Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva

Tonga declares public holiday for PM Pohiva's state funeral

Akilisi Pohiva, who died in Auckland on Thursday after being hospitalised with pneumonia, had been the longest serving MP in Tonga and Prime Minister since 2014.

Family services have already begun in Auckland with a public and official memorial service held at the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga in Mangere Sunday night.

Mr Pohiva will be repatriated to Tonga on Tuesday via a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft and will lie-in-state at the St George Building in Nuku'alofa as various church and community groups pay their respects.

Tonga PM unfazed by petition calling for his removal

Speaking at the opening of the 5th Pacific Media Summit in Nuku’alofa Tuesday, Pohiva said political opponents were behind the move which was supported by some members of the media.

“I have no problem with that,” Pohiva said.

“It is all part and parcel of democracy in the kingdom.”

Despite a report of Tonga’s international press freedom ranking with Reporters Without Borders dropping by two places, Pohiva maintains the government is committed to the freedom of the media even in a digitised world.

Chamber: Tonga PM misinformed on business failure

This week the Prime Minister told Parliament high interest rates are discouraging people from borrowing which is contributing to the closure of businesses.

But the president of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce, John Paul Chapman, says the Prime Minister has been misinformed.

Lord Tu'ilakepa challenges government "overspending"

The Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva responded to Lord Tu’ilakepa’s revelation by saying that he would do something about the salary of his media adviser.

However, he told the House that the paying of extremely high salary to advisers has been carried out before in the Prime Minister’s Office. He said that during 2012-13, an adviser in the PM’s Office was paid more than $468,000 (US$220,474) per annum. It was later reduced to more than $364,000 (US$171,480). “It is not new,” he said.