A breakdown in the working relationship with the chief executive (CEO) of the Samoa Pacific Games Office, Falefata Hele Matatia, led to the resignation of the director of the Organising Committee, Aveau Niko Palamo, the sports minister says.
The former Samoa Olympic Committee boss Aveau was appointed in May.
The sports minister and chair of the Organising Committee, Loau Keneti Sio, said he asked Aveau to reconsider his decision when the former Manu Samoa player and coach informed him of his intention to quit a few weeks ago.
“He actually came down to the office and said that he was going to walk away,” he said.
“I was caught by surprise with what he said. I think with the working relationship with the CEO – it seems that it’s not in a comfortable way of working together.”
“I just said to him to go and have a break and think about it and come back to me and I’ll see what I can do. Well, actually, he didn’t come back anyway so I thought that he had already made up his mind not to go back to the job.”
Loau said following Aveau’s visit to his office he arranged to speak to Falefata in an effort to come to a resolution.
“I called up the CEO to come and clear this out and see what I can do just because I am a bit concerned with the time – that we have a short period of time – and he’s thinking of walking out.”
“But the CEO came up and he mentioned some… issues they’re having. Some Key Performance Indicators that he is not coming up with (in) the right time and complied with.
“It seems that Niko doesn’t really want to cooperate in a way, so it seems that there’s no way for him to respect the idea he (Falefata) is the CEO.”
The minister said he supported the CEO and that if the working relationship could not be repaired, Aveau should be let go.
A new committee director had already been appointed but the minister would not confirm who it was.
“We’re running out of time in a way but it’s quite crucial at the moment and hopefully we will be having everything in place before the opening (in July),” Loau said.
When asked if preparations were still on track Loau said “I would say so that’s the way things are at the moment but it’s our fingers crossed and hope we can deliver”.