3 sports codes suspended, and 3 leaders asked to step down by NISCGA

Narita Viliamu-Tahega, Des Hipa and Mark Blumsky told to step down in latest development of NISCGA saga

The NISCGA debacle has reached a new level with the suspension of three sports codes from the national sports association, as the latest development in the impasse between the national sports body and the island’s sports codes.

Niue Lawn Bowls, Niue Weightlifting, and Niue Archery were yesterday suspended for breach of trust as affiliated members of the Niue Island Sports and Commonwealth Games Association (NISCGA).

The presidents of the three codes were issued their suspension letters signed by NISCGA President Maru Talagi.

NISCGA also called for the president of Niue Lawn Bowls Desmond Hipa and the vice-president Mark Blumsky to step down from their positions.

President of Niue Weightlifting Federation Narita Viliamu-Tahega was also asked to step down from her position. The veteran weightlifter and Niue’s athlete with the most medals at international competitions told BCN News today that she will not be stepping down from her position.

BCN News obtained a copy of each of the letters addressed to their respective presidents claiming that the three sports codes had breached article 4(J).

The letter to Niue Weightlifting federation stated six grounds for suspension were:

  • “That you continuously question the rights of the Executive Committee of NISCGA,
  • That you made defamatory statements against NISCGA Executive,
  • That you posted defamatory comments on social media regarding NISCGA Executive members,
  • That you conspired with other affiliate and non-affiliate members to remove the Executive,
  • That you conspired with others to form a breakaway national sports body in breach of a Niue High Court decision in 2018 which declared that NISCGA is the legal national sports governing body,
  • and that your failed attempts to do so does not auger well with your right to remain as an affiliate sports member of NISCGA”.

According to the letter reaffiliation as a member of NISCGA will be granted if Niue’s weightlifting president publicly apologise, retract unfounded allegations and accusations and for Mrs Viliamu-Tahega to step down as president.

She told BCN News this morning that she will not apologise but that she is not prepared to make further comments at this time.

Niue Lawn Bowls President Des Hipa also said that he and Vice President Mark Blumbsky will not be stepping down from their positions.

Niue Archery Association was not prepared to comment on the matter.

According to the NISCGA constitution article 15, the suspended sports codes have 21 days to file for a judicial review of the NISCGA decision.

Since the story broke with claims of abuse of privileges against the NISCGA Executive committee in April this year, President Maru Talagi and other committee members have refused to respond to BCN News questions.

But BCN News was able to reach NISCGA president Maru Talagi via phone this morning. He was asked if he wanted to comment on the suspension letters to which he replied ‘No’ and when asked if he wanted to share any comments on the current situation, his response was another ‘No’.

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