In May we introduced you to the Deputy Clerk of the Bougainville House of Representatives, Peter Topura. Now in this special video blog, it’s time to introduce Peter’s equivalent in the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Jefferson Halu.
Watch our interview between Jefferson and Beverly Duffy, the Chair of the NSW Parliament’s Twinning Steering Committee and the Legislative Council’s Clerk Assistant – Procedure:
More in the Twin Peeks series
The parliamentary twinning program pairs parliaments across the Pacific, with the NSW Parliament ‘twinned’ with the National Parliament of Solomon Islands and the Bougainville House of Representatives. Our Twin Peeks blog series keeps us connected, and offers readers a peek into our twinning partners.
Previous blogs in the series include:
- A closer look at parliamentary twinning
- Meet the Speaker of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, the Hon Patteson Oti
- Meet Ruby Garnean, a Senior Procedure Officer from the Bougainville House of Representatives
- Meet the Deputy Clerk of the Bougainville House of Representatives, Peter Topura
Can’t watch the video above? Read the conversation transcript below:
Beverly Duffy: What is your role in the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, and what did you do before you started at the Parliament?
Jefferson Halu: My current role here at the National Parliament is assisting the Clerk, both in the core business of the House, as well as certain administrative matters. I first joined the Parliament in 2011 as a law graduate under the UNDP [United Nations Development Project] Parliamentary Strengthening project.
Beverly: Just for people that don’t much about the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, how many members do you have and how often are elections held?
Jefferson: There are 50 members altogether and the elections are held ever four years. Our next election will be held next year, probably mid-2023.
Beverly: How is COVID-19 affecting Solomon Islands?
Jefferson: The cases are not so bad. We have had a few deaths but it’s subsiding now. People go about their normal business at the moment, although the expectation is to practice wearing masks and practise social distancing. It hasn’t really badly affected us in terms of the medical side of things. I think the most adverse impact is in terms of the economic impacts – I think that is where we have heat at the moment.
Beverly: The other thing we wanted to ask you, Jefferson, is where abouts in Solomon Islands are you from?
Jefferson: So I come from Marovo Lagoon, it’s in the western Province. Marovo Lagoon is said to be the largest saltwater lagoon in the southern hemisphere. It’s a great place to go for a dive or snorkel.
Beverly: How often do you get to go home?
Jefferson: At least once a year during my holidays I go home to see my extended family. It takes about 13 hours by boat [from Honiara].
Beverly: I know you work a lot – many hours, every day – but what do you like to do when you’re not working?
Jefferson: I’m teaching myself to train dogs. I have two lovely puppies at home: Gypsy is the female dog I have, and the male one is called Husky. I think that is my retirement plan – to run a school where I can teach people how to train dogs, to help them train dogs.
Beverly: Thank you so much, Jefferson.
Jefferson: Thank you very much, Beverly.
Images used in video:
Marovo Lagoon, CC BY 2.0 by Xplore Dive from Mooloolaba, Australia
Aerial View of Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by United Nations Photo
Solomon Islands Parliament, Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 by Dan Hetherington
Long shot of the Solomon Islands Parliament House, CC BY 2.0 by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade