Tonga asks Pacific countries to soften up on bio-security and import tariffs

They asked the Australian officials to reconsider their import restrictions on kava.

Tonga also discussed certain bio-security problems including African snails, fruit flies, mould and fumigation requirements which caused long-term delays in clearing containers at Australian, Fijian, Samoan and New Zealand ports.

The long delays often caused Tongan produce to be damaged before they reached Pacific markets, it has been claimed.

Festivities to commemorate Tonga’s Miss Galaxy Pageant 25th anniversary

Celebrations hosted by Tonga Leiti’s Association were held at Queen Salote Memorial Hall on Tuesday.

The chief guests were Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita, Lord Tuita and Honorable Frederica Tuita Filipe.

There was a cake cutting ceremony by Hon. Frederica Tuita Filipe in presence of invited guests and sponsors of the pageant.

Former winners of the Miss Galaxy title including Ms Felisha & Ms Coco Chandelier attended the event and mingled with guests and current contestants.

Other activities over the week include public judging and crowning of Miss Galaxy.

Tonga's Ane Jensen among leaders in recurve ranking rounds at World Archery Oceania Championships

Jensen topped the bill in the men's recurve event with a score of 853 points across the 90, 70 and 50 metres targets.

Archers from New Zealand occupied the next three places in the standings.

Chayse Martin-Roberts was second with 835 while Caleb Russ was third with 805.

Adam Kaluzny was fourth with 782 points.

Australia's Ella Byrne holds the lead in the corresponding women's recurve event with 907 points.

Sarah Fuller of New Zealand was second with 863 points and fellow countrywoman Emily Cavell third with 849.

3 suspected drug dealers arrested in Tongatapu

Acting Chief Superintendent, Sisi Tonga said Mu’a Police station received a report from a member of the public of suspicious illegal activity relating to drugs being sold from a van parked in an area between Fatumu and Lavengatonga on 25 June.

Police responded to the site and arrested the men who were allegedly in possession of a plastic bag of methamphetamine, a .22 rifle and ammunition.

"Investigation continues to determine the amount seized but we want to thank the public for reporting suspicious illegal activities to police," he said.

PIFS congratulates Tonga’s Dr Manu on her appointment

Speaking from the Cook Islands, Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor said “I am very proud that a daughter of the Blue Pacific has been appointed Director General. The Forum Fisheries Agency plays an extremely important leadership role for our fisheries, one of the most important resources for our people.”

Tongan woman tipped to become FFA head

The Tongan national is one of four candidates shortlisted for the position which will be decided at the FFA's Ministers Meeting in the Cook Islands this week.

The Cook Islands News reports the three-day meeting will farewell current director general, James Movick, who will conclude his six-year term at the end of the year.

Queen's award recipient to champion women's rights in Tonga

Joshua Sefesi was among the recipients of the Queens Young Leaders Award which were presented in London where he also met members of the British Royal family.

Mr Sefesi was chosen for his work with the International Planned Parenthood Federation as the Regional Youth Representative.

He said the work tackles topics such as teen pregnancy, gender based violence and safe sex, which are tough issues but necessary to discuss.

Tonga's RIMPAC inclusion 'shows US relationship forging ahead'

Tonga is the only small island state among 26 invited nations for the 26th Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise, directed by the US Navy.

The director of the Pasifika Centre at Massey University, Malakai Koloamatangi, said the US decision to exclude China from the exercise is disappointing as Tonga has close ties with Beijing.

He said Fiji's absence was a surprise too.

Tonga parliament forced to correct Budget error

The mistake was in the act relating to the 2018-2019 Budget which had it set to end on 30 June 2018, instead of 30 June 2019.

Only 14 members of the 26 MPs attended the one hour session.

The Prime Minister and a majority of Cabinet Ministers were not present as they had travelled to Ha'apai for the Agricultural Show.



Photo file. Caption: Tonga Parliament     

Tonga's Justice Minister welcomes historic court appointment

Mr Niu will be sworn in this week and is expected to start his four-year term in July.

Vuna Fa'otusia said Mr Niu was ideal for the job as he is one of the most experienced lawyers in the country a former President of the Tonga Law Society and former MP.

Mr Niu will join two New Zealanders on the bench.

Mr Fa'otusia is hoping to have an all-Tongan Supreme Court bench by 2020 and hopes that court proceedings will one day be conducted in Tongan instead of English.