Civil servants react online to gov’t waterfront cleaning up decision

A statement purported to show a cabinet decision for all government ministries and boards to give a hand in cleaning up the Nuku’alofa waterfront on a weekly basis  has met with mixed reactions on social media.

The government activity will be held on every Friday for three hours from 1.30pm to 4.30pm starting on January 30.

The decision was made on December 2, 2016 and signed by the Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet Dr Palenitina Langa’oi, according to the statement which was circulated on social media this week.

“That government Ministries and Government Boards assist with the cleaning up of the Nuku’alofa waterfront area…”, the statement said.

It did not say that the civil servants have to leave their offices and participate in the cleaning up. But that was how commenters on Facebook have interpreted the statement.

Some commenters said this was a good idea while others asked whether the decision was in line with the civil servants’ “job descriptions” or not.

Kaniva News understands many of the commenters on Facebook personally and they were civil servants but we chose not to identify them in this story.

Some criticised the cabinet decision  and asked whether the government have anything better for the civil servants to do.

Some threatened legal action if the decision would go ahead.

Some said the decision was ridiculous and embarrassing as only primary school kids were picking up rubbish every morning  before schools started.

One Facebook user said the government should make available some programmes to educate the public on how to keep public places clean rather than forcing them to pick up rubbish from time to time.

“It is a behaviour that should be educated starting from home”, the commenter said.

Another said the government should regulate dumping of rubbish at public areas and fine those who dump rubbish illegally.

Some however greeted the decision with good humour.

“It is a good decision so that we go out there and have rest and meet other civil servants from other departments”.

Another said it was time to set up a Nuku’alofa council and give them the task of  looking after the capital city’s waste management services.

The cabinet decision

“With reference to: Re Assistance towards the cleaning up of the Nuku’alofa waterfront and foreshores Area along Vuna Road

“I have the honour to inform you that His Majesty’s Cabinet Decision on 2 December 2016 was as follows:

“Recommendation are approved, as amended .i.e.

  1. That government Ministries and Government Boards assist with the cleaning up of the Nuku’alofa waterfront area to be effective from 30th January 2017, and to be carried out every Friday from 1.30pm to 4.30pm be approved.
  2. The CEOs of government Ministries and Boards make the necessary arrangement to ensure the effective implementation of recommendation 1 above”.

Dr Langa’oi was contacted.


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