Story-telling in Sydney used to teach the Tongan language

Taimi Fananga literally translates to 'story time' and began last year in June, when two Tongan mothers Una Betham and Annabel Piliu wanted to teach their Australian-born kids about their Tongan heritage. 

"I'm originally from Auckland and I grew up in a very strong Tongan community and I soon found that living in Australia, it's a little bit harder to be around more of my Tongan people," says Betham.

"We realised it was a need in our community for this and decided to form a group and invite other like-minded families to join us."

Taumalolo has Tongan national competition named after him can reveal ''The Jason Taumalolo Cup'' will kick off on February 17 and the man himself is thrilled.

Taumalolo's World Cup story was the most intriguing of the tournament, with his last-minute decision to play for Tonga rather than for New Zealand attracting both praise and criticism.

The sight of Taumalolo leading Tonga's Sipi Tau ahead of their pool match against the Kiwi's will remain one of the lasting images of the tournament.

Tongan advocate to keep pushing for women's treaty's ratification

Tonga's human rights record came under scrutiny last week as part of a periodic review at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Many states expressed concerns that Tonga had not ratified key agreements like the Convention Against Torture and the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms Discrimination Against Women, known as CEDAW.

The director of Tonga's Women and Children Crisis Centre, 'Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki, said public misconceptions about CEDAW were that it would pave the way for same sex marriage and lead to abortion being legalised.

Tongan rugby league tackles challenge of building on World Cup success

Now, the Tongan programme faces a challenge familiar to most underdog New Zealand sports teams that have over-achieved on the world stage - how to make that success sustainable.  

But local administrators are adamant that further international glory - maybe even World Cup victory - is only a matter of time.

The real first test of this belief comes this week, when Tonga's Auckland-based U16 and U18 age group teams contest the Pasifika Youth Cup tournament, hosted by the New Zealand Warriors and New Zealand Maori Rugby League.

Tonga's PM out of hospital and 'in good health'

'Akilisi Pohiva had been in the local Intensive Care Unit since the 5th of January and was unable to attend the opening of Parliament six days later.

However, the prime minister did make a brief appearance at the swearing of MPs on 18 January but was accompanied by a doctor and left early.

The Prime Minister's Office said Mr Pohiva was discharged over the weekend and contrary to local media reports he was not suffering from cancer.

It is the first official statement on the prime minister's health since he was admitted to hospital.


King advises MPs of their role

That is, they should read and clearly understand the laws, Constitution and the House’s Rules and Standing Orders.

The Number 3 Noble Representative, Lord Vaha’i conveyed the King’s message to Parliament when it was in session.

Lord Vaha’i said the King warmly welcomed himself and Tongatapu 5 MP, Losaline Ma’asi during their audience last Friday.

In addition, Ma’asi said the King Tupou VI advised MPs they should read and understand the law, Constitution, Bills or the Houses’ Rules and Standing Orders before engaging in Parliament’s discussion.

Internal Affairs Ministry embarks on improving services

Minister of Internal Affairs ‘Akosita Lavulavu told Kaniva News her Ministry would help town reunions because the strong participation of members who lived overseas would help generate sources of income for their community development.

Annual sporting tournaments including football and netball were planned for each town and island.

Revealing details of the Ministry’s 100-day plan, Lavulavu said it included an effort to improve its reputation after it was the subject of the second highest number of public complaints to the Ombudsman.

Tonga King makes 2 more ministerial appointments

The confirmation came after the Prime Minister had an audience with His Majesty King Tupou VI on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister “recommended” himself to the king to be appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Lord Ma’afu to become Minister of His Majesty’s Armed Forces.

The meeting was called after what appeared to be a clash between the power of the Prime Minister to nominate “all his cabinet ministers” and the power of the king as Commander-in-Chief of the forces on land and sea to appoint “all officers” at His Majesty’s Armed Forces, emerged.

UK urges Tonga to sign human rights treaties

In a statement issued to coincide with the United Nations’ review of Tonga’s human rights record, the UK encouraged Tonga to establish a National Human Rights Institution in compliance with the Paris Principles.

It said Tonga should take the following steps:

Tonga PM returns to hospital after Cabinet Ministers swearing in ceremony

It is understood his doctor accompanied him to Parliament.

Pōhiva missed the first sitting of Parliament last week because he was in intensive care.

No details about his illness have been released.

During yesterday morning’s sitting Ha’apai MP Veivosa Taka was re-appointed as the Whole House Committee Chair.

Tongatapu MP Losaline Mā’asi and Noble’s Representative Lord Vaha’i were assigned to submit the House’s response to the King’s message from the throne.