Ili Setefano Taateo from Nofoali’i has taken up the challenge of contesting in the national elections in March.
His drive in wanting to run derives from his passion and love for the district of A’ana Alofi Number 2.
On his Facebook Page under the name of ILI Setefano Taateo - Election Candidate - A'ana Alofi N0.2 he said intended to join the H.R.P.P. as an Independent candidate.
However a change was made after gaining the opinions and advice of the Chief Council “so I am running as a candidate for the Tautua Samoa Party.”
He stated on facebook, "My belief is that, regardless of whichever political party (you belong to), with God’s blessing and your support, I will be in a position to be of great service to our district."
In his interview with the Samoa Observer he was asked why run for Parliament.
Ili said he wanted to give back to his constituency and this is the best way to do so.
“I also want to have positive input into the Government, and especially for the people of Samoa.”
“The main issues within my district are the roads that need to be developed; that will make transportation easier for the people,” he said.
“The majority of the people from our constituency have vehicles but we need better roads to get to the plantations and make it easier for those who live inland.
“This will also benefit the government as well as they have assets such as water pumps that are situated further out in the villages which can be accessed easily with roads.”
Other issues are the shortage of electricity supplied to the inland areas and the volume of students dropping out of school.
“We need more power poles in order for the electricity supply to reach inland,” he said.
“Some students have families who are dependent, some are just tired of school, some can’t meet the criteria to enter university and other students’ families face financial problems but all of these issues have solutions.
“For example, for those with financial problems, the government should set up a student loans scheme with low interest to give these students a second chance to attain a bright future.
“These are just a few of the many issues that we are facing.”
And if he was to win the election, he said there are a lot of things that he will be pushing for but the first on his list would be better education and a better health scheme.
“Some of the school facilities need to be upgraded,” he said.
“The teachers also need to be well qualified and evenly spread throughout all of Samoa, because most parents believe that schools in town have a higher standard of education than the rural areas.
“I will also be proposing to have cheaper Medicare for everyone starting from the young ones to the elderly.”
In terms of success, Ili said all he can do is hope and pray.
“It’s hard to say how it will go, but I want a chance to serve the people of my country and the people of my constituency,” he said.
“I believe in making a change and a positive impact. In saying that, we can go from being the good, to being the best.”
Ili is a current panel member of the Samoa Qualifications Authority, Electrical and a business owner.
He is a NZ Registered and Certified Electrical Engineer and a Samoa Certified Class “A” Electrical Engineer.
In 1991-1993 he was a Senior Electrical Lecturer for the Samoa Polytechnic; in 1993-1998 he was an Electrical Service Manager at the Samoa Airport Authority.
In 2001-2006 he was an engineer at the Samoa Breweries Ltd, Vailima; in 2006-2009 he worked at McLeans Electrical and from 2010 until the present day, he has been a member of the S.Q.A. panel.