Specifically, a better records management policy and ensure commitments to good recordkeeping in support of good governance.

For successful implementation of the Freedom of Information Policy there is a need for a good recordkeeping so that these important information are made available to the public at anytime they may wish to get access to. And this is not only for the Government, it also applies to other organizations such libraries, museums and archives, and that is the very reason why we are gathered here today. Information has got to be complete, factual and meaningful.

We have all come to realize now it is not just information, it is indeed our history, our pride, and our identity. We need to preserve them and safeguard them not only for Tonga but for our children, our future. In this respect, I pay special tribute to the monarch and the Royal Household for their foresights in this area by establishing the Tuku'aho Museum at Tupou College and the Traditions Committee archives at the Palace Office, and recently the National Museum.

I must also thank and acknowledge similar work of various church denominations, families and individuals who are in possession of unique historical materials and artifacts about their own establishments, accomplishments and developments over time.

The Ministry of Justice is leading Government Ministries in digitizing its records for births, marriage, death, etc and this is a good example of preserving vital records for the future. I am also aware of other organizations and churches who are doing the same like the Latter Day Saints, Catholics and the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, to name a few.

One day, as one of the plans of the Cabinet Sub-Committee, we may have put together a film of the passage of time, from the past to the present and our future. I am sure, you will all agree with me, it will be breathtaking to say the least, something phenomenon, something very unique.

But of course, these information truly belong to real people of honest heart full of courage and patriotism. In fact, they had shared their lives and blood with us today.

We must thank them.

And I hope that today also marks the beginning of our journey, to work together to get these basic and factual information to share them with our people and the world.  Now we can tell our story. With your contribution I am sure we will stage even a better program and more activities next year and in the years to come.

Malo ‘Aupito.


Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa, 2013

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 July 2013 22:14 )  

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