Re: Powerful government now want to run the villages
This is an overly emotional and dramatic editorial.
The “pulenuu” is an invention of the Samoan government. It is not a matai title that has genealogical or traditional significance to the village. There were just under 3000 years of village governance before the job of “pulenuu” was invented by the government.
So what is the big deal in the government having a say in the type of people appointed to be pulenuu?
If the person appointed to be pulenuu are not doing their jobs, then what is the point of having them there? It may be that there needs to be an age limit to pulenuu. People who are too old to walk clearly cannot inspect the plantations and waterways around their village. It may be that perhaps the person appointed should not hold other positions in the village or church to allow him (or her) time to do the job.
The traditional structure of the village does not depend on the pulenuu. The person who fulfills the job of pulenuu may have a high ranking title in the village structure or he might not be high ranking at all. The actual job of “pulenuu” does not actually have a formal place in the village faalupega.
It is a job that needs to be filled for the administrative tasks that the central government needs to be done. It is like having a secretary for the village.
If the Pulenuu are not doing their jobs, then what is the point of having them there? The editorial said so itself, the taxpayers of Samoa are paying these guys and if they are simply just accepting their pay cheques without doing any work, then what is the point? It is not an every day job either; for most pulenuu it is probably a once a week or even once a fortnight type of part-time job.
The duties are not that hard and are mostly mundane.
Things like check the waterways for obstructions and report them to M.N.R.E; liaise with the school committees about school building issues that M.E.S.C needs to know about; report road maintenance issues to L.T.A; advise E.P.C on power outages; assist the Bureau of Statistics in preparation for the census every 5 years; the list goes on.
Nobody will die of a heart attack from these kinds of mundane administrative duties.