He made the remark while nominating Nikki Rattle for another term as Speaker of Parliament yesterday.
Rattle, who was highly tipped to retain the post, yesterday took the Oath of Allegiance before Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters at Government House in Titikaveka before resuming her role in parliament.
The 49th Session of Parliament opened with PM Puna’s nomination of Rattle for the Speaker’s role and the Manihiki MP said Rattle was his government’s choice for various reasons.
He said all MPs were aware of her capabilities as the Speaker as a result of her previous term and they were confident with the nomination.
Puna said Rattle was also a respected and well-known personality in the region and worldwide.
Opposition leader William “Smiley” Heather seconded the nomination and supported Rattle’s appointment based on “what we have witnessed in our last parliamentary term”.
Rattle, who was then escorted to the parliament, addressed MPs and thanked Puna and Heather for their nomination and support.
“I am obviously extensively honoured to accept the nomination and shall do my utmost best to perform my duties to progress many development initiatives. (These) have begun with the vision for new initiatives in ensuring an effective and well-functioning institution into the future for good governance and the democracy for the welfare of the people of this nation,” Rattle said.
Following the Oath of Allegiance and swearing in of Vaine (Mac) Mokoroa as the new Internal Affairs minister replacing Albert Nicholas, the MPs were sworn into Parliament. Eleven new MPs were among the ones sworn in.
Toka Hagai was then elected as the new deputy Speaker. He was nominated by deputy prime minister Mark Brown.
The ceremonial opening of the Parliament will take place tomorrow at the National Auditorium starting at 10am, before Parliament resumes at 1pm.