Date: 27 April 2007
Auckland 3pm: Tongan MP Aikilisi Pohiva has revealed today that he's trying to challenge the legitimacy of the Government decision to extend the state of emergency powers.
Pohiva, whose on a brief visit to Auckland, says his Kiwi lawyer has told him they may have a case against the Government.
He says it seems that while the Government was within its rights to impose martial law immediately after the November Riots, it didn't have the authority to keep extending it, as it has done.
Pohiva says New Zealand lawyer Rodney Harrison is now investigating whether they can file a case against the Government on that basis. (listen)http://niufm.com/site_resources/library/News/Lito/APRIL_28_FRI/pohiva_for_5.mp3
He also told Pacific Radio News that this country has been taking the soft option regarding the complex issue of reform in Tonga.
Pohiva says even at home, New Zealand's high commissioner there, has played it safe, by not wanting to engage in any discussion with the pro-democracy movement. (listen)
Pohiva says New Zealand appears to have sided with the anti-democratic rule of Tonga, or at the very least is sitting on the fence.
Lawyer and deputy leader of the Progressives Party, Matt Robson, says New Zealand's reluctance to get involved can be traced back to its early colonial ties, where we accepted the monarchy and the Government who carried out its wishes, as the status quo. (listen)
The Green Party's spokesperson on foreign affairs, Keith Locke, also met with Pohiva today and told us that he intends to encourage New Zealand to show more support for the people of Tonga who're working for change. (listen)
Pohiva, who heads home tomorrow, was the first MP allowed out by authorities who've now imposed state of emergency laws for the third time.