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.

Tonga receive hero's welcome on arrival to Auckland

It was a sea of red and white on Monday night, in scenes reminiscent of the 2011 Rugby World Cup when Tongan fans brought the tournament to life.

One-Test Kiwi Tuimoala Lolohea - who recently commented he feels more pride playing for Tonga than New Zealand - said the moment the team walked through the arrival gate was overwhelming.

"All the fans showing up to show their support, it means a lot," Lolohea said.

"I'm kind of speechless at the moment. Very excited".

Tonga launched their tournament campaign in style on Sunday, thrashing Scotland 50-4 in Cairns.

Tonga awards toast business success

Celebrating Tonga Business Excellence on Thursday is a prelude to the Mate Ma'a Tonga's rugby league World Cup clash against Toa Samoa in Hamilton.

Spokesman Sione Taufa says the awards will showcase a new cohort of businesses thriving in a demanding environment.

"Many people see the different Tongan businesses that quite frankly a lot of us didn't really know existed," he says. "These are people that are doing quite well in such challenging environments."

PRN reports the event will be held at Auckland's Alexandra Park on Thursday night.



Pritchard yearns for Origin-like treatment for Pacific tests

This Saturday's clash between Samoa and Tonga is arguably the most anticipated clash of the World Cup pool stages with Tonga's strengthened line-up seeking to supplant Samoa as the leading challenger to the dominance of rugby league's Tier 1 nations.

While a Tonga team inspired by Jason Taumalolo and Michael Jennings brushed past Scotland 50-4 in their opening pool game Samoa wilted in the latter stages against New Zealand to go down 38-8 in Auckland, making their task to avoid a likely quarter-final showdown with the Kangaroos that much more difficult.

Tonga's Pohiva expected to retain parliamentary seat

'Akilisi Pohiva's tenure was cut short in August when the King dissolved parliament amid allegations the government had been acting unconstitutionally.

Mr Pohiva had been criticised for his leadership style but survived a motion of no-confidence.

Kalafi Moala, who runs the Taimi Media Network, said Mr Pohiva's constituency had the most candidates this election.

He said Mr Pohiva may still have enough support to return to parliament but not to the prime ministership.

Tonga tax-free policy aimed at alleviating poverty: Former Customs CEO

Kulufeinga ‘Anisi Bloomfield says only three percent of Tonga’s imported goods including alcohol and tobacco are taxed.

The tax-free policy was created to make imported goods available to Tongan customers at low prices, he said.

Bloomfield said he made changes to the Tongan government’s free-tax policies and removed taxes from a number of important goods including electrical equipment, community initiatives for students such as buses imported from overseas and equipment for fisheries.


Taumalolo runs riot in big Tonga win

The team that was the talk of the World Cup prior to the tournament kicked off due to the high-profile inclusions of Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita wasted no time to show that what is on paper will transfer to the field, Michael Jennings scoring the opening four-pointer of his first half hat-trick inside the first three minutes.

Tonga live up to hype with convincing win against Scotland

 Scotland was blown away by the might of Tonga’s compelling first outing, conceding 38 points in the first half as they were simply unable to cope with the constant vigour of the Mate Ma’a players.

The 9,216 fans were treated to a powerful pre-game war cry from Tonga, which followed an emotional rendition of their national anthem.

The entertainment ensued from the get-go as Scotland almost regained their own kick-off, sending players squaring off against each other just seconds into the game.

Tonga credentials on show against Scotland

Fifita and Taumalolo. They're the names that will be the focus after their landmark pre-tournament defections from Australia and New Zealand respectively.

The sheer athletic ability the two possess, coupled with the the unpredictable and somewhat underrated brilliance of Michael Jennings, mean that Tonga's first outing will be viewed as a building block for international rugby league. 

The two hulking forwards will be the driving forces for Tonga, enabling their formidable backline to unleash their attacking potency. 

Taumalolo ready to make on-field statement

In fact the 113kg enforcer wants to make a statement of his own in Cairns tomorrow.

Taumalolo has been public enemy No.1 in New Zealand after sensationally turning his back on the Kiwis to embrace his Tongan heritage.

New Zealand coach David Kidwell hasn't held back, accusing Taumalolo of cowardice for not telling him of the switch to his face.

Kidwell has also refused to guarantee the former Dally M Medallist will be welcomed back into the Kiwi side.