Pacific Games' unpaid bills scotches Miss Faafafine pageant
Unpaid electric bills from last month's Pacific Games forced the long-scheduled finale for this year's Miss Fafafine pageant to be cancelled and postponed.
The long planned Miss Queen of Thrones 2019 pageant was unexpectedly cancelled on Friday night due to electricity arrears at the Tuanaimato venue.
Contestants showed up on Thursday night for rehearsals only to find Gym 1 at the Samoa Sports Facilities Authority (S.S.F.A.) cast in darkness.
The pageant will now be held on Saturday.
Last year the sports facilities that are housed in the S.S.F.A. were handed over to the Pacific Games Office in preparations for the July event.
Acting Chief Executive Officer for the S.S.F.A., Aiono Keneti Peseta, told the Samoa Observer the Pacific Games Office bore responsibility for the the unpaid bills.
He claimed the Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.) had cut the electric supply for the gymnasium this week without prior warning.
“We don’t have any funds to pay for the bills and we weren’t aware of it until later this week,” said Aiono.
“The facilities were recently handed back to us and we did not know about the bills until this came up.”
The Assistant C.E.O. was not privy to how much electricity expense is owed from the XVI Pacific Games.
Asked why the Authority had not informed the Samoa Faafafine Association beforehand about the problem, Aiono said they were working on it.
“We had been writing back and forth to E.P.C. if they can turn the power back on by Wednesday,” he said.
“But they did not agree to our request and you know these things need to go up to the Minister and only the Minister can give that authorization.
"The bills for water and electricity belong to the P.G. office and I believe payment is being processed.”
He added that the electricity is back on and the event will proceed a day later.
It was not possible to get a comment from the Pacific Games Office and the Electric Power Corporations.
On Thursday night the S.F.A. issued an urgent notices informing members of the public that the pageant had to be deferred.
S.F.A. President, Alex Su’a had expressed disappointment on how the authority had handled the problem forcing the event to be postponed.
Mr. Su’a had apologised for any inconvenience caused to the public.
On Friday night contestants were back in Gym 1 making last minute preparations for the Miss Fa’afafine 2019 on Saturday night.