Women, children missing from Pacific agenda

At a press conference this week, the PMC Chair, Ofa Fa’anunu was asked why vulnerable groups had been overlooked on the programme.

“That is a good question. Gender is an important issue being raised here and one of the members should have raised it.”

Fa'anunu, who is also director of the Tonga Meteorology Services, said his country was aware of the high fatalities of vulnerable people during disasters.

When the MV Princess Ashika ferry sank in August 2009, all 54 survivors were men, 74 women and children died.

PMC set up working group on marine and ocean services

The other working group of PMC is on Education, Training and Research.

The new working group was created by Friends of the Chair of the Third Pacific Meteorological Council meeting in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, in response to concerns about lives lost at sea possibly from weather related activities and issues related marine forecasting services.

The PMC Marine and Ocean Services Panel will call on volunteers from within the membership and partners to develop its Terms of Reference of the working group.

Funding Needed: Rodan

This is to prepare for the 2017 Mini Pacific Games in Vanuatu and the 2019 Pacific Games in Tonga.

“At the end of the day, if you want your team to perform then finance is needed,” Rodan said.

“We came back satisfied with what we achieved by winning 33 gold medals and moving from sixth to fourth spot in the medal tally.

“We were very ambitious and that is what all is about to approach a game. Realistically, we had a budget about $2.5 million to prepare our teams compared to 44million (Kina) (FJ$32m) and all their athletes were training overseas.

Tonga visitor arrivals boom for June-July

In addition, 3761 passengers arrived in Tonga in the first two-weeks of July on commercial flights. This number does not include the arrivals on special flights.

The Coronation celebrations from 27 June to 7 July filled the capital with overseas guests and Tongans from all over the world.

Tourism Tonga’s latest passenger statistics provided by Air Terminal Services.

April 6169 arrivals, 6532 departures

May 6876 arrivals, 5947 departures

 June 9508 arrivals, 5634 departures

Auckland general practice plans for satellite clinic in Tonga

The aim is not only to address health issues at an early stage but to also alleviate the potential “economic and disease burden” on New Zealand once they arrive here, chief executive Glenn Doherty says.

At present, the society runs an outreach clinic in Tonga around two times a year and Dr Doherty sees the satellite general practice as a “natural progression”.

PNG down Tonga by 8 wickets

Tonga batted first with Nikolasi Moala (14) and Aloisio Pau’u (22) putting on a solid opening partnership of 36.

But good bowling from PNG’s Alei Nao had the pair dismissed.

The rest of the Tongan batters did not put up much of a fight as the next five wickets fell for 18 runs.

Tail ender Lea Tenisi chipped in late in the innings with 12 runs.

Tonga was all bowled out for a measly 83.

Jason Kila was the best of the PNG bowlers picking up 3/10.

Tonga to learn from Pacific Games travel failures

Last week the government had to front up the travel bill for 59 remaining athletes whose federations failed to pay their air fares to Papua New Guinea to compete in this year's Pacific Games.

The Minister of Youth, Employment and Sports, Fe'ao Vakata, says the Tonga Amateur Sports Association and other federations were disorganised and it's the last time the government will front up travel money due to their lack of preparation.

Vakata says the Ministry will work on setting up a separate institute of sports for Tonga alongside criteria for selected federation members.

No Sunday games at 2019 Pacific Games in Tonga

The Chief Executive Officer for the 2019 Tonga Pacific Games Organising Committee  and for Prime Minister Lord Savele said it was one of the questions asked since games are being played at the XV Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

“One of the issues asked of us the other day was what our response would be about sports on Sunday, we have decided we’d go back to the traditional way we’ve been running the Pacific Games and for Sunday we’ll allow everybody to rest or go to the beach but there will be no sport played on Sundays when you’re in Tonga,” said Lord Savele.

The Friendly Islands are no friend to women

She was punished for speaking back or not doing her chores. Her adopted parents beat her when they came home tired from work. Iula wondered if she deserved their blows. "Once they hit you, you know you're wrong and you learn your lesson."

She's a slight and sweet 18-year-old, wearing a sports jacket and black skirt, with braided hair hanging over her right shoulder. She says she suffered physical and emotional harm as a child and into her teens, largely at the hands of a female relative. 


Tonga PM says CEDAW issue will be put to public vote

Cabinet announced earlier this year it's intention to join the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Multiple petitions and marches followed the announcement including a parliamentary resolution asking the government not to ratify CEDAW.

Opponents have expressed concern that it will allow same sex marriage and abortion.