Tonga

Vava'u candidate says Tongans happy with power structure

Samiu Vaipulu, who served as deputy prime minister between 2010 and 2014, is seeking re-election as a Vava'u representative.

The elections on November the 16th come a year early because of the royal dissolution of parliament, which occurred over allegations the government was acting unconstitutionally and trying to gather power for itself.

RNZI reports during last month's national dialogue on democracy there was discussion about who holds authority and power.

Six arrests in Otara brawl involving 200 people ahead of rugby league showdown

The brawl came after days of heightened tension between Samoan and Tongan rugby league fans, ahead of their second round World Cup clash in Hamilton on Saturday.

Police say a crowd of up to 200 Samoan and Tongan fans gathered in a carpark near the Manukau Institute of Technology in Otara last night.

"It was major disorder", said Superintendent Sandra Manderson, the police national commander for major sporting events.

"Some people in the crowd were carrying poles and sticks... I believe there was also a machete taken off someone."

Tonga not underestimating Samoa ahead of weekend clash

Samoa lost 38 - 8 to the Kiwis last weekend, while Tonga thrashed Scotland 50 - 4.

New South Wales hard-man Andrew Fifita says they're definitely not underestimating Toa Samoa.

"They're pretty packed. They're a good strong team and that's going to really challenge us," he says. "In saying that, we'll be ready for it and we can't wait for Saturday."

Former Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei says although Tonga won their last game convincingly, they know Samoa won't back down.

Pacific league teams tweak line-ups for Round 2

Solomone Kata comes in for Konrad Hurrell in the centres, alongside three-try hero Michael Jennings, while David Fusitu'a replaces former Warriors teammate Manu Vatuvei on the wing.

Samoa have been forced into a change for the Pool B showdown in Hamilton, with Ricky Leutele named on the wing in place of Peter Mata'utia, who's returned to Australia with a quad injury.

The other change is up front with Herman Ese'ese promoted to start in the front row and Sam Lisone dropping to the bench.

Tonga squad:

NZ govt calls for calm among Pasifika sports fans

There have also been angry social media exchanges between fans and pictures of various flags being burnt.

Jenny Salesa said rugby league was a game they all enjoy and people could celebrate in a way which is respectful and where everyone is safe and people are acting within the laws.

Mrs Salesa urged the Pacific community to come together in peace and unity, and to celebrate the pedigree of sporting talent the two Pacific nations possess.

Aupito William Sio said the community should be celebrating their league prowess and not throwing punches.

Tonga to hold first tsunami drill on Friday

The drill will span the entire country sometime between 9am and 3pm local time.

Authorities said the element of surprise would be maintained in order to carry out the evacuation exercise as close to a real event as possible.

An alert warning will be sent out by local Meteorological Services for a magnitude nine earthquake centred at the Tonga Trench, which is expected to produce a series of tsunamis.

Tonga holds disaster relief workshop ahead of cyclone season

The workshop, Exercise Ready Assist focused on developing a strong regional network of key humanitarian assistance and disaster relief practitioners, including regional civilian, military and police representatives.

Over 40 representatives from 15 countries got together last week for the Exercise Ready Assist to enhance regional approaches to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief responses ahead of 2017/2018 cyclone season.

The exercise is a key outcome of the South Pacific Defense Minister’s meeting held in April this year.

Tonga refocus for Pacific showdown

Among the best performers in Week 1, Tonga ran in nine tries in sweltering conditions in Cairns and added to the growing expectation that they could become the most successful tier-two nation in World Cup history. 

But ahead of Saturday night's clash with Samoa in Hamilton, Tonga captain Sika Manu told NRL.com it was vital his side cleared the Scotland result from their minds. 

"It's really important we come down from last week. It was such an emotional game, we just need to settle down and remember that we have got a game this week," Manu said.

Private solar power farm set up in Tonga

The Pacific Community's Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency is overseeing the commission in Tonga solar g of the two megawatt power station.

The centre's manager Solomone Fifita said the agency's role was to foster renewable power developments by involving the private sector.

He said they were delighted by this first private development.

"For the PCREEE and its mission we are really heartened and encouraged by that arrangement and we are hoping that similar arrangements can also take place in other Pacific Island countries."

Election billboard attacks in Tonga spark outrage online

Some people have accused the vandals of having nothing better to do, while others speculated the attacks were politically motivated.

A full length hoarding that stretched across Vuna Road was pulled down.

It was advertising Tongatapu 3 candidate Katalina Tohi, who supports caretaker Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva.

The hoarding was installed close to Princess Pilolevu Tuita’s residence in Fasimoeafi.

Unconfirmed reports say the structure was removed because it was not safe for traffic.