Former Cabinet minister Hon. Joan Tahafa Viliamu was laid to rest on Friday 25th November at Alofi. She passed away at the Niue Foou hospital in the early hours of Friday morning surrounded by her family. She was 56 years old.
Hon. Joan Viliamu was only the third woman to be appointed as a Cabinet minister in nearly 50 years of self-government.
She was elected as a common roll member from 2011 to 2020 and served as a Cabinet Minister in the former Sir Toke Talagi cabinet from 2011 to 2014.
Hon. Viliamu was the Minister for Health, Community Affairs( Women, Youth, and Sports), and Broadcasting.
BCN News understands that Joan Viliamu was living with acute renal failure and chose to spend her final days with her family and her grandchildren, declining numerous recommendations for medical referral to New Zealand.
Joan Viliamu may have been only one of the few women to be elected to the Niue parliament and an even smaller number to make be appointed a minister, but she will be remembered for her love and commitment to her children and grandchildren.
Her funeral service was held at the Ekalesia Alofi on Friday afternoon led by Reverend Navy Salatielu.
Joan was originally from the village of Tuapa and married Dimitry Viliamu of Alofi South, where they lived and raised their family. Her brother Tomasi Talagi read the family genealogy from the Talagi side and her Uncle Hon. Fisa Pihigia spoke on behalf of her mother’s Pihigia family.
Joan’s children paid tribute to their beloved Mum and grandmother with daughter Constable Narita Viliamu Tahega and Clayton Viliamu, her granddaughter IlaJoan and her daughter-in-law Leigh Lani Viliamu.
Hon. Joan Viliamu is survived by her husband Dimitry, their five children, and 15 grandchildren.