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Posted in General OHS Tongan Students Visit Parliament

Date: 27 September 2022



OHS Tongan Students Visit Parliament

OHS is fortunate to have generous Alumni who give back to the school in so many ways. Member of Parliament Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki and Sepa Hausia-Schaumkel have for many years now, given up their precious time to take the Fakatoukatea Leadership Programme for a select group of Year 9 Tongan students. In Year 13 these students have been taken on an all expenses paid trip to Parliament !

After being delayed by Covid, this year’s group finally got to Parliament last week. After a very early start, students met at the airport at 6am and were in Wellington by 8.40 ready for a full day of discovery. Students learnt what the role of Parliament is, how laws are made and why the business of Parliament is relevant to everyone of us. Not many people are lucky enough to have so much time with the highest officer elected by the House, the Speaker of the House, The Hon Adrian Ruawhe who was incredibly generous with his time. He gave Head Prefects Christnia Elone and ‘Uluaki Fulivai Kaivelata  roles on his speakers video which was shown in the House. You can watch the video on YouTube.

Students were honoured to meet the Minister of Finance, the Hon Grant Robertson. Christina could not contain her emotions when she thanked Mr Robertson, especially for the funding the school received for our wonderful new buildings. Students also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon Nanaia Mahuta and the Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector. They learnt that each Minister had come to Parliament on their own journey, each bringing different life experiences and this was important because Parliament represents all sections of the community.

As always the highlight for many was sitting in the House of Representatives observing the members discuss the business of the day.

This is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about government. It is inspirational and students left understanding how the government works and how what they do impacts all our lives every day. They now understand if you want to make a difference, if you want to make changes to improve the lives of people, then you must be well informed and vote at the elections and maybe one day stand for Parliament!

We wish to thank most sincerely Anahila and Sepa and all those who make this fantastic opportunity possible and those Members who were so generous with their time.


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