19 June, 2019
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Parliamentary Sitting Summary

Parliamentary Sitting Summary

The Assembly’s August sitting commenced on Tuesday 11th August 2015. The following summary provides an overview of business which was put before the Assembly, Members who participated in debates and various issues which were raised in regards to particular Bills.

A total of 6 Parliamentary Papers were tabled in accordance with Standing Order 48: 5 Annual Reports, 4 Government Reponses and 5 Select Committee Reports. The Select Committee Reports were presented in accordance with Standing Order 51(5); these reports were from the Works, Transport and Environment Committee, the Health and Social Services Committee, the Finance and Expenditure Committee and the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Revenue Committee. Pursuant to Standing Order 54, the Government must provide the Assembly with responses to each Committee’s recommendations within 90 days.

8 Bills were introduced (one under a Certificate of Urgency), 8 Bills were second read, 7 Bills were considered in detail and 5 Bills were third read and passed the Assembly.

Overview of Bills considered by the Assembly:

The Electoral Amendment Bill (No.3) 2015 was introduced under a Certificate of Urgency on Tuesday 11th August; second reading debates commenced on the same day…… Members who spoke on the

Bills were:
DAY 1
1. Hon FIAME Naomi Mataafa, Minister for Justice, Courts & Administration and Member for Lotofaga (HRPP);
2. AVEAU Tuala Lepale Niko Palamo, Member for Faleata East (Tautua);
3. LEALAILEPULE Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West (Tautua);
4. Hon TUILAEPA Faitalofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa (HRPP);
5. Hon TUISUGALETAUA Sofara Aveau, Minister for Communications, Information and Technology and Member for Vaimauga East (HRPP).
6. MAUALAIVAO Pat Ah Him, Individual Voters (HRPP);
7. TOEOLESULUSULU Cedric Pose Salesa Schuster, Member for Aana Alofi No.3 (Tautua);
8. LEVAOPOLO Talatonu, Member for Gagaemauga No.2 (Tautua);
9. PESETA Vaifou Tevaga, Member for Faasaleleaga No.4 (HRPP);
10. PAPALII Lio Faavaivaiomanu Taeu Masepau, Member for Faasaleleaga No.2 (Tautua);
11. Hon PAPALIITELE Niko Lee Hang, Individual Voters (HRPP);
12. AFUALO Wood Uti Salele, Member for Salega (Tautua);
13. MOTUOPUAA Uifagasa Aisoli Vaai, Member for Vaisigano No.2 (Tautua);
14. TUSA Misi Tupuola, Member for Falealili (HRPP);
15. Hon FAUMUNIA Tiatia Faaolatane Liuga, Member for Palauli le Falefa (HRPP);
16. LEFAU Harry Schuster, Member for Vaimauga West (Tautua);
17. TUISA Tasi Patea, Member for Sagaga le Falefa (HRPP);
18. Hon PALUSALUE Faapo II, Leader of the Opposition and Member for Safata (Tautua);
19. Hon TOLOFUAIVALELEI Falemoe Leiataua, Minister for Women, Community & Social Development and Member for Aana Alofi No.2 (HRPP);

Issues raised by Members included:
1. Eligibility for candidacy, particularly for those who have previously been imprisoned;
2. the definition of tautua;
3. the timeframe for village service;
4. the effect on de-facto relationships of the voting restrictions by one’s spouse or children;
5. referring the post election inquiry to a Parliamentary Committee instead of a Commission of Inquiry;
6. registration timeframes for candidates.

Major contentious issues raised were:
1. The relationship between the Constitution Amendment (No.2) Act and the 3 year village service requirement in the Bill and its effect on the potential pool of candidates; in particular women;
2. the restriction on voters outside of the urban area to vote for the Constituency in which their matai title is registered and the
3. effectiveness of the current voter and candidate registration processes.

DAY 2
1. MAUALAIVAO Pat Ah Him, Individual Voters (HRPP);
2. TOEOLESULUSULU Cedric Pose Salesa Schuster, Member for Aana Alofi No.3 (Tautua);
3. LEALAILEPULE Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West (Tautua);
4. Hon LEAUPEPE Toleafoa Apulu Faafisi, Member for Aana Alofi No.1 (HRPP);
5. Hon PALUSALUE Faapo II, Leader of the Opposition and Member for Safata (Tautua);
6. Hon TUILAEPA Faitalofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa (HRPP);
7. Hon TUUU Anasii Leota, Member for Siumu (HRPP);
8. Hon TOLOFUAIVALELEI Falemoe Leiataua, Minister for Women, Community & Social Development and Member for Aana Alofi No.2 (HRPP);
9. LEFAU Harry Schuster, Member for Vaimauga West (Tautua)
10. Hon PAPALIITELE Niko Lee Hang, Individual Voters (HRPP);
11. Hon MANUALESAGALALA Mati Tuigamala Enokati Posala, Minister for Works, Transport and Infrastructure and Member for Safata (HRPP);
12. Hon GATOLOAIFAANA Amataga Alesana-Gidlow, Member for Faasaleleaga No.1 (HRPP);
13. TUFUGA Gafoaleata Faitua, Member for Vaisigano No.1 (Tautua);
14. FAIMALOTOA Kika Stowers Ah Kau, Member for Gagaifomauga No.1 (HRPP).

Debates continued on the major issues of:
1. The definition of tautua;
2. the effects of the 3 year village service requirement on potential women candidates and
3. permitting voters to register to vote in the Constituency in which they reside (for those voters outside of the urban roll).

DAY 3
In addition to the Electoral Amendment (No.2) Bill 2015, 7 other Bills were also second read, 7 Bills were considered in detail and 5 Bills were third read. Below is a summary of the Members who spoke on each Bill and the various issues that were raised.

I. Government orders of the day continued with the second reading debates on the Electoral Amendment (No.3) Bill 2015.
Members who spoke on the Bill included:
1. FAIMALOTOA Kika Stowers Ah Kau, Member for Gagaifomauga No.1 (HRPP);
2. AVEAU Tuala Lepale Nikotemo Palamo, Member for Faleata East (Tautua);
3. LEALAILEPULE Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West (Tautua);
4. Hon FIAME Naomi Mataafa, Minister for Justice, Courts & Administration and Member for Lotofaga (HRPP);
5. PESETA Vaifou Tevaga, Member for Faasaleleaga No.4 (HRPP);
6. LEVAOPOLO Talatonu, Member for Gagaemauga No.2 (Tautua);
7. LEFAU Harry Schuster, Member for Vaimauga West (Tautua);
8. Hon LEAUPEPE Toleafoa Apulu Faafisi, Member for Aana Alofi No.1 (HRPP);
9. Hon PALUSALUE Faapo II, Leader of the Opposition and Member for Safata (Tautua);
10. Hon TUUU Anasii Leota, Member for Siumu (HRPP);
11. Hon GATOLOAIFAANA Amataga Alesana-Gidlow, Member for Faasaleleaga No.1 (HRPP);
12. FIAMALOTOA Kika Stowers Ah Kau, Member for Gagaifomauga No.1 (HRPP);
13. Hon TUILAEPA Fatialofa Lupesoliai A0iono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa (HRPP) an0d
14. Hon FAUMUINA Tiatia Faaolatane Liuga, Member for Palauli le Falefa (HRPP).

Debates continued on the following issues:
1. The 3 year (minimum) requirement for village service;
2. the ability of those who were bestowed with matai titles 2.5 years before general elections to run for elections;
3. the differences between the faa-matai system and the Westminster system;
4. 10% benchmark for women representation in Parliament;
5. gender balance in Parliament;
6. candidate declarations;
7. tautua, particularly in regards to women matais;
8. de-facto relationships and voting for one’s spouse or parent;
9. registering to vote in one’s Constituency of residency.

II. Foreign Investment Amendment Bill 2015
Members who spoke on the Bill included:
1. AVEAU Tuala Lepale Nikotemo Palamo, Member for Faleata East (Tautua);
2. LEALAILEPULE Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West (Tautua);
3. Hon PALUSALUE Faapo II, Leader of the Opposition and Member for Safata (Tautua);
4. Hon FONOTOE Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Commerce Industry & Labour and Member for Anoamaa East (HRPP).

Issues raised:
1. The reserve list and the ability of non-Samoan citizens to own and operate businesses on the list;
2. the renewal of business certificates;
3. the relationship of the Bill to the Citizenship Investment Bill 2015;
4. guidelines for foreign investment certificate applications;

III. Sentencing Bill 2015 and Evidence Bill 2015
Members who spoke on the Bill included:
1. LEALAILEPULE Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West (Tautua);
2. Hon FIAME Naomi Mataafa, Minister for Justice, Courts & Administration and Member for Lotofaga (HRPP);
3. AVEAU Tuala Lepale Nikotemo Palamo, Member for Faleata East (Tautua);
4. Hon TUILAEPA Fatialofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa (HRPP);

Issues raised included:
1. Practices used by the judiciary for sentencing before the introduction of the Bill;
2. Community sentencing;
3. electronic monitoring options;
4. the involvement of the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) with juvenile offenders and the SVSG’s possible coordinated efforts with Corrections Officers.

IV. Fisheries Management Bill 2015
There were no debates on the Bill.

V. Lands, Surveys and Environment Amendment Bill 2015
Members who spoke on the Bill included:
1. LEALAILEPULE Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West (Tautua);
2. Hon PALUSALUE Faapo II, Leader of the Opposition and Member for Safata (Tautua);
3. Hon FAAMOETAULOA Lealaiauloto Ulaitino Faale Tumaalii, Minister for Natural Resources and Environment and Member for Gagaemauga No.3 (HRPP);

The major issue discussed was:
1. Why the Land & Transport Authority were responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Bill.

VI. Competition and Consumer Bill 2015
Members who spoke on the Bill included:
1. LEALAILEPULE Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West (Tautua);
2. Hon TUILAEPA Fatialofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa (HRPP);
3. Hon PALUSALUE Faapo II, Leader of the Opposition and Member for Safata (Tautua);
4. Hon FONOTOE Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Commerce, Industry & Labour and Member for Anoamaa East (HRPP).

Issues raised included:
1. the negative effects of promoting competition such as the uneven distribution of wealth;
2. the monopoly of wholesalers over smaller businesses;
3. the possibility of the Government assisting local businesses to improve the quality of locally made goods;
4. the continued problem of street vendors, particularly those who are school aged children;
5. standards of conduct for businesses;
6. the promotion of balance between businesses and consumers;
7. trading strategies and the protection of consumers.

VII. Lands and Titles Registration Amendment Bill 2015
Members who spoke on the Bill included:
1. Hon FAAMOETAULOA Lealaiuloto Ulaitino Faale Tumaalii, Minister for Natural Resources and Environment and Member for Gagaemauga No.2 (HRPP);
2. Hon PALUSALUE Faapo II, Leader of the Opposition and Member for Safata (Tautua);
3. Hon TUILAEPA Fatialofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa (HRPP).

Issues raised included:
1. The registration of customary land and the
2. Ministry for Justice’s role in the registration of customary land.

VIII. The following Bills were considered in detail:
1. Petroleum Amendment Bill 2014;
2. Samoa Ports Authority Amendment Bill 2014;
3. Water Schemes Bill 2015;
4. Central Bank of Samoa Bill 2015;
5. Road Traffic Amendment Bill 2015;
6. Tax Information Exchange Amendment Bill 2015;
7. Credit Union Bill 2014.

IX. The following Bills were third read:
1. Samoa Ports Authority Amendment Bill 2015;
2. Central Bank of Samoa Bill 2015;
3. Road Traffic Amendment Bill 2015;
4. Tax Information Exchange Bill 2015;
5. Credit Union Bill 2015.

DAY 4: Monday 17th August 2015
Two Bills were introduced under a Certificate of Urgency:
1. Excise Tax Rates Amendment Bill 2015 and the
2. Electoral Amendment (No.4) Bill 2015.
Both Bills were first read, second read, considered in detail and third read on the same sitting day. The Bills have now passed the Legislative Assembly.

I. Excise Tax Rates Amendment Bill 2015
Members who spoke on the Bill were:
1. Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West (Tautua);
2. Hon TUILAEPA Fatialofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa (HRPP);
3. Hon TUITAMA Talalelei Tuitama, Minister for Health and Member for Aana Alofi No.1 (HRPP);
4. TOEOLESULUSULU Cedric Pose Salesa Schuster, Member for Aana Alofi No.3 (Tautua);
5. Hon TUILOMA Lameko, Minister for Revenue and Member for Falealili (HRPP).

Issues raised included:
1. The differences between taxes for “light” beer and “regular” beer, noting their different alcoholic percentages;
2. the effect of increased tax on locally produced goods and
3. the need for Parliament and the Government to encourage and promote healthy living standards amongst the Samoan public.

II. Electoral Amendment Bill (No.4) 2015
Members who spoke on the Bill were:
1. Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West (Tautua);
2. AVEAU Tuala Lepale Nikotemo Palamo, Member for Faleata East (Tautua);
3. LEVAOPOLO Talatonu, Member for Gagaemauga No.2 (Tautua);
4. Hon FIAME Naomi Mataafa, Minister for Justice, Courts & Administration and Member for Lotofaga (HRPP);
5. Hon PALUSALUE Faapo II, Leader of the Opposition and Member for Safata (Tautua);
6. Hon PAPALIITELE Niko Lee Hang, Individual Voters (HRPP);
7. MAUALAIVAO Pat Ah Him, Individual Voters (HRPP);
8. Hon TUUU Anasii Leota, Member for Siumu (HRPP);
9. Hon TOLOFUAIVALELEI Falemoe Leiataua, Minister for Women, Community & Social Development and Member for Aana Alofi No.2 (HRPP);
10. Hon TUILAEPA Fatialofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa (HRPP).

Issues raised included:
1. Clause 4 and the words “at any time” and their applicability;
2. the possibility of the removal of urban seats in the future, due to residents primarily being Samoan citizens and holders of matai titles;
3. the apparent bias of the Bill towards voters within the Urban area;
4. the inconsistency between amendments proposed and previous Electoral Act amendments regarding the rules for transfer of registration;
5. the negative effects of permitting voters to easily change their place of registration and
6. the applicability of the ‘exemption’ clause; to whom , how and why.

During the consideration in detail stage, the Hon Prime Minister moved a motion which stated that the words “individual voter” be removed from the Samoan text of the Bill. This is due to the fact that the roll for Individual Voters has been removed and therefore no longer applicable.
A motion was moved by the Member for Faleata East, AVEAU Tuala Lepale Nikotemo Palamo for the removal of Clause 4 in Part II of the Bill. The motion was seconded by LEALAILEPULE Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West; however, the Government denied the motion and the Bill therefore progressed to third reading, as amended by the Hon Prime Minister.
Proceedings were adjourned at 10:49am with the Hon Prime Minister moving a motion for the Assembly to reconvene on Thursday, 27th August 2015 at 9:00am.

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