Te-Hani’s lecture on life as a politician

Thursday October 10, 2019 Written by Published in Politics
Dr Mema Motusaga , Lord Fakafanua Speaker of Parliament for Tonga, Te-Hani Brown, Tahere Talaina Siisiialafia Mau Chair of the Pacific Youth Council & Elizabeth V Kitè Commonwealth Youth Council Representative. 19100815 Dr Mema Motusaga , Lord Fakafanua Speaker of Parliament for Tonga, Te-Hani Brown, Tahere Talaina Siisiialafia Mau Chair of the Pacific Youth Council & Elizabeth V Kitè Commonwealth Youth Council Representative. 19100815

Te-Hani Brown is enjoying an all-expenses-paid trip to Fiji to talk about what it means to be a young MP – even though she was forced to quit Parliament.

 

Brown is representing Cook Islands at a regional young leader’s dialogue in Nadi, speaking on good governance and human rights.

Brown quit Parliament under a legal shadow this year, and is yet to be nominated to run again in next month’s Atiu by-election.

Rose Martin, the senior human rights advisor to the Pacific Community, said the meeting was looking at was the engagement of young people in decision making spaces.

“We asked Te-Hani to share her experience as a young person running for Parliament,” said Martin. “Her presentation was focused on her experience and also encouraging young people to think about running for Parliament.”

Te Tuhi Kelly, a robust government critic, said Brown’s past from jumping parties and jumping ship didn’t reflect “good governance”.

Good governance was about transparency and accountability, he said.  “It appears the organisers have disregarded these basic tenets in an effort to garner bums on seats at the conference, and have invited Te-Hani to address the assembly despite her chequered past.”

Te-Hani Brown was originally a Democratic Party candidate when she contested the 2018 election, defeated Cook Islands Party candidate Nandi Glassie and won the Areora-Tengatangi-Ngatiarua electorate.

Later she quit the Democratic Party and announced herself as an independent like her mother, health minister Rose Brown. They are both supporting the Cook Islands Party-led government, leaving behind confused Democratic Party supporters.

Her resignation from the Democratic Party and from Parliament resulted in a by-election which Te-Hani Brown again won, running as an independent candidate and beating Nandi Glassie – who had switched sides in the opposite direction to run for the Democratic Party.

Brown became the youngest MP in the Pacific region but was forced to resign after Glassie filed an electoral petition, arguing she won by bribery. The Court dismissed the petition.

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