Tonga and NZ sign agreement on quarantine certification of foods

Tonga Ministry of Agriculture signed a Memorandum of Understanding that covers the quarantine certification of food taken into New Zealand.

Head of Biosecurity New Zealand Roger Smith said the agreement meant Tongan passengers would bypass long queues in quarantine when they landed in New Zealand.

He said Tonga posed a low biosecurity risk to New Zealand.

The Ministry’s CEO, Dr. Viliami Manu, said the MOU showed Biosecurity New Zealand trusted Tongan quarantine officers to carry out the certification process.

Motion raised to send Tonga PM overseas for health assessment

Lord Tu'ilakepa and Tevita Lavema'au moved that the house send 'Akilisi Pohiva for an assessment, and that a report on his health be sent back to parliament.

They also pushed for their no-confidence motion against Mr Pohiva to be heard yesterday, parliament's final sitting day.

The Speaker did not respond to the requests.

The opposition - which largely consists of nobles - has repeatedly tried to have Mr Pohiva ousted, despite him voters returning him to power last year with an increased majority.


Murder suspect to appear in Tonga court next week

The 40-year-old victim from ‘Ēsia was rushed to hospital from outside a bar and restaurant in Nuku’alofa in 23 August.

He died on Friday last week.

According to Police, the suspect was arrested in Tongatapu last week.

Kaniva News reports the suspect was charged with causing grievous bodily harm.

The suspect remains in Police custody to appear in court on Monday, 8 October.

The names of the victim and the accused have not been released.



‘Early detection saves lives’, Pinktober launched in Tonga

The launch was graced by the patron of Tonga Breast Cancer Society, Her Royal Highness Princess Pilolevu.

Guests also heard from Monica Tu’ipulotu about her experiences as a survivor of breast cancer.   

In support of Pinktober, Digicel launched on 1 October, its nation-wide special offer of Huawei Y3 phone for $149 pa’anga with free sim and 1GB data valid for five days.

$1 from every handset sold will be donated to Tonga Breast Cancer Society. 


Photo courtesy of Maroon Photography


Senior Tonga Police officer commends officers for overall reduction in crime

According to statistics released by police, there was a 10% reduction in total offences under the Criminal Offences Act for the period July 2017 to June 2018 compared to the same period in the previous year.

“I would like to personally thank and commend the efforts of our Police staff who continue to show courage and dedication in keeping our communities safe, said Vaisuai.

According to Officer Vaisuai this year was a very busy year for the Ministry of Police, as there were major drugs busts, the general election and celebrations for the Rugby League World Cup.

Students’ talents shine at Tongan music competition and festival

Students sang and performed items for an appreciative audience.

Team Mele’ana Puloka took the first prize in the singing competition

A total of six teams from Queen Salote College performed in the singing competition.

The teams were named after former principals including Ma’ata Havea, Janet Maddox, Dilys Rowlands, Mele’ana Puloka, Sela Na’a Latu and Barbara Pott.

Tupou College held a music festival as part of the day’s activities.


Photo supplied      

Tonga warns of dire security threats from climate change on island atoll countries

“In contributing towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its landmark Goals (SDGs), including the internationally agreed blueprint for the sustainable development of small island developing States (SIDS), the SAMOA Pathway, Tonga has made both accords an integral part of its national planning processes,” he said on Wednesday.

He emphasised the importance of the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, which he pointed out will review the SAMOA Pathway in 2019.

Tonga exploring cheaper and sustainable electricity through biogas generation

This was the conclusion of a 4 day visit jointly organised by the Pacific Community’s Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) and the Institute for Applied Material Flow Management (IfaS) of the Trier University of Applied Sciences, Germany earlier in September. 

NZ taxpayers funding repairs to 300 storm-damaged homes in Tonga

It was described as the worst storm to hit Tonga in about six decades. 

Melino Maka, a leader of Auckland's Tongan community, says he's struggled to access information about aspects of the work being done to repair damaged homes in Tonga. 

Maka says he's been contacted by about 20 people in Tonga who have questions about the efforts and he's tried unsuccessfully through various channels to get them answers, he says. 

“When people don't get information they start to speculate. 

6 men charged following marijuana drug bust in Tonga

The raid was conducted after police were tipped off about the cultivation of marijuana plants in the area.

“We would like to acknowledge the assistance of members of the public which led to the drug seizures yesterday. It only takes one call to disrupt the supply of drugs in your community and we encourage anyone who can provide information of drug dealing to contact Police,” said Acting Superintendent Taulango Tapueluelu.

Police also seized a .22 rifle and 26 live ammunition.