New Zealand

New Zealand High Commissioner presents credentials to King Tupou VI

High Commissioner Howell was accompanied by his partner Jenny McGregor.

He said, “It was an honour to meet His Majesty King Tupou VI, and to discuss some of the many  profound connections between our countries. I am excited to be here, and I am looking forward to continuing Aotearoa New Zealand’s partnership with the Kingdom of Tonga.”

England romp home in third test to complete series sweep

Bairstow, whose batting heroics was key to ensuring England won the second test, picked up where he left off from Trent Bridge as he brought up his half century in 30 balls and then took England to victory on the last day with an unbeaten 71, finishing it off with a six.

A 111-run partnership with Joe Root, who was 86 not out, saw England reach the competitive victory target of 296 as they completed their first clean sweep of a home series in over a decade.

Good Samaritans clean up litter left after fans flood Ōtāhuhu streets following Kiwi-MMT clash

The Kiwis beat Tonga 26-6.

Kaniva News reports the Ōtāhuhu Crime Prevention Facebook community page had posted several photos from the scene early this morning.

The photos triggered a public outcry with many describing it as “embarrassing” and “filthy”.

Some commenters on the posts accused some of the Mate Ma’a Tonga supporters saying people have to learn how to celebrate and keep the environments clean.

However, some patriotic Tongans and die hard Mate Ma’a Tonga supporters quickly jumped into action and a clean-up operation started.

Total number of cases in NZ tops 1.3m, with 4429 new community cases today

The new cases today bring the total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand to 1,301,319.

In today's statement, the Ministry of Health said there were 332 people in hospital with Covid-19, including seven in ICU.

A further six deaths of people with the coronavirus have also been reported today, bringing the total death toll to 1461.

One person was in their 50s, one in their 60s, two in their 70s, and two aged over 90. Five were male and one was female. Three were from the Auckland region, two were from Canterbury, and one was from Waikato.

League tests between New Zealand and Tonga sold out

The women’s test between the Kiwi Ferns and Tonga and the men’s clash between the Kiwis and Mate Ma’a Tonga will attract more than 26,000 fans in Auckland.

New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) confirmed on Friday that the occasion marking the return of international league to New Zealand for the first time in nearly two years would be sold out.

Tongans have packed out stadiums with oceans of red since Mate Ma’a’s run to the semifinals of the 2017 World Cup which included their first win over the Kiwis in Hamilton in the pool stages.

Sitiveni Rabuka campaigning in Aotearoa New Zealand

Rabuka has been the central figure in Fijian politics since 1987 - as the nation's first coup maker, a former prime minister, most recently the leader of opposition, and now a reformed Christian and politician, and the leader of the People's Alliance Party.

The former military strongman has positioned himself as the chief rival of the country's incumbent prime minister Frank Bainimarama - a former military commander and coup leader himself - as Fijians prepare to head to the polls at some stage later this year.

Mate Ma'a Tonga to field nine uncapped players in clash with Kiwis

Most of the team have played no more than one game for Tonga, with big names such as Andrew Fifita and Tevita Pangai Jnr watching from the side-line while Joe Ofahengaue sits in reserve.

The line-up is young with three teenagers in the mix, 19-year-olds Will Penisini, and Toluta'u Koula, along with 18-year-old reserve Isaiya Katoa. Despite the inexperience, Mate Ma'a Tonga Coach Michael Maguire said the players are being well prepped by the leading members of the team.

Mate Ma'a Tonga to perform special chant before match against Kiwis

Ko E Fetu’u’esiafi, the name of the chant, was given to the Tongan women's rugby league team back in 2008 by The Princess Royal, Salote Mafile’o Pilolevu Tuita. 

The name representing fire-carrying or shooting stars is an attribute the team hope to bring to this weekend's match against the three-time world champs.

Labour MP, Anahila Kanongata'a Suisuiki, the composer, says it’s now up to the ladies to perform. 

“We needed to compose something brand new to fit the new name that the team has been bestowed upon,” says Suisuiki. 

We want to lift the spirits of the Kingdom says Mate Ma'a Tonga captain

Huge crowds gathered at the community event at the Otahuhu Rovers Rugby League Stadium to watch the Men and Women's Kiwis and Tonga teams take the stage ahead of their test games on Saturday.

Both the men's and women's teams made a joint public appearance before the crowds.

The passionate crowds predominately made up of Tongan fans, sang church hymns and waved flags.

Mate Ma'a Tonga Captain Sio Siua Taukeiaho said the event is a welcome relief for many Tongans traumatised by January's volcanic eruption that devastated Tonga.

Mate Ma'a Tonga players arrive in New Zealand

A small crowd of Tongan supporters greeted the team at Auckland Airport which included Labour MP Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki.

Crowds have been reduced due to covid restrictions.

The team will greet the public and media at a joint gathering at Otahuhu Leopards Rugby League Club on Wednesday.