At the family home at Seveseve, in the village of Mutalau, former Common Roll member of the Niue Legislative Assembly Dr. Haresimelika Hale Paka was laid to rest this afternoon. He passed away at Auckland Hospital in New Zealand on the 3rd of September three weeks after leaving the island on a medical referral. He was 81 years old.
As is the convention at the passing of a former member of parliament, prior to the funeral the Speaker Hon. Hima Douglas led the members of the Fono Ekepule in paying their respect to the family of the late Dr. Paka and delivering and laying the flag on his casket.
At the funeral Acting Premier Hon. Sauni Tongatule represented the government in paying tribute to Dr. Haresimelika Hale Paka, thanking him and his family for the thirty-six years of service to the government of the people of Niue.
Dr. Paka’s son Seddon Paka delivered the eulogy on behalf of his sisters Filoria Sioneholo, Ramona Mahakitau, and Audrey Panama, and their mother Lapati Paka.
Dr. Haresimelika Paka was one of the first medical doctors from Niue who trained at the Fiji School of Medicine, he was there in 1957.
He worked as a medical doctor specializing in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Lord Liverpool hospital until 1980 when he resigned from the Public Service to take up a fellowship in New Zealand.
In 1981 he entered politics for the first time, topping the polls as a Common Roll Member. He was re-elected twice more, serving three consecutive terms and bowing out of politics in 1990.
After politics, he was appointed as a commissioner of the Public Service Commission, a role he served for three years.
He was called back to the Lord Liverpool hospital as Director of Health until 2004 when he retired from the service.
Today, tributes from family and friends remembered a great doctor, a man who enjoyed the game of cricket and his ‘happy juice’, and a loving grandfather who adored all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Dr. Haresimelika Paka is survived by his wife Lapati Paka, their children, and extended family.