Tonga, Samoa partner over coffee and chocolate

The rich dark chocolate bar is topped with a scattering of roasted coffee beans.

A caffeine hit — more an adult treat rather than for kiddies around bedtime.

In the past, the Pacific Islands have exported commodities such as, copra, cocoa and coffee beans.

But value-added items such as chocolate and coffee gains higher returns in the market.

The partnership is a significant forward step for the two small companies by bringing together their resources into a single product with wide international appeal.

Royal couple leave Tonga after successful official visit

Members of the public also turned up at the airport to bid the royal couple goodbye.

Their visit had attracted a lot of attention as it was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first official trip to the island kingdom since their wedding in April this year.

For many people, especially the children this would be a story told many times over the next few days and in the years to come.

In the VIP lounge, the royal couple were presented with gifts by Princess Angelika Latufuipeka Tuku’aho.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex enjoy their last day in Tonga

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met Prime Minister Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva and Cabinet Ministers.

Their day continued at the Fa’onelua Centre where they saw firsthand traditional Tongan handicraft.

’Eiki ‘Anaukihesina Ma’afu put on the Tongan traditional necklace as soon they arrived at the house of Fa’onelua.

The royal couple also met some of Tonga’s traders and craftsmen.

They were also kind enough to wear a faka-Ha’apai ta’ovala which is a Tongan traditional attire from the island of Ha’apai.

Tonga gives woven mats to Duke and Duchess

After private talks with Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva and his Cabinet, the royal couple were welcomed to an exhibition of Tongan youth projects and handicrafts.

They were also given a ta'ovala, a woven mat wrapped around the waist, which signifies Tongan respect to the higher ranks.

The couple, who arrived in Tonga from Fiji on Thursday, joined Princess Angelika and Prince Ata, King Tupou VI's son and daughter, at the Fa'onelua Centre, which showcased products including traditional mats and "tapa" cloth, carvings, bracelets made from whale bone and wood.

Two more charged over Tonga's Lavulavu fraud case

The Magistrate's Court office said on Tuesday that the two accused, who are yet to be named, were charged together with the former ministers.

The two and 'Akosita Lavulavu will next appear in court on Friday.

Matangi Tonga reported that 'Etuate Lavulavu's case is adjourned until 3 December.

The Lavulavu couple is charged with knowingly dealing with forged documents and obtaining credit by false pretences, after irregularities in an audit of the 'Unuaki 'o Tonga Royal Institute in 2016.

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.