Tonga

Junior Wallabies expecting 'angry' Tonga

Australia won its first clash, against Fiji, 51-5 but Tonga was on the end of a big 97-0 defeat against New Zealand, something Arnold said they’d want to avenge.

“We expect them to be quite angry after the last result,” he said.

“For us, it's probably about getting better at the things we're trying to do and being aware that we're going to come up against a big angry Tongan team.”

Arnold said he was happy with how the backs functioned in their first 2018 outing, but there was still lots to work on.

Tonga drops in press freedom rankings

Kaniva News reports Tonga is now listed as 51st out of 180 countries.

RSF said the re-election of Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva's party in 2017 was accompanied by growing tension between the government and journalists.

Mr Pohiva has had a tempestuous relationship with the kingdom's media and his constant clashes with the state-owned Tongan Broadcasting Commission have drawn particular attention.

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Oceania U20s perfect warm-up for World Championship

The Championship, now in its fourth year, will continue to provide key game time and preparation for both Australia and New Zealand ahead of World Rugby U20 Championship 2018 in France in just over a month’s time.

Fiji will also stand to gain invaluable on-field experience during the Championship ahead of their World Rugby U20 Trophy campaign later this year. Tonga complete the four-team line-up after replacing Samoa.

Tonga’s central bank assesses impact of Cyclone Gita on economy

According to the National Reserve Bank it will reduce financial growth in the short term, but will also boost foreign reserves.

The Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr. Sione Ngongo Kioa told the bank’s board of directors’ meeting earlier this month that domestic economic activities in February 2018 were affected by the devastation by tropical cyclone Gita.

Kioa said this would also be reflected in the economic activities of upcoming months.

90% road accidents in Tonga are alcohol-related

During the trial of Fakaola Mei Langi Tonga Tutoatasi Fakafanua, the court also heard that there has been an increase in drink driving cases.

Tutoatasi was fined $400 by the court today for driving under the influence of alcohol on Vuna Road in Ma’ufanga.

The court heard he his blood alcohol content was 450ml at the time he was driving.

Magistrate Salesi Mafi told the court that if a person has a blood alcohol content of over 250ml, he is liable to pay a fine of $200.

Drivers who are fined more than $500 are also forbidden from using their driver’s license.

Tobacco sales take a hit in Tonga

That's been the impact of new custom duties on imports of tobacco and other products stirring up the Pacific's non-communicable disease crisis.

PRN rpeorts a partnership between the Tongan Government and the World Bank aimed at fighting the food, alchohol and tobacco wars at the import level got its first regional update to Pacific heads of health in Nadi last week.

The Pacific Community's deputy director of public health, Sunia Soakai says the multi-sectoral partnership is aimed at giving Tongans more incentives to choose lower-duty healthy foods.

Tonga eases visas for Emiratis

Ahemd Alham Al Dhaheri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said that Emirati nationals holders of diplomatic, VIP, special mission and ordinary passports can travel to Tonga without prior visa arrangements, following a visa waiver Memorandum of Understanding signed by the governments of the two countries on April 23, 2018, following a joint committee meeting in Abu Dhabi.

Tonga govt wants an 'all-Tongan' Supreme Court

Justice minister Vuna Fa'otusia said there were currently two New Zealanders on the bench, one of whom was the chief justice.

Because of this, interpreters were used in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals to translate Tongan into English and vice versa, Mr Fa'otusia said.

His government was pushing for Tongans to be appointed at the end of the New Zealander's terms so that those translations would no longer be needed, he said.

Habitat helps home rebuild in Tonga

CEO Claire Szabo said a pilot project of eight homes in Tonga built by Habitat for Humanity came through the cyclone well with only minor cosmetic damage.

Ms Szabo claimed that the resilience of those homes and the agency's progress in repairing and constructing 500 homes in both Samoa and New Zealand as evidence of the programme's success.

According to her, teaching the families building and construction skills was a vital component in the rebuild.

PM’s Office clarifies Minister’s dismissal according to constitution

According to the Prime Minister’s Media Advisor, Lōpeti Senituli, Clause 51(2) of the Constitution gave Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva, the discretion to nominate and recommend whoever he wants to be Ministers in his Cabinet to His Majesty for appointment.

Senituli added that Clause 51(3)(a) also gave the Prime Minister the discretion to recommend to His Majesty that the appointment of such Ministers should be revoked.