Mayor Tepa Manaia was presented with ‘Long Service and Good Conduct’ Award

On 12 July, H.E. Beretitenti Taaneti Maamau, presented Mayor Teepa Manaia of Kuria, the medal of ‘Kiribati Long Service and Good Conduct Award’ or Kanikanaean te Bekumwaka ma te Kakaonimaki (KBK).
The award was a deserving result of the good leadership demonstrated by Mayor Tepa Manaia over the years. KiLGA also recognized the Mayor’s achievements during its third General Meeting held on 6th April, at USP campus, in Teaoraereke, when it created an award that would be presented to Mayors with outstanding leadership and achievements and approved Mayor Teepa Manaia to be the first recipient. He was awarded the honour during the Gala Night sponsored by LMTA at its restaurant in Antenon that marked the closing of the General Meeting.
In processing the Mayor’s application to the Honours & Award Commission, KiLGA provided four main justifications. Firstly, Mayor Teepa is the longest serving Mayor in Kiribati and for Kuria Island, having served three consecutive terms covering 12 years since 2005;
Secondly, the Mayor during his first term in office, turned around a Council with a poor cash flow and a staff that had not received salaries for several months, by first, borrowing money from the Island Cooperative Society in the amount required to settle all outstanding accounts, including unpaid salaries, and then focusing on generating revenues to settle the debt and, eventually, as is the case today, make Kuria Council one of the wealthiest with surplus funds invested offshore. Thirdly, the Mayor had demonstrated his wisdom and leadership during a conflict between the Unimwane and the Council, when the former took over and implemented development projects earmarked for the latter. By refraining from confronting the Unimwane, believing that what they did would eventually benefit the people, he maintained order and harmony on Kuria. Then, a survey conducted by MIA of all Councils’ financial performance for the period 2013-15, showed Kuria Council at the top slot in all the years, with the best overall score.

Mayor Teepa Manaia in 2017

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