Tribute to Mataʻiʻulua ʻi Fonuamotu, Lord Fusituʻa

Toka i he melino

The Board and CEO of Transparency International New Zealand want to pay tribute to Mataʻiʻulua ʻi Fonuamotu, Lord Fusituʻa a Tongan politician and noble of the Realm, who passed away in February this year.                                                                               

Noble representative,Lord Fusitu'a

Lord Fusitu’a was a champion of anti-corruption efforts. He was Chair of GOPAC Oceania (Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption) and founded GOPAC Tonga. He attended TINZ’s launch of our report highlighting the interlinked challenges of corruption and money laundering in the Pacific, and promoted the adoption of its recommendations.  Lord Fusitu’a also regularly posted anti-corruption messages on social media. 

Lord Fusitu’a contribution to human rights and democracy spanned many years.  He was Chairperson of the Commonwealth Pacific Parliamentarian Group on Human Rights and Co-Chairperson of AFPPD’s (Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development) Standing Committee on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.  He was the Chair of the Tongan Parliament’s Standing Committee on Anti-Corruption.  

Late last year Lord Fusitu’a urged Pacific Island forum leaders to prioritise the governance tools in their anti-corruption roadmap, to make sure the 2050 Strategy can bring full benefits for Pacific peoples.  He said:

“The 2050 Strategy which Leaders have adopted references governance 17 times - we need the implementation tools of the Teieniwa Vision roadmap to get the new Strategy working as soon as possible.  Our Pacific Presidents, Premiers and Prime Ministers need to appreciate that we cannot address climate change, gender-based violence or education needs without ensuring good governance is in place to ensure efficient use of funding and skills.  
The 2050 Strategy is an excellent long-term guide for the real priority issues for our Pacific communities - but without good governance and corruption proofing we won't be able to successfully implement the short-term and medium-term initiatives needed.  We need real action on Teieniwa Vision priorities such as right to information, robust anti-corruption bodies and National Strategies, whistleblower protection and whole of society engagement on corruption prevention with parliamentarians, CSOs, the private sector and other stakeholders.``

Lord Fusitu’a was also a Barrister of the High Court of Australia, Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, and Law Practitioner of the Supreme Court of Tonga.

We extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

Kua hinga te tōtara o Te Waonui a Tāne.  (A mighty tree has fallen in the forest of Tane)

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