Editor of debate Isaac Solomona said the old recording equipment had been in use ever since he arrived 17 years ago, and estimated that it must have been in use well before he started.
When the chance came up last year, he and his technician Teui Ahiao jumped at the opportunity to apply for funding through Pacific Parliamentary Partnership Funding, a Pacific funding body administered by the federal parliament in Australia.
They identified the three pieces of equipment that needed to be replaced, and the application was one of three that was successful, alongside one from Niue and one from Tuvalu.
“They gave us funding which allowed us to replace a recording panel and one amplifier which provides sound into all the rooms during parliament sessions, as well as a remote fix,” Solomona explained.
The remote fix, which broadcasts parliament sittings throughout the country, had previously been rented out to the radio, who would then relay the signal through the islands. Now Solomona and Ahiao are able to perform that action themselves.
“Also, of the amount of money that was allocated for us, we’ve only used half, so I’ve asked Ahiao to identify more sound equipment that we need,” added Solomona.
The type of equipment they’re planning on looking for isn’t just what will be used during a sitting of parliament, but rather equipment that is used during public consultations outside of the office also.
At this time, Solomona is just happy that the trial run went well.
“We’re happy that we have upgraded. This (Tuesday) is the first day, as it was cleared by customs yesterday (Monday), and we got it in just in time for the sitting. The sound quality was great,” he beamed.