Young Tongan rugby player’s life cut short

Determined to provide for his parents in Tongatapu, Sione, known as Vaka, passed his health checks on the way out of his country as one of 6166 Pacific Islanders who arrived in Australia to work on farms and in tourism in 2016-17 as part of the Seasonal ­Worker Program.

But about a month after ­arriving in Queensland, Vaka fell ill on April 17, while working for contractor Brockfield Enterprises in Childers.

Manuka villagers fight on to save waterfront

Their latest project now is being supported by the R2R Project which has funded the carting of stones, gravel and sand to the waterfront area to try and help build temporary breakers around the waterfront area.

This is especially targeted at saving trees that line the village waterfront.

The continuing rise in sea level has contributed to the waterfront getting eroded, now with the water levels reaching right up to the village road.

Along the way it has slowly eaten away at tree roots - with some trees now uprooted.

Tongan island gives scientists a glimpse of Mars

The Tongan volcanic island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai exploded out of the Pacific Ocean in 2015, and its shape has been evolving ever since as it has been lashed and bashed by waves.

Scientists are watching this slow erosion very closely.

They think they see the remnants of many such water-birthed islands on the Red Planet.

If that is true, it is really intriguing. On Earth, we know that wherever you get submarine volcanic processes, you also very often get conditions that support microbial communities.

Tonga wins gold in shot put

Tonga’s Ata Maama Tuutafaiva secured the gold medal while New Caledonia’s Ashley Bologna grabbed the silver.

Cook Island’s Tereapii Tapoki picked up the bronze medal.

Tuutafaiva collected the gold with a throw of 14.95 metres.

New Caledonia with a 14.53 metre and Cook Islands with a 12.75 metres throw.

Speaking to the Van2017 News Service, Tuutafaiva said she was very happy of winning a gold medal for her country.

“This is my first time to win a gold medal in a Mini-games. And I am very proud and happy for it,” she said.

Election of Tonga’s next Prime Minister on Monday

Pōhiva’s confirmation came after a press release from Parliament last week said, the Office of the Interim Speaker will announce the schedule for the election of the Prime Minister designate “after close of nominations.”

The Office has confirmed it has received one nomination for the Prime Minister designate.

“This nomination was received by the Chief Clerk, Gloria Pole’o, on Tuesday, December 5 at the about 3pm from Hon. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, Minister of Finance and National Planning and People’s Representative for Tongatapu Constituency 10.

Tongan golden dream alive

The team rebounded from a first up defeat to Fiji to outclassing Solomon Islands 3-1 at Korman Stadium on Thursday.

Mele Akolo opened the scoring in the 29th minute and scored again seven minutes into the second half.

Captain and striker Penateti Feke sealed the result with an impressive strike shortly before full-time.

Coach Tiane Koaneti said his players were hungry for goals and attacked all game.

"It was a must-win this game, given we came here for the gold," Koaneti said.

Japan provides waste collection trucks for Vava’u, Ha’apai

Vava’u will have four of these vehicles which include two collection waste vehicles, one dump truck, and one septic truck.

Ha’apai will receive one waste collection truck.

The Minister of Health, Saia Piukala, said the vehicles would help the government establish a reliable waste management system.

“Waste Authority Ltd has successfully introduced effective waste management in Tongatapu, but the outer islands have yet to experience the same advantage,” Piukala said.

Legal aid planned for Tongan family violence victims

The Ministry and the Regional Rights Resource Team will be opening the centre near the Magistrates Court in Nuku'alofa early next year to provide legal aid and advice to survivors of domestic violence.

Tongans will also be able to access the service by phone, and from legal advisors travelling to the outer islands on the regular court circuit.

The Justice chief executive, Susana Faletau, said the public needed more education on how to end a problem that they avoid dealing with.

Women's football wows the crowd despite Vanuatu's scoreless draw

The showpiece of the night was a tough match between front-runners Vanuatu and Fiji that ended 0-0.

Vanuatu had been looking to build on their 5-0 opening win over Solomon Islands, while Fiji had recorded the same score over Tonga in their opener.

However this match proved a far closer contest. Both teams were very strong and had several chances.

The crowd cheered wildly with Fiji, as well as the home side, drawing strong support.

In the earlier match, Tonga defeated Solomon Islands 3-1 to the delight of Tonga’s excitable fans.

Tonga to seek WTO’s help to develop fishing industry

They will also ask countries which fish in Tongan waters to pay increased fees.

Ministry of Labour and Commerce CEO Edgar Cocker said higher fees would help Tonga’s economy.

“There are rich countries which have refused to do this, but I will lobby them to try to change their minds,” Cocker said.

Tonga’s balance of trade needed change for the good of the economy and the country needed to boost exports in 2018.

Minister of Labour and Commerce Dr Pohiva Tu’ionetoa and Cocker will attend the WTO Trade Ministerial meeting in Argentina.