Members to elect chairperson

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Minister for i-Taukei Affairs, Culture, Heritage and Arts Ifereimi Vasu. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FT FILE

THE Great Council of Chiefs meeting that gets underway this morning in Pacific Harbour will see “a pivotal moment” where members will elect a chairperson who will serve for three years.

iTaukei Affairs Minister Ifereimi Vasu last night confirmed interest has widened with the names of more than one nominee forwarded to members.

He did not say how many nominees were received for the position.

The council meeting at Lagoon Resort, the first since its reinstatement in November last year through an amendment to the iTaukei Affairs Act, will also see the election of a vice-chairman.

The GCC assembly comprises 45 provincial representatives (three from each province including Rotuma), six nominees designated by the President upon the iTaukei Minister’s recommendation, and three ex officio members, including the President, Minister for iTaukei, and the Prime Minister.

Mr Vasu said the meeting would be funded entirely by the iTaukei Trust Fund.

The two-day event carries a total cost of $191,000. The meeting will discuss issues regarding the iTaukei community.

Mr Vasu said the historic gathering signified a step towards ensuring the voice of the iTaukei was heard and respected in the national dialogue.

“I look forward to a fruitful discussion and outcome that will emerge from the GCC meeting,” he said.

“The reinstatement of the GCC is a testament to our government’s commitment under the able leadership of the honorable Prime Minister.”

Mr Vasu said in preparation for the meeting, the GCC regulations had been issued which detailed the selection process and criteria for the members of the GCC, ensuring transparency and fairness.

The meeting will conclude tomorrow.

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