Tonga Government

Tonga's PSA calls for the Secretary to Government to be sacked

She said Mr Cocker breached the Public Service Act by appearing in a formal role at what she says amounted to a political rally - the launch of the PAK's platform for the November elections.

But Mr Cocker denies the claim and said he is taking legal action against the PSA and Ms Amanaki.

He said the event in Vava'u involved the launch of the government's corporate plan, was not a political event and that he is not affiliated with any political party.

     

Tongans stuck in Fiji due to COVID travel restrictions assisted by government

The group travelled from the United States to Fiji to return to the kingdom.

However, travel restrictions imposed as a result of the outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in Fiji meant the group cannot travel onwards to Tonga.

Tonga’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Reynold 'Ofanoa said there had been discussions to fly the passengers to New Zealand and then to Tonga.

However, that arrangement is now on hold as New Zealand battles with an outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Tongan PM's defence of convicted minister under spotlight

The minister for infrastructure and tourism 'Akosita Lavulavu was earlier this month convicted of three counts of fraud alongside her husband 'Etuate Lavulavu.

The charges date back to 2016 when the couple falsified student documents in order to gain access to $US250,000 in government grant funding for a school they ran privately.

"This is an example of the worst sort of dishonesty," remarked Justice NJ Cooper in his verdict.

Tonga Govt to implement new income tax rates

The rates are being introduced to support people during the current economic situation due to prolonged Covid-19 and its negative impact on the economy.

There will be no income tax rate charged for individuals earning $12,000 and less.

An income tax rate of 10% will be charged to people who are earning in the range of $12,001 to $30,000.

Individuals who are earning from $50,001 to $70000 will be charged with a 20% income tax rate.

A new tax rate of 25% will be implemented for people earning $70001 and more.

     

27 people in Tonga breached home quarantine rules

The government has extended the managed quarantine period from 14 days and seven days home isolation to 21 days with no home isolation.

Previously the third week of mandatory quarantine had been isolation at home

However local media reports that a total of 27 people breached home quarantine rules.

Minister for Health Dr 'Amelia Tu'ipulotu said a quarantine report on passengers found that during the seven days of home quarantine, 16 people left their homes.

Furthermore, seven people received visitors, and four people held gatherings.

Tongan students encouraged to apply for 2021 Government scholarships

The scholarships are offered to individuals to undertake tertiary studies locally at the University of the South Pacific-Tonga Campus.

A government release said the National Scholarship Committee has allocated funds to support privately-funded students who are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Tonga Government completes construction of 27 houses since TC Harold

Prime Minister, Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa said when the government came into office in October last year, not one house was rebuilt after Cyclone Gita which hit the country in 2018.

“Twenty-seven houses have been built. We are also planning for another 100 houses to be built in December 2020,” he said in Parliament on Monday.

He added the construction was faster because they had brought in new contractors, because in the past there were only six companies, building the houses, school buildings, and wharfs.

Six families receive homes built under Tonga Government’s Cyclone Gita Recovery Project

The houses were constructed under the Government’s Cyclone Gita Recovery Project.

Cyclone Gita caused widespread damage and loss to homes throughout Tongatapu and ‘Eua, in February 2018.

The six families are Tevita Moala of Tatakamotonga, Sione Keti of Lavengatonga, ‘Akimoana Kaufana of Ngele’ia, Sione Fine of ‘Anana, Siaosi ‘Amanoni of Ngele’ia, and ‘Isileli Vaea of ‘Eua.

Five of the new houses are located in Tongatapu, and one in ‘Eua.

Tonga holds public consultations on proposed new traffic legislation

The legislation would make wearing seat belts, in the front seats, compulsory and outlaw the use of phones while driving.

Kaniva Tonga reports that heavily tinted front windows in vehicles would also be banned.

If passed the new legislation would also allow visitors who hold either a New Zealand, Australian or United States driver's licence to drive in the kingdom.

It also points to plans for Tonga's first set of traffic lights and the likelihood of heavy traffic being banned from some streets in central Nuku'alofa.

     

Tongan govt sacks Shared Communication Boards chair

The decision to sack Piveni Piukala was made by Cabinet last Friday, reports Kaniva Tonga News.

A government statement said the grounds for termination included incompetence, acting in bad faith, and failure to follow due process in appointing the chief executive of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission, or TBC.

On Wednesday, the TBC reported the termination followed Mr Piukala's decision to decline a request from the prime minister to suspend three TBC staff members and to investigate them for alleged misconduct.