So it’s non­sense when his po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents say he should be in the of­fice than out in the field. Govern­ment min­is­ters have the ex­ec­u­tive arm to deal with ad­min­is­tra­tive mat­ters.

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more im­me­di­ate need. For them it means trans­port to schools, to the near­est ur­ban cen­tres, mar­kets, health cen­tres or hos­pi­tals or to the fish­ing grounds. A gen­er­a­tor means power for house­holds’ food preser­va­tion, light to do school home­work and busi­ness and eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties. A chain­saw means fire­wood, clear­ing of bushes to cul­ti­vate new farm­land and source of in­come. The $1000 small busi­ness grants to peo­ple in the low so­cio-eco­nomic group may be ridiculed as a vote­buy­ing gim­mick. But it means a lot to the re­cip­i­ents who des­per­ately need as­sis­tance to get ahead in life in their own lit­tle busi­ness ven­tures. When Mr Bain­i­marama is per­son­ally there to present the cheques, it is a ma­jor morale boost for these peo­ple. It’s an op­por­tu­nity for them to meet the na­tion’s leader and feel of his spirit. They will know whether he gen­uinely cares for them or not. So far the feed­back from the peo­ple has been over­whelm­ing.

So it’s non­sense when his po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents say he should be in the of­fice than out in the field. Govern­ment min­is­ters have the ex­ec­u­tive arm to deal with ad­min­is­tra­tive mat­ters. They do not have to be sit­ting in their of­fices to com­mu­ni­cate with stake­hold­ers at var­i­ous lev­els. Mod­ern tech­nol­ogy al­lows them to main­tain con­tact with peo­ple via phone and in­ter­net. The only time when they are re­quired to be in their of­fice is when they per­son­ally meet vis­it­ing groups or dig­ni­taries. But when they are out in the field, they have a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to meet the peo­ple in ta­lanoa ses­sions. This is an ef­fec­tive fo­rum where they lis­ten to peo­ple’s hopes and aspi­ra­tions. Mr Bain­i­marama also lis­tens to their griev­ances and those who have trav­elled with him on these trips know that he takes se­ri­ously what peo­ple tell him. He at­tempts to re­solve them on the spot and points them in the right di­rec­tion where they can access help. Most of what he hears at these meet­ings will not reach him if he sits in his Suva of­fice all the time. That’s why these trips are more valu­able to him and Govern­ment. So those who ques­tion him about these trips re­ally do not un­der­stand why he does it. One day if and when they be­come the Govern­ment, they will un­der­stand.

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