In a few months, Niue will be sending a delegation to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham but there are some serious allegations made against senior members of the national sporting body NISCGA.
According to BCN News sources, the debacle with NISCGA Executive has been brewing for some time.
Dismissal of Executive Members
Earlier this week BCN News obtained a copy of an email containing a letter from the President of NISCGA Mr. Maru Talagi notifying the Treasurer Mrs. Christabel Kaukasi Talagi that she is no longer a member of the Executive Committee.
The email was from Sidney Lui, Vice President dated 18th April “Please find attached herewith the correspondence from the President of NISCGA for the cessation of your membership as the Treasurer for NISCGA”
The letter signed by President Maru Talagi explained that at the meeting of the NISCGA Executive Committee on Sunday 18th April the Treasurer is being dismissed for two reasons, one that she has been absent for more than 3 consecutive committee meetings as per the NISCGA Constitution article 4 (G). The second reason is regarding financial misdirected funds but Mr. Talagi was not prepared to elaborate further.
Maru Talagi confirmed in a telephone conversation with BCN News this morning that these decisions were made at a meeting of the Executive over the weekend on Sunday 18th April at their headquarters at Amanau. He told BCN News that he does not have an email, but he did sign the letter.
Present at the meeting were the President Maru Talagi, Senior Vice President Tony Edwards (via zoom from Auckland), Vice President Sidney Lui and Co-opted Life Member Lofa Misa Kulatea.
BCN News reached out to Mrs. Kaukasi Talagi who is in New Zealand on medical leave, and she responded that she is not able to comment at this time but she is discussing the issue with the sports code. She said that she informed NISCGA’s Secretary-General Hagen Siosikefu of her leave of absence.
This was also confirmed by President Maru Talagi this morning who said that he was verbally informed by Hagen Siosikefu of the Treasurer’s leave of absence.
Mr. Maru Talagi told BCN News that the Secretary-General Hagen Siosikefu will also be ‘replaced’ because he too, had failed to attend three consecutive meetings of the NISCGA Executive.
This afternoon in response to questions from BCN News, Mr. Siosikefu said that he is talking to the people and the sporting codes who elected him to the position.
“As you can understand some of us members of the NISCGA executive have been put in a very awkward situation and we are trying to deal with this in the best manner possible, and as amicably as possible. We have to be very careful in how we deal with these matters as we are dealing with people and whatever we do has to be in the best interests of sports and our sports who are doing all of this for the love of sports.”.
Mr. Siosikefu did not respond to the question about whether he was aware of the meeting on Sunday, April 18th.
When asked if this debacle with NISCGA’s Executive Committee will impact Niue’s team to the Birmingham games in July, President Maru Talagi said ‘No’ and that the Niue team will be finalised at NISCGA’s meeting on Friday this week.
The NISCGA Constitution
BCN News this afternoon obtained a copy of the 2019 adopted NISCGA constitution which also states that:
In relation to suspending and removing from office members of the Executive under Article 4 (E) a “two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee is required to effect suspension or removal or whatever the case may be.”
There are 15 members of the Executive, 7 members, and 8 co-opted members. Only four members were present at the meeting on the 18th of April which prompted the dismissal of the Treasurer.
What is also interesting about the NISCGA Constitution is article 16 titled “Indemnity” which indemnifies all Executive Committee members “against any personal liability, claims, actions or proceedings that may arise out of the exercise of powers, rights and duties authorised by this constitution”.
Article 16 essentially protects any and all members of the Executive committee from any claims against them in the performance of their duties.
Allegations of Executive members being pushed out for questioning decisions.
After the news broke on Radio Midday News today, sources contacted BCN news saying that there are plans afoot to remove members of the Executive who are questioning certain decisions.
According to these sources, some of these positions have already been offered to others. Attempts to speak with NISCGA President again this afternoon but he was unreachable.
BCN News will update on this developing story in future bulletins.