The government will be looking to fill the post of Communications Officer because the woman who has held that role since 2020 will be the youngest member of the 18th Niue Legislative Assembly as the new MP for the village of Lakepa.
34 year old Rhonda Tiakia Tomailuga won the seat with 35 votes and 16 votes to her contender Mrs Shield Utalo Palahetogia, both women are commended for contesting the seat of the Lakepa.
Like other new members elected on Saturday, Rhonda is from a political family. She is the grand-daughter of one of the founding members of the Niue Legislative Assembly and Cabinet Minister the late Dr. Enetama. She is also the daughter of the last member for Lakepa, John Operator Tiakia.
Rhonda Tiakia Tomailuga is a well traveled youth leader, she is the current President of the Niue Youth Council and she has represented Niue and invited to attend several youth summits around the world.
In 2017 she attended the Young Leaders Disaster Risk Reduction summit in Japan, in 2018 she represented Niue at the Meeting of Youth Platforms at the European Youth Forum in Brussels, Belgium and regularly represent the Niue Youth at Regional meetings.
On the island she holds many roles, including as a member of the Language Commission and the Taoga Niue Council and is an active member of the Lakepa Women’s weaving group and in the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
She is the youngest of John and Celina Tiakia’s three daughters. In January this year, she married her school sweetheart Templer Tomailuga.
Rhonda Tiakia Tomailuga is only the sixth woman to be elected as a village representative.
Before 1999 no woman had ever held a village seat in the Niue Legislative Assembly until Mrs Va’aiga Tukuitonga was elected as the representative for the village of Alofi North in that year.
Since then, several women have been elected to represent their villages with the likes of Ms Lilivika Liumaihetau Muimatagi was voted in as the member for the village of Toi from 2005 until 2008.
In 2011, Mrs Tulelehemaama Salilo Togia was voted in by her village of Makefu as their representative, she also served one term.
In 2017, two women Florence Maureen Melekitama was elected as the representative for Mutalau and Hon. Mona Ainuu was elected by her village Tuapa in the 16th Assembly and she remains member for Tuapa, while Maureen Melekitama returns to the 18th Assembly after losing her seat in 2020 to a draw from the hat.