“People of the canoe” issue new climate declaration

“The Pacific Ocean is a vital regulator of climate for the whole world and needs a voice.  We, the Polynesian Leaders Group, are the voice for the Pacific Ocean, and wish to carry our strategic vision to deal with the adverse effects of climate change by limiting global warming below 1.5 (degrees Celsius) and having access to tools and means to adapt to the adverse impacts caused by climate change.”

Three Tongans seminarians sent back home

The students at the Roman Catholic Pacific Regional Seminary were sent home at the end of the last semester.

This is the second time in two years that three Tongan seminarians have been sent home.

Sources close to the Catholic Diocese of Tonga say that the head of the church in the kingdom, Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, has been upset by the incident.

“He has called for an immediate review of preparations for candidates to the priesthood in the light of what has happened,” the source said.

Tonga not adequately resourced to respond to a tsunami

And, Tonga’s Director of Meteorology, Ofa Fa’anunu told the plenary at the Third Pacific Meteorological Council currently in session in Tonga that, “if an earthquake happens now in the Tongan Trench, it would take 15 to 20 minutes to arrive”.

New toolkit helps projects to end violence against women and girls

“It is a problem that affects all of our communities and our countries,” the Australian High Commissioner Brett Aldam said in launching a new information resource for women in Nuku’alofa on Saturday July 25.

A new toolkit, titled “How to design projects to end violence against women and girls”, is the first of its kind in the Pacific. It was developed by UN Women through its Pacific Regional Ending Violence against Women Facility Fund (Pacific Fund), with funding from the Australian Government.

Island nations ring changes for final round PNC match-ups

Manu Samoa coach Stephen Betham has made six changes to his starting side to face Canada in Toronto.

Viliamu Afatia, Iosefa Tekori and Faifili Levave get a start in the pack with local lad Faialaga Afamasaga getting a chance in the number 12 jersey.

The other two changes from the team that drew with Fiji is the return of Sinoti Sinoti and Ah See Tuala out wide.

Stephen Betham says this is the coaching team's final opportunity to test combinations and to give some players more game time.

Tonga on the rise in world rankings

The ‘Ikale Tahi ended a run of four successive defeats by Canada with a 28-18 success at Swanguard Stadium in Burnaby on Friday thanks to tries from scrum-half Sonatane Takulua (2) and replacement Otulea Katoa.

That win, allied to a 23-18 loss by Japan against their RWC 2015 Pool B opponents USA in Sacramento, sees Tonga climb one place to 12th and swap places with the Brave Blossoms in the rankings.

Tongan Finance Minister says Pacific Games construction to start in 2016

The Minister told Matangi Tonga on 23 July that he was optimistic that Tonga will be ready to host the 2019 Pacific Games.

However, the construction of venues and facilities has been delayed while the government has been looking for ways to raise more than $133 million pa’anga (US$62 million) required.

Under the 2015-16 National Budget passed by parliament in June, government proposed to raise money for the Pacific Games by increasing airport Departure Tax from $65 to $165 (US$30 – (US$77) and imposing a two seniti levy on foreign currency exchange transactions.

Nauru supports Nuku’alofa Declaration on Sustainable Weather and Climate

Minister Aaron Cook attended the first Ministerial meeting of Meteorology Ministers from the Pacific region in Nuku’alofa, hosted by the Government of Tonga last week.

“It is an honour for me to be speaking on the role of national meteorological and hydrological services and their contribution to our sustainable development.

“We do not have an established Meteorology Service in Nauru but it is a priority of our Government. Early this year, our Government approved the establishment of the Meteorology Service, said Minister Cook.

Tonga's Ma'afu in doubt for USA clash

The 33 year old took a knock to the shoulder during Tonga's come from behind 28-18 victory over Canada at the weekend.

Winger Fetu'u Vainikolo also came off in that game but Tonga Rugby's High Performance Manager, Peter Harding, says it was just a precaution and neither injury is serious.

Tonga fight back to win

Hooker Aaron Carpenter gave Canada the perfect start when he bulldozed his way over the line in only the third minute, Gordon McRorie adding the conversion and then kicking a penalty to make it 10-0 by the 12th minute.

Kurt Morath missed with his first effort but then opened Tonga’s account with a penalty in the 19th minute, but before long fly-half Liam Underwood broke through the ‘Ikale Tahi defence and offloaded to Carpenter for the hooker to score his first test try double.