Pacific leaders pay tribute to Tonga’s Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva

Tributes have begun pouring in for Tonga’s Prime Minister,’Akilisi Pohiva who died in Auckland, New Zealand today.

Pacific leaders took to social media to express their condolences to the people of the Kingdom of Tonga and Mr Pohiva’s family,

The President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jnr shared a tweet on Twitter.

“On behalf of the People and Government of Palau, our sincere condolences to the People and Government of Tonga for the passing of The Honorable Prime Minister Pohiva,” Remengesau said.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said he was “terribly saddened to hear of the passing of Tongan Prime Minister, the Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva.”

“He was a passionate advocate for his people, for his beloved Tonga & our Pacific family. Jenny & I send our condolences to his family, as well as the Government and the people of Tonga,” Morrison said on Twitter.

Fiji’s Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama said,” I mourn the passing of Tongan PM ʻAkilisi Pōhiva, who inspired the world with raw emotion at last month's Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu (which, despite his health, he attended in recognition of the urgency of climate action). We must honour his legacy by continuing this fight.”

Jenny Salesa, New Zealand’s Minister for Building & Construction; Minister for Ethnic Communities, said,” RIP & my sincerest condolences to Rt Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s family as well as to the Kingdom of Tonga. Such a tremendous loss for all of us Tongans. ‘Ofa moe lotu mei Uelingatoni, Falealea ‘o Nu’usila, (love and prayers from Wellington Parliament).”

Senator for South Australia and Minister for Families and Social Services, Anne Ruston said,” Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva was a statesman who served his community since 1987. My condolences and prayers are with his loved ones and the entire Tongan community.”

Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific. Assistant Defence Minister, Alex Hawke said,” very sad to hear today of the passing of Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva, a long-serving and highly respected Pacific leader. It was a privilege to spend time with him recently in Tuvalu and learn from his wisdom about issues important to the Pacific.”

Marise Payne, Australia’s Foreign Minister and Minister for Women said, “saddened to hear of the passing of Prime Minister of Tonga ‘Akilisi Pohiva. He was a respected leader in the Pacific, and a good friend to Australia. My deepest condolences to his family and the people of the Kingdom of Tonga.”

Mr Pohiva was medically evacuated from Tonga to Auckland Wednesday afternoon.

He has had been admitted at Vaiola Hospital for the past two weeks.

Mr Pohiva was 78-years-old.


Photo file Caption: Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva (left) with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison at the 2019 Forum Leaders meeting in Tuvalu 



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