The distinguished members of the Fono Ekepule today remembered and paid tribute to the country’s second premier Hon. Frank Fakaotimanava Lui CNZM passed away on Thursday 8th July and laid to rest on Friday last week. Photo: Fakaotimanava Lui family.
After observing a moment of silence, Premier Dalton Tagelagi paid tribute to a leader who did Niue proud, thanking him and his family for his great contribution and service to Niue.
Premier Tagelagi also read a tribute from New Zealand Prime Minister Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern.
Prime Minister Ardern paid tribute to a widely respected man who was committed to his country and people. A lasting legacy was his commitment to regional issues of nuclear waste and climate migration.
Amongst the many tributes from the country’s lawmakers was the tribute from Hon. O’love Jacobsen. She spoke of her respect and admiration of the former Premier Frank Fakaotimanava Lui who appointed her the first woman to be a cabinet minister in Niue. She paid tribute to a leader who showed confidence in her despite her being a member of the Fono Ekepule for just five years at the time.
She recalled his words “Leave it for your work to speak for you”. The words which motivated and encouraged her as a new member of the Hon. Fakaotimanava Lui led Cabinet from 1993 until 1999.
Another former minister of the late Fakaotimanava Lui cabinet is Hon. Terry Coe who remembers his time working with the late premier.
Hon. Coe recalled some of the many achievements of the Fakaotimanava Lui government such as the extension of the airport runway and the roading project. He recalled that the late Premier Fakaotimanava Lui was the first and only premier to have amended the constitution relocating from Wellington and localising the Public Service Commission in Niue. This was an achievement for the people of Niue who because of this amendment are appointed as commissioners of the Public Service, the employing authority of the government.
Terry Coe says that the former premier had done a lot for Niue. Aside from government and politics he also established the sport of wrestling and boxing on the island and it’s sad those sports haven’t continued.
The members of the Fono Ekepule visited the family today to pay their respect to Mrs. Iris Feilo Fakaotimanava Lui and the family of the late former Premier Hon. Frank Fakaotimanava Lui CNZM.