Tonga

Tonga renews Covid-19 State of Emergency

The extension was signed by Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa.

The last declaration expired yesterday (Monday).

Although Tonga has not recorded any Covid-19 case since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, the virus remains a threat to the kingdom because of cases reported in countries nearby.

Tonga’s neighbours Australia, New Zealand and Fiji have active Covid-19 cases.

 

Photo file  Caption: Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa

     

Tonga needs MPs who will treat drug crisis as priority - lawyer

Tonga goes to elections on 18th November with 74 candidates registered.

Sione Fonua, who was to stand in Tongatapu 2, says he withdrew to make it easier for a new candidate to come through.

Figures indicate the drug problem is going from bad to worse, with more than half the activity in the country's courts involving drug offences.

Mr Fonua says the current parliamentary line up is not treating the drug problem as a priority.

Father in court over son’s death in Tongatapu

Local news media report that seven-year-old Alifeleti Peneti Jnr Vailea died after falling from a moving vehicle on 2 October.

Alifeleti was sitting at the back of the vehicle with his twin brother when the incident occurred.

Va’ati Vailea, 36, who was driving the vehicle, was charged with criminal negligence causing death.

However, police reportedly said they were considering dropping the case due to the nature of the incident.

The family have lamented their loss on Facebook.

Wallabies great Toutai Kefu reveals scary details about home invasion

The 47-year-old, was at home in the early hours of August 16 when three people broke into his family home in Coorparoo, Brisbane. 

Police charged four teenage boys with attempted murder and other offences, alleging they carried out the attack with an axe, a knife and a machete injuring Kefu's wife, son and daughter.

"There was blood everywhere at this stage, it was unbelievable," Kefu told the Please Explain podcast this week. "The police that came in could not believe the crime scene."

Tonga Government approves Lupepau’u Airport development

A statement said Tongan nationals will benefit from the project – boosting tourism, air freight capacity, employment and renewable energy infrastructure.

The project commences with an initial due diligence and feasibility study in November 2021 with redevelopment completion in 2024.

Tongans urged to register and vote

Supervisor of Elections Pita Vuki made the call at a media workshop on Monday this week.

“People should know that they have the opportunity to elect their reps and government at the election and they should exercise that right by voting,” Vuki told media reps at the pre-election workshop.

“That is a critical point for people to understand.”

He said those who are now 21 years old but have not registered to vote can still register now, with the Supplementary Roll containing additional names scheduled to be published on 04 November.

Tonga's huge Vava'u project to be foreign funded

The company, Raw Mana, has announced plans to lengthen the runway of Lupepau'u Airport in Vava'u, to allow large aircraft to fly in, direct to the hub of Tongan tourism.

The company is also planning to upgrade the terminal and build a renewable energy power station to supply the electricity the expanded complex will need.

RNZ Pacific correspondent, Kalafi Moala, has spoken with one of the principals in Raw Mana, but he said it remains a mystery where the money will come from.

Australia set to benefit from $167m Tongan airport development

The new development will allow Aussie tourists to fly direct to Tonga’s main tourism hub Vavaʻu for the first time as well as expanding trade access for a wider range of goods and services. Australia is Tonga’s second largest tourism market, making up a fifth (19%) of visitor numbers.

Australia is also a key export market for Tonga with two-way trade between the countries valued at AUD$21 million per annum.

Petroleum prices increase in Tonga

Wholesale petrol, kerosene and diesel prices have increased by 3.88 seniti/litre, 8.69 seniti/litre and 9.62 seniti/litre respectively. All price changes include consumption tax. 

Retail petrol, kerosene and diesel prices on Tongatapu are $3.01 per litre, $2.07 per litre, and $2.94 per litre respectively.

The increase in prices was approved by the Tonga Competent Authority.

According to the TCA, the new prices are the maximum prices allowable for petrol, kerosene and diesel. The authority said the price increase is due to an increase in overseas pricing.

Tonga repatriation from Christchurch planned for 27 October

CEO for MEIDECC, Paula Ma’u said that this will be a direct flight to Tonga with about 300 passengers.

The majority of the passengers are seasonal workers (RSE) from the South Island. Some are Tonga's Olympians and officials and others, he said.

Meanwhile, repatriation flights from Auckland have been deferred until further notice, due to the COVID-19 community transmission in the region.

The last repatriation flight from New Zealand to Tonga was in July

 

Photo file  Caption: Fua'amotu International Airport