22 February 2022, Apia Samoa. Four out of five new FAST MPs were sworn-in this morning as Associate Ministers, in a ceremony held in Cabinet Chambers before Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa and Cabinet.
The appointments come after FAST secured five additional Parliamentary seats; wnning four out of the 6 by-elections held in November, plus the Falealupo seat won through an eligibility challenge in the Supreme Court.
Honorable Faleomavaega Titimaea Tafua from the Aleipata-Itupa-i-Lalo constituency has been named Associate Minister for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The former Manu Samoa coach will support MNRE Minister Hon Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster.
Honorable Fuiono Tenina Crichton from Falealupo is the Associate Minister for the Ministry of Communication, Information Technology (MCIT). The Associate Minister for MCIT was Magele Sekati Fiaui. Hon Magele Sikati has been reappointed to support Hon Mulipola Anarosa Molioo, as Associate Minister of Finance.
Honorable Laumatiamanu Ringo Purcell from Safata 2 constituency was announced as an additional Associate Minister for the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (MWTI). Minister Olo Fiti Vaai now has two Associate Ministers. Laumatiamanu will join Hon Niuava Eti Malolo, who was previously named Associate Minister for MWTI.
Honorable Maiava Fuimaono Tito Asafo from Falealili 2 was named the second Associate Minister for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF). Maiava joins Vaele Paiaaua Sekuini Paiaaua as co-Associate Ministers for MAF.
The fifth FAST MP who secured the Sagaga 4 seat at the November by-election, Hon Tagaloatele Pasi Poloa was not assigned a portfolio, as he is currently in New Zealand on medical treatment.
During her keynote address, Hon Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa congratulated the newly sworn-in Associate Ministers, and stressed the important role they play in support of Cabinet Ministers.
The Prime Minister reflected back to 1988, when she said Associate Ministers were first introduced, known as Parliamentary Secretaries at the time. The Prime Minister said the selection of Associate Minsters to each portfolio was a collective decision by Cabinet.
“Ou te fia faaogaina lenei avanoa ou te fia faailoaina ai le faaogaina o le tofi o le Minisita lagolago, o le nofoaiga lenei e pei foi o le faatautoga muamua o afioga i Minisita lagolago, sa faapea ona soalaupulea e le Kapeneta.”
The Prime Minister touched on the distribution of Associate Ministers with the larger Ministries such as MAF and MWTI now having two each.
The Prime said the demands of these portfolios and the workload for Ministers has necessitated the additional Associates assigned.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries includes SROS or the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa. The Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure includes all the major State Owned Enterprises such as EPC, SWA, Samoa Airport Authority, Samoa Shipping Corporation and others.
“Atonu o lena ua outou silasila i matagaluega ua tofia ai i latou nei e avea ma o latou Minisita lagolago, ma o matagaluega tetele nei i totonu o le tatou faigamalo, ma o le itu lea ua ave ai le faamuamua i le faaopoopoina o Minisita Lagolago e galulue ma Minisita Autu ona e fai si tele o matafaioi o loo gafa ma afioga i Minisita.”
Prime Minister Fiame Naomi encouraged the new Associate Ministers to strive in serving the country and supporting government to roll out it’s programs efficiently and effectively.
“Each individual is unique and gifted with God-given talents and I urge you to use those talents to benefit our country”.
Fiame told the new members that joining Cabinet as Associate Ministers elevates their duties and obligations to thinking outside of their hats as Members of Parliament, to Cabinet Members who serve the whole of Samoa.