The Premier Dalton Tagelagi has called on everyone to work together, a partnership between government, the public sector, and the media.
The Premier made the comments while speaking at a media workshop hosted by the Broadcasting Corporation Of Niue supported by the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) which focused on COVID- 19 Communications.
Tagelagi highlighted the importance of an open government approach in being forthcoming with information to avoid the public speculating.
This is a partnership he says between the government, public sector, and the media that information and importantly the correct information is being reported to the public.
“Sometimes there will be mistrust if the information is not being used in the right context. These are some of the challenges that we will find but these types of issues can be discussed through these types of workshops. We need to have this trust. In the end, we are responsible to the people. Sometimes we forget that we are here to serve the people. “ he said
He told the participants that all substantial matters approved by Cabinet will be delivered through a press conference.
Meanwhile, Chief of Police Timothy Wilson who is the head of the National Disaster Management Office said the focal point for communications by the Disaster Council is the NDMO office.
“There’s a symbiotic relationship between the media and government departments. We have to get the right information out. These are fundamental democratic principles. ” said Wilson
Director-General of Health and Social Services Gaylene Tasmania said one of the biggest lessons learned by the Health department was their weakness in communication which resulted in recently establishing a risk communication and community engagement task force.
The workshop officially started on Friday, July 3rd, and will continue into the next two Fridays of July 10th and July 17th including speakers from the National Disaster Council, government, private sector, and civil society.
It is aimed at improving coordination of information around COVID-19 in efforts to keep the public well informed.