New Zealand’s Auditor General-John Ryan was on the Island last week in his first visit to NIue.
BCN spoke with the Auditor General about his role in relation to Niue.
“I’m here to understand the context of Niue and some of the challenges that are faced by Niuean’s. My role in particular here is the Auditor General which means that I provide an opinion on the financial statement of the Government and I report to the Assembly on my opinion,” he said.
During his visit, he met with Niue Premier-Hon. Dalton Tagelagi and Cabinet Ministers, members of the Fono Ekepule, and heads of government agencies and departments.
Mr Ryan said they were interested to understand more about his role and about the financial statement that he tabled in parliament through the speaker.
In July this year, the Auditor General’s report was tabled in the Fono Ekepule. The report highlighted a number of key concerns about the status of the government’s financial records and issues over the capacity of the Ministry of Finance.
“So Niue has had some challenges over recent years getting its financial statements for the Government up to date, I’m very pleased to be here now because over the last few years or so we’ve managed to complete the financial statement up to 2021 and we shouldn’t really underestimate how big of an achievement that is especially over the period of COVID so really part of it was to say we are on track to get those financial statements prepared by the Government and then audited by my team here in Niue.” he added.
The Auditor General has acknowledged that there are some challenges, however he has been reassured by everyone he met on the commitment to address some of those underlying concerns from the past.