Kiwis fall to Tonga in embarrassing World Cup loss

It is the first time the Kiwis have ever lost to Tonga and the defectors form the Kiwis team got the last laugh, with an historic win.

But it wasn't Jason Taumalolo who was the big difference, rather David Fusitu'a who scored three tries as Tonga went on a rampant second half run.

New Zealand will now play Fiji in Wellington next week and if they win that are on target to play Australia in the semifinals in Brisbane.

 Tonga will play Lebanon and then likely face England in Auckland.

Tonga missing out at COP23 - Sovaleni

The global conference on climate change is being chaired by Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, but Tonga's delegation will not include a cabinet minister.

Siaosi Sovaleni headed the ministry responsible for the environment and climate change until he was sacked days after Parliament was dissolved in August.

The election was subsequently brought forward a year to next week.

Mr Sovaleni said an unfortunate by-product is the lack of ministerial presence at COP 23.

Tonga boosted by settled preparation

Having played at Waikato Stadium last Saturday, where they beat Samoa 32-18, Tonga have remained in Hamilton all week as they prepare to play New Zealand at the same venue, allowing for an ideal build up for the match which will decide who tops Pool B.

PIC Japan opens Tonga Tourism Seminar

PIC Deputy Director Takehiro Kurosaki detailed recent trends in the tourism scenario in the Pacific Island countries with a particular focus on Tonga. Tonga Tourism Ministry officials Melesungu Pule and Simata-e-laa Palu, who worked as interns at PIC at the time, made the presentation on Tonga and the opportunities for tourism in the country.

The formal proceedings were followed by a traditional spread of Tongan delicacies including Lo’i Feke made with octopus and coconut milk, which the guests greatly enjoyed.

Tongan female candidate wants merit, not gender to matter

The broadcast journalist Katalina Tohi is among 15 women standing in the election next Thursday.

Over the past few years, women's groups have lobbied for temporary seats to be set aside for women in an effort to boost their representation rates.

There was only one female MP in the 26 seat parliament last term and only eight in total since 1951.

Those looking for greater representation suggest women need to be confident in voting for their own.

But Mrs Tohi said she wanted to be elected for being the best candidate available.

Pulu says Democratic Party has lost its way

Isi Pulu was a founding member of the party that the interim Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva leads.

Mr Pulu, who was first elected in 2002 but missed out in the 2014 election after falling out with Mr Pohiva , said he wants to bring greater accountability to parliament.

He said the democratically-led government had lost its way, leaving people still striving for better living standards.

Despite this, Mr Pulu said he does not harbour any bad feelings over his split with Mr Pohiva, who he believes may be receiving bad advice.

Pohiva needed to meet Tongan King more often - Eke

In August the King dissolved Parliament and called elections a year early because of concerns 'Akilsi Pohiva's government had acted unconstitutionally and was trying to gather power for itself.

In the lead-up to next week's vote, the government has continued with calls for cabinet members to be added to the King's Privy Council, which advises him on governance and legal matters.

But 'Aisake Eke, who is seeking re-election for a third time, said there was no need for cabinet places on the council if the Prime Minister was doing his job.

Tongan candidate calls for freedom of information legislation

Tevita Motulalo said previous governments had talked about such measures, where people could request information deemed for the public good, but none had implemented it in the house.

Mr Motulalo said it would help bring good governance into Tongan politics, which he said was currently divisive in nature.

He said at the moment information was scarce or came via leaks and rumours.

Solar panels for Tonga’s Royal Palace

The installation will be the first of its kind in the Pacific as a national leader takes the personal step to use solar power for their official residence.

The Tongan King will also become the world’s first monarch to use solar power, sending the message that Buckingham Palace should perhaps follow suit.

Tonga supports Fiji presidency at COP23

Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama is chairing the International Climate Change conference (COP23) which is currently being held here in Bonn, Germany.

Mr Paula Ma’u, the Head of the Tonga delegation and Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of MEIDECC said Tonga supports Fiji’s Presidency and the call by Mr Bainimarama for urgency on the part of world leaders and climate change negotiators.

This is to ensure that action is taken now rather than later as Tonga and other Pacific countries continue to experience the effects of climate change.