Tonga’s King and Queen in 'Eua for Christmas

The King and Queen will be joined by their only daughter Princess Angelika Latufuipeka Tuku’aho.

Their Majesties, who are residing at the Heilala Tangitangi Royal Residence, left the capital for the outer island earlier last week.

Princess Latufuipeka is Tonga’s High Commissioner to Australia based in Canberra.

This is the first time she has been home for the holidays, since the COVID-19 pandemic closed international borders.

Meanwhile, Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala and Crown Princess Sinaitakala and their children are spending the holidays abroad.

Lockdown extended to Niuas and Eua

The Government issued a public notice, announcing restrictions which include a midnight to 5am curfew, two metre social distancing rules, and restrictions on funeral gatherings.

The lockdown is in effect until 9 May.

There are currently no Covid transmissions on Niuafo'ou, Niuatoputapu and 'Eua, according to the latest Covid update from the Ministry of Health.

As of Sunday, there were a total of 1,759 active cases and 113 new cases, a significant decline in Covid numbers from last week. 

The official death toll remains at nine.


Eua Island: The Tongan island tackling climate change

But all is not peaceful on the tiny island, which is part of the archipelago of 172 coral and volcanic islands which make up Tonga.

Not only is it crippled by unemployment, but the vital resources and ecosystems which Eua depends on are under increasing pressure due to climate change.

However, the simple act of carving wood may be an answer to the problem.

Handmade canoes

Locals on the island are learning to carve out canoes and the benefits are manifold.

Tonga launches new military facility in Eua

King, Tupou VI commissioned the Fangatā Military Camp of His Majesty's Armed Forces.

King Tupou VI toured the new facility with Queen Nanasipau’u during the commissioning on Tuesday.

The facility was constructed under a Defence Cooperation Programme between the governments of Tonga and Australia.

Australia's High Commissioner, Adrian Morrison said this was another milestone in Australia and Tonga's relationship.

‘Eua prepares to bring Sport to Life

Fifteen volunteers attended the Sport to Life training for the 13-18-Year Just Play Programme, held at Mata’aho Community Hall and conducted by Tonga Just Play Master Instructor, Lafaele Moala.

The Sport 2 Life component focuses on coaches and guiding them to facilitate positive outcomes by helping players to develop the skills to make consistent, long-term, healthy lifestyle choices on and off the field of play.

Mosa’ati Ma’u, President of ‘Eua Football Association, praised the programme and its impact during his opening remarks.

Tonga’s newly re-furbished Malau Community Hall opens in Eua

The Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa and Japanese Ambassador Tetsuya Ishii commissioned the building, with the Minister of Finance and 'Eua People's Representative, Tevita Lavemaau present.

Ambassador Ishii said the successful completion of re-building the community hall was a joint collaboration funded by the people of Japan through the Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects and also by Tonga’s Government, the 'Eua community and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Another partner was MORDI Tonga.

Digicel joins Cyclone Relief on Éua Island

The team paid a visit to twenty key customers whose homes were damaged or destroyed during Tropical Cyclone Harold on 9th April.

The Cyclone also resulted in the destruction of Digicel Tonga's Éua Retail Store which was located at Ofeina Building on Ohonua near Éua's main wharf. 

In the visit to these twenty families, a sigh of relief and appreciation was extended to Digicel for the assistance and support during this time. 

Wharves and coastal roads in Tonga need repairing after Cyclone Harold

When the severe cyclone hit, it coincided with a king tide, which caused considerable coastal damage.

The chief executive of the National Emergency Management Office, Paula Ma'u, said on 'Eua this wrecked a number of houses and offices and also eroded a graveyard.

He said some of the bodies had been recovered but others had been swept out to sea.

Mr Ma'u said people whose homes were inundated on 'Eua and also around Tongatapu's Fanga'uta Lagoon, had been rehoused in tents and supplied with kitchen equipment.

Tonga Red Cross distributes relief items to more than 100 households in Eua

This is part of their response to the destruction caused by Tropical Cyclone Harold.

In a latest statement, the organization expressed appreciation for their volunteers who put in the extra effort to make the distributions successful.

The First Aid Bystanders in Eua Island have successfully helped transfer patients case to the Navy boat to be taken to Tongatapu, since the wharf at Eua has been damaged by TC Harold.

Tonga police seize 108 cannabis plants in drug raid

No one has been arrested in relation to this seizure.

The drug raid took place on Wednesday, 23 October.

Tonga police are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the area recently or has any other information valuable to contact them.

Following the seizure the Drug Enforcement Taskforce arrested a 23-year-old man from Fahefa on Saturday 26 October for drug-related offence.

According to police, 6.62 grams of cannabis was allegedly seized from the accused’s vehicle following a road accident.