‘The Police were not notified’ of former MP’s funeral, as Public Service Commission investigate

Premier Dalton Tagelagi at the funeral apologised to the family of former MP Pastor Poni Kapaga

The Public Service Commission this afternoon confirmed that an investigation is underway into the embarrassing incident at the funeral of a former member of parliament when the Police were not present to perform the gun salute, as is the protocol.

In response to BCN News, Chief of Police Timothy Wilson said that the Police department was not notified that a former member of the Fono Ekepule had passed away, which was why the Police department was not present at the funeral. 

To avoid any further embarrassing incidents in the future the Public Service Commission confirmed also that the Office of the Secretary to Government is working on a policy.

At the moment it is not clear which government department or agency is responsible for organising the protocols required when a former member of the Fono Ekepule has passed away. 

What is clear though is that not many public servants are aware or know who the former members of parliament are, especially those who served in the first 30 years of the Niue Fono Ekepule. 

The late former Common Roll MP Pastor Poni Kapaga passed away on Thursday last week

Sources told BCN News that some people didn’t know that Pastor Poni Kapaga was a former Member of the Fono Ekepule until they heard the Midday News on the day of his funeral.

At the funeral on Thursday last week Premier Dalton Tagelagi was left holding the Niue flag after it was lifted from the top of the casket by another pastor and a member of the family.

He apologized to the widow Mrs. Lili Kapaga and the family for the unforeseen departure from protocols, something that is hoped will not be repeated in the future.

Next year the island and indeed the Niue government will celebrate 50 years of the constitution which established the Niue Legislative Assembly, the Fono Ekepule, many of the first members are in their twilight years. It is hoped that they will be afforded the respect they deserve for their service to the country, and a lesson for the new generation of leaders to never forget those who paved the way for modern-day Niue.

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