Tonga repatriated passengers test negative for Covid-19

There were 98 travelers from New Zealand, 16 from Fiji and a flight attendant, who was on the Lulutai Airlines flight.

They will be quarantined for 21-days at the managed facilities.

MEIDECC CEO Paula Ma’u said the repatriees will be released to go home once tested negative on the 21st day of quarantine.

“Now all 21-days will be carried out at quarantine, there will be no more home isolation."

“This is extra measure for the outbreak of Covid-19 variants already in Australia and New Zealand and to strengthen monitoring.”

Tonga joins Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

The occasion was marked with a flag ceremony at the AIIB heaadquarters, with the presiding presence of the President of the AIIB Jin Liqun, Vice President Right Sir Danny Alexander, Vice President D.J Pandian and Senior Officials from the AIIB.

A statement said the AIIB has also appointed the Tevita Lavemaau, the Minister of Finance of the Government of Tonga, as the Governor representing Tonga to AIIB.

Labour mobility policy launched in Tonga

The policy, which was endorsed by cabinet in 2020, aims to maximise the ability of workers to move overseas to get jobs.

Thousands of Tongans are employed in labour mobility schemes in New Zealand and Australia in horticulture, meat processing, construction, tourism and hospitality.

Tonga's Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa said his country benefitted greatly from labour mobility.

The greatest benefit, he said, was in providing employment opportunities for the unemployed and the poor so that they could improve their standards of living.

Tongans to be repatriated

Tonga's head of government communication said a flight from New Zealand was scheduled to arrive tomorrow with passengers including stranded Tongans and seasonal workers.

Paula Ma'u said a separate flight tomorrow to Fiji would repatriate consultants working on a Tonga Renewable Energy Project, along with students and passengers from Fiji.

Meanwhile, a repatriation flight from Australia with 120 passengers is being planned for next Thursday.



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Tonga passes on latest Recognised Seasonal Employer intake in NZ

In November, Business Central welcomed the government's decision to allow an extra 2,000 experienced seasonal workers into New Zealand in from January to mid-March this year.

Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Fiji have confirmed their participation in the horticulture and viticulture seasonal work.

However, Tonga has had to pass on the opportunity because they are unable to meet certain criteria of the new programme, which includes a guaranteed return flight home at the end of the season.

Covid crisis creates new wave of self-reliance for Tonga

Covid-related travel restrictions, and increasing prices of imports, have created new challenges, on top of destructive weather events, such as tropical cyclones which can sweep over the archipelago, destroying crops and infrastructure.

UN-supported projects are encouraging the inhabitants of Tonga’s 36 inhabited islands to return to rural areas and grow food, reducing their dependence on imported products, and boost the local economy.

TC Ana could impact Tonga by late today

According to the Fua’amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre, Tropical  Cyclone Ana (Category 2) was located 565km West of Nuku’alofa at 7am today (local time).

TC Ana is moving South Southeast at about 10 knots (20km/hr).

The maximum winds near its centre is about 60 knots (120km/hr) with momentary gust of up to 80 knots (160km/hr).

The FTCWC said on its current track, the cyclone could bring destructive storm force winds to Tele-ki-Tonga and Tele-ki-Tokelau and damaging gale force winds to Haapai, Tongatapu and Eua groups by late today or early Tuesday.

Tonga Met monitors TC Ana

Tropical Cyclone Ana has slowed down and it is moving South Southeast at about 7 knots (14km/hr).

The maximum winds near its center are about 60 knots (120km/hr) with momentary gusts of up to 80 knots (160km/hr) at times.

On its current track, it could bring a storm force wind to Tele-ki-Tonga and Tele-ki-Tokelau and damaging gale force winds to Haapai, Tongatapu and Eua groups by late Monday or early Tuesday.

Associated strong winds, cloudy conditions with periods of heavy rain and thunderstorm continues to affect Tonga.


Injured turtle ‘Sam’ recuperates well in special tank in Tonga

The turtle which has been named ‘Sam’ is recuperating in a special seawater tank at the Fisheries Department in Sopu.  

  The Department of Environment’s Communications Officer, Iliesa Tora said ‘Sam’ responded quickly and started swimming in the tank.  

‘Sam’ will remain in the tank for a few days to get used to fresh seawater before being released.

More than 20 turtles were rescued from the lake after the public expressed concern about the state of the lake.

Police investigate Tonga boat disaster which claimed life of a woman

Seventeen other people who were on board were rescued and taken to hospital.

The deceased has been identified as 63-year-old Pilima Langi of Faleloa.

Langi was travelling from Ha’ano to Faleloa when the ferry capsized in rough seas on Wednesday afternoon.

The other occupants were released from hospital.


Photo source Facebook Caption: Pilima Langi