Minister urges public “stop taking shortcuts” when applying for permits


Members of the public are urged to “stop taking shortcuts” when applying for permits for building purposes.

The concern comes from the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Olo Fiti Vaai on EFKS TV in relation to the suspension of a Building Inspector placed on suspension for alleged misconduct.

“When it comes to building permits, the public must go directly to the Office of Works, Transport and Infrastructure to pay for their permits with all the relevant documents.”

He said it’s somewhat the norm for the members of the public to seek assistance from someone they know to speed up the process, but in the end, there will always be predicaments. 

Earlier this month, Radio Polynesia reported a Building Inspector working for the Asset Management Building Division of the MWTI has been suspended following a complaint lodged by a couple that paid $5,000 tala for a building permit that costs $300 tala. 

Minister Olo said the staff member has been on suspension pending an internal investigation being conducted.

Adding that from preliminary investigation uncovered the family in question allegedly deposited thousands into the Inspector’s personal account in the amount of $5,000 when the permit building fee cost $300 tala.

On EFKS TV, the Minister assured the conclusion of the investigation will determine whether this matter will be referred to the Ministry of Police and Prisons.

“As I stated earlier I am not a Police Officer or a Judge, and so this matter will be referred to the relevant Ministry that deals with criminal matters,” said Minister Olo.