Comprehensive outreach program by Tonga’s Ombudsman
Receives positive responses from the Brisbane Tongan Community
19 March 2019
Brisbane, AUSTRALIA: Tonga’s Ombudsman, Mr ‘Aisea Taumoepeau SC, and a delegation from the Tonga Ombudsman Office conducted a comprehensive outreach program that received both a positive and highly appreciated reception from Brisbane’s Tongan Community.
Located at the Salisbury Hotel on Brisbane’s southside, a key component of the evening was the role and responsibilities of the Ombudsman in the Kingdom of Tonga and the impact the Ombudsman’s recommendations have on government departments and government entities.
The Ombudsman was accompanied by acting CEO and senior investigator Mele‘ofa Mohenoa, investigator Mosese Uili as well as communications and media liaison, Nanise Fifita. The team also workshopped a Q & A session enabling Brisbane residents to raise common complaints experienced by the diaspora when visiting the Kingdom for short stays, in addition to ongoing concerns about land disputes, customs procedures and immigration policies and how to raise a complaint with the Ombudsman’s office from abroad.
“The visit provided a rare opportunity for our community to engage with the Ombudsman and learn more of their role and how the community here in Australia can lodge complaints to ensure improved services for everyone back home,” said Mele Ngauamo, Treasurer for BTC.
Local community member, Mr Haisini Masima, stated his enthusiasm for more opportunities to meet with Tongan Government delegations in the future.
“It’s important for us to know what is going on back home, because even though we have moved to Australia and have made a life in this beautiful country, we are still Tongan with close ties back home,” Haisini said.
“We now know the process of raising a complaint and what the Ombudsman can do to investigate it,” Haisini added.
In the lead up to the outreach program BTC’s media unit co-ordinated an exclusive panel discussion with the delegation on Radio 4EB FM’s Voice of Tonga program on Monday evening. This resulted in a flurry of feedback from the community, stroking further interest in the Ombudsman’s effort to promote fair, accountable and responsive administration in government departments and government enterprises in the Kingdom of Tonga.
According to the Ombudsman, Mr ‘Aisea Taumoepeau SC, the Public Relations Commission was renamed the Ombudsman Office in 2016 after legislative changes were enlivened to provide more transparency and accountability to the public in the effort to achieve ‘good governance’.
The delegation were in Brisbane to attend a regional course hosted by the Queensland Ombudsman Office at the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Brisbane’s CBD.
For more information, please visit the Tonga Ombudsman website at www.ombudsman.to