Digicel Tonga celebrates with families

The fun-filled day included face-painting, bouncy castles and live entertainment and could be summed up with one word - joy.

The fun photo booth proved to be the most popular as everyone wanted to have their picture taken with their family and friends to cherish the moment. 

Tonga Govt says committed to running Games

In a statement he says there has been confusion and doubt as to whether Tonga would go ahead with the event.

But the prime minister says while it is the utmost challenge for the government it will do its best to seek financial assistance from its donor and development partners.

Mr Pohiva says the government is convinced of the benefits of hosting the games, not only in upgrading venues but the benefits to the economy.

Banks prefer Pacific Games Tax to levy on foreign exchange in Tonga

The two commercial banks representatives were adamant in their opposition to the levy, which parliament has passed at the end of June. However, the King in Council has sent back the Foreign Exchange Levy Bill to parliament for further revision.

The levy is understood to mean that if the bank makes five seniti from every dollar that it exchanges, government is going to take two seniti.

'Ikale Tahi maintain winning run v Japan

The 'Ikale Tahi led 16-11 at halftime, despite skipper Nili Latu being sent to the sin-bin for infringing at the breakdown, and scored tries through Halani Aulika, Fetu Vainikolo and man of the match Sonatane Takalua, with Kurt Morath adding 16 points from the boot.

It was Tonga's third win in a row, and fourth in succession against Japan.

Tonga Rugby's High Performance Manager, Peter Harding, says the result was all the more satisfying as they were missing some key players.

MV Niuvakai stuck on a reef close to Vava’u

The acting Manager of FISA, the company that owns the vessel, Mosese Fakatou said the vessel will continue its normal shipping service until its next scheduled maintenance in Fiji next year.

An investigation will be carried out by the Marine and Ports Department to determine the extent of the damage to the vessel.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Infrastructure,  'Etuate Lavulavu told Radio Tonga News he was informed the officer in charge of the vessel was asleep when the incident happened.

Reporters ready to read Tonga’s Budget

“Parliamentary debates require us to be on top of it and budget times are even more demanding but it is great to know exactly where to look in the budget and to analyse so we can help explain it better to our audience,” says ‘Uluakimata Moala of Tonga Broadcasting Commission.

Jemima Garrett, ABC Radio Australia’s Pacific Economic and Business reporter who is leading the training told the 13 participants that it is their job to be the voices of the people.

Pacific prosecutors roles under pressure

Tonga’s Acting Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions ‘Aminiasi Kefu said this forum allows heads of prosecuting offices to discuss important issues, including the challenges they face within their jurisdictions while sharing success stories so they learn from each other. It is important that they make a unified stand to speak with one voice to protect their role.

He said as prosecutors they are regularly under pressure from different sources to ensure justice or what others perceive as justice.

Nine villages in Tongatapu receive solar powered water pumps

The assistance was formalised last week between the CEO of Metrology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate change and Communication, Paula Ma'u and the recipients.

Speaking to Radio Tonga News, Dr Tevita Tukunga says the project will offset high operation costs faced by consumers.

He said residents of the nine villages will now have affordable and clean energy source. The new water pumps will cut costs and ensure sustainable water supplies.

Manu Samoa will have to step up against Fiji

Manu Samoa needed a try on the stroke of full-time to snatch a 21-20 victory over hosts Canada, to earn a place in the final.

The Manu Samoa captain, Alesana Tuilagi, says they will have to step up their game against Fiji.

"The way we played we need to look deep at it and we need to cut down the simple mistakes that we're giving away. You know playing [against] good teams coming up the final we can't afford to play like that and we know it."

Alesana Tuilagi.

Tongans set to shoulder cost of Pacific Games

Dr Ngongo Kioa says that while the levy will be paid by the banks, the cost will likely be passed on to the people.

Radio Tonga News understands the 'Foreign Exchange Levy Bill' was passed in Parliament, but was returned back from the Privy Council after a complaint from the Tonga Chamber of Commerce.

Questions have been raised over the lack of public consultation and NGOs have voiced concern over how the levy will affect people at the grassroots level.