PM says savings on price for road materials more important than government relationship with quarry contractors

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Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa said this morning the relationship between government members and the companies awarded the  quarry contracts was unimportant.

Kaniva News reported yesterday that three companies with strong links to the government had been awarded contracts to supply rocks for a major road project.

PM Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa. Photo/Kalino Lātū (Kaniva News)

Responding to our report on the awarding of the contracts yesterday, the Prime Minister said the most important news was that the companies had accepted the government’s proposal to pay only $70 for a single load.

“It’s simple arithmetic,” the Prime Minister said.

“Subtract $70 from $190 equals $120 and from $220 that’s $150.”

He said the government may have paid more than double for the quarry material the government had contracted with other companies.

“A huge amount of money has been saved from taxpayers’ money after the prudent decision we made,” Hon. Tu’i’onetoa said.

“But you are wasting your time on writing about how it has been linked to blood relationships as if it was something important.”

As we reported in February, Government road projects in different electorates have been a priority for Hon. Tu’i’onetoa’s government.

The quarry contractors are Island Dredging Limited, City Engineering and Construction Ltd and Inter-Pacific Ltd.

The Minister of Police, Lord Nuku, used to be a Director for Island Dredging. Lord Nuku’s son Faka’osifono Valevale is the current Director of Island Dredging.

Tongan People’s Party Deputy Chairman Etuate Lavulavu was made a Director of Inter-Pacific Limited in February 2016 but was later replaced  by ‘Inoke Finau Vala in May this year.

‘Etuate Lavulavu is married to the Minister of Infrastructure and Tourism. Saia Moehau is the sole Director of City Engineering and Construction Ltd.

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