Tonga Parliament approves reply to King’s state opening address

Lord Speaker Fakafanua also nominated the Deputy Speaker, Lord Tu’ilakepa and the Whole House Committee Chair, Veivosa Taka to deliver the reply and have an audience with the King.

Most of Wednesday’s parliamentary debate was not broadcast live. This follows a direction from the Lord Speaker to allow an open and in-house discussion of reply to the King’s state opening address.

Meanwhile, Parliament is adjourned until Monday, May 10th for the discussion of the national budget.


Tonga govt sets aside $US48m for further Gita recovery

Kaniva reported the money is set to be spent over the next three years.

The Finance Minister Pohiva Tu'ionetoa said the money is part of a total allocation of $US295.3 million which includes $US81m in donations.

Mr Tu'ionetoa said the budget had been created based on the idea that the recovery process after the cyclone would be pushed until it was at an acceptable level.


NZ Pacific MP upset at airing of Jonah from Tonga

Minister for Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro has criticised the decision by the network to air the show, saying it perpetuated negative stereotypes of Pacific people.

Ms Sepuloni agreed, saying it reinforced crude stereotypes of the Tongan community.

She said the TV series was not something a Pacific family could sit down together and watch.

Children refuse to bail out dad accused of sexually abusing 5 and 10 yo

Koniseti ‘Akau’ola who is apparently in his 70s told Magistrate Folau Lokotui on November 21 he could not afford to hire a lawyer to represent him in court.

According to Kaniva News, Lokotui said the offence he committed against the children was extremely bad.

He said ‘Akau’ola should ask his children to hire him a lawyer.

Tonga has no legal aid system  for those who were unable to afford legal representation and access to the court system.

The widower said he has four children and they had visited him regularly while he was in jail.