New Zealand

New Zealand expresses condolences on passing of Tonga’s PM

“We extend our condolences to his family and to the people of Tonga. Prime Minister Pohiva was an elder statesman of the Pacific and a great friend to New Zealand,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“He will be remembered for his lifelong commitment to championing democracy. He was also a powerful advocate for Pacific regionalism, demonstrated at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Tuvalu where he advocated for climate change action and regional solidarity.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Tonga,” Jacinda Ardern said.

NZ and Australia plan to lower remittances costs in Pacific

Remittances are a key source of earnings for many Pacific families who have relatives working abroad and the intervention comes as both Wellington and Canberra step up their engagement in the region.

The plans are part of a push to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals, which include a commitment to reduce remittance costs to less than three percent by 2030. In the Pacific, the average remittance costs are more than 10 percent, well above the global average of 7.1 percent.

Issac Fotu inspiring Pasifika youth

The 25-year-old Fotu was born in York, England to an English mother and Tongan father before the family moved to New Zealand when he was seven.

Growing up in Auckland, he used to love watching NBA games on ESPN and became inspired to take up the sport himself after seeing New Zealand basketball legend Mika Vukona playing for the Breakers.

"That's what drew me in - I saw an island boy playing basketball with his physical style and I said hopefully I can play that as well and play the same way as him," he said.

Goals galore for NZ women in OFC U-19 opener

Kelli Brown opened the scoring with just seconds on the clock and ended the game with an incredible eleven goals to her name.

Arabella Maynard and Maggie Jenkins scored five a piece and were among six other players to get on the scoresheet, while Samoa ended the match with ten players after Paepae Tuitama was sent off in the 42nd minute.

New Zealand coach Gemma Lewis was understandably thrilled with her team's opening performance.

Jacinda Ardern announces Parris Goebel will represent NZ at the Dubai World Expo

The celebrity dancer and choreographer met with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday, to discuss her plans for the six-month long expo.

Ardern said Goebel's plans were "spectacular" and would do the country proud. Her programme was made to reflect themes of caring for people and the environment, with a focus on youth and sustainability.

In a statement, Goebel said her new role was "an honour" and she was using it as a chance to work with artists from different fields.

Kiwi-Tongan woman jailed for her role in New Zealand’s biggest meth haul

Stevie Norua Cullen and Selaima Fakaosilea appeared in the High Court at Whangārei this morning before Justice Gordon.

Cullen has been sentenced to 27 years in prison with a minimum period of imprisonment of nine years.

Fakaosilea has been sentenced to 12 years and six months to be served cumulatively on the 14 years and six months sentence she was given last year for further drug dealing following the Northland bust.

She was given a minimum period of imprisonment of seven years.

For My Father's Kingdom explores faith, love and fatherhood in Tongan community

For My Father's Kingdom is directed by Pacific film-makers Vea Mafile'o of Tonga and Samoa's Jeremiah Tauamiti.

The documentary centres on Vea's father, Saia Mafile'o, and his four children.

Film reviewer Chris Schulz told Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon people were in tears at the screening in Auckland.

"All great documentaries shine a light on something that you don't know anything about. Right?

"So, this is about tithing in the Tongan church. I knew nothing about this.

"When I walked in, I walked in absolutely cold. And it really affected me.

Football Ferns striker Hannah Wilkinson completes Sporting Lisbon move

The 27-year-old has signed a one-year contract with Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon and said there are pictures of Ronaldo everywhere she turns.

"That was one thing that kind of gives me chills every time I step into the academy because in the meeting room it's just his face and pictures of him playing at the same place you're training in right now and how he developed through the ages at that very place," she said.

New Zealand extends support to Tonga Police

“New Zealand is committed to confronting the scourge of criminal gangs and organised crime that cause harm to our communities. It is vital that New Zealand works with all countries in the Pacific to secure the safety of our neighbourhood,” Mr Peters said.

The announcement was made Monday during a visit by Tonga Minister of Police, Mateni Tapueluelu.

New Zealand, Tonga and Australia will jointly fund the programme which will see NZ Police officers seconded into Tonga Police to provide training and technical assistance.

Argentina make All Blacks sweat

After South Africa's earlier resounding victory over Australia, this was a match of a different nature and the All Blacks were clinging on at the end for their success on Saturday.

First-half tries from Ngani Laumape and Brodie Retallick looked to have put the visitors in control, but New Zealand went scoreless in the second 40 minutes.

Emiliano Boffelli pulled a try back and, come the closing stages, Argentina were camped close to the New Zealand line.