Tonga on alert for tropical depression TD06F

TD06F was located at 510km West Northwest of Tongatapu at 12pm (local time) today.

An advisory issued this afternoon said TD06F is expected to move South Southeastwards towards the group by tonight to early tomorrow morning.

Associated strong to storm force winds, cloudy conditions and periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms will affect the group by today and tomorrow.

Tongan Police charge soldier with possession of illicit drugs

Police were acting on a request from His Majesty’s Armed Forces to conduct a search of the Taliai Military Camp.

“The Drug Enforcement Taskforce conducted a search of the Compound and found drug utensils which led to the arrest of the on-duty officer at Makeke Quarantine Facility at Vaini,” Police said.

Kaniva News reports Police seized 1.91 grams of cannabis and drug utensils during the arrest on Monday.

The accused has been charged with possession of illicit drugs and utensils.

Japan to fund two projects in Tonga

The governments of Japan and Tonga signed a grant contract that will facilitate the projects.

Japan’s Ambassador to Tonga, Kensaku Munenaga said, “Today’s two projects will enable the relevant services to reach the communities more effectively and through such efforts and activities, you can achieve your vital social roles and missions of public services.”

Tonga’s Heilala Holiday Lodge wins top Asia-Pacific region award

The eco-tourism resort was recognised and selected for its green and energy-efficient building structures, business concept and achievements.

A statement said, “this a great endorsement and validation of their eco-tourism development efforts in Tonga.”

“Heilala Holiday Lodge Management is delighted and honoured that their architecture and concept has given recognition to Tonga because the structure was built by Tongans and that indicates that Tongans are very capable of building their own green buildings.”

Two new ministers appointed to Tonga Cabinet

The appointments were made today following recommendations from Prime Minister Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa.

The ministers appointments are effective from today (Monday).

His Majesty also approved the appointment of Viliami Manuopangai Hingano to the position of Governor of Ha’apai with effect from tomorrow (Tuesday).

Minister Vaipulu succeeds Vuna Fa’otusia, who reportedly resigned from Cabinet on Friday, 11 December,

 He was previously Minister for Trade.


Photo file Loop Tonga  


Turtle found dead in Tonga’s Fangaloto lagoon

According to the department’s Communications Officer, Iliesa Tora, the other turtle is injured.

“We found one turtle injured by a possible stone thrown on its shell or something heavy and dangerous...having a chance to still live.”

“Sadly the second one has gone on...found dead on the lake side. Taking the live one to Fisheries for treatment before possible release back into the sea,” Tora said.

Earlier this week, the department released 20 turtles after the public raised concerns about the state of the lagoon.

Tonga’s Environment Department monitors four turtles from Fangaloto

Communications Officer, Iliesa Tora said, “Efforts being made to save the turtles and ensure they are ready for the return to their natural habitat.”

There is concern about the state of the lagoon after a member of the public posted photos of dead and sick turtles on social media yesterday (Wednesday).

Tora confirmed that a team from the Environment Department visited the site and collected water samples to be tested.

Four turtles are left in the lake opposite the New Zealand High Commission residence in Fangaloto.

Dead turtles discovered in Tonga

The Department of Environment Tonga became aware of the issue when the public posted photos of the turtles on Facebook.

Lena Moimoi said her children discovered turtles that were dying and some were dead in the Popua area.

“Incase it has yet to be reported to the Ministry of Fisheries - it seems like some sort of contamination POISONING TURTLES and other sea creatures in the Popua area!”

“My kids discovered several SICK, DYING & DEAD TURTLES in the Popua Area and assumed it was all the RUBBISH which they went on to clean up,” she said on Facebook.

Tonga implements new petroleum prices

According to the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development, Tonga Competent Authority approved the new prices.

The wholesale price will increase by 11.68, 14.48 and 13.88 seniti/litre for petrol, kerosene and diesel respectively.

All price changes include consumption tax.

The local retail prices have been impacted by an increase in the global prices with kerosene and diesel rising slightly more due to demand recovery in China/India.


Chef Robert Oliver on steering a Pacific food revolution

Oliver is the creator of Pacific Island Food Revolution, a televised contest in which people compete to create the best dish with ingredients from countries such as Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

He said the show aimed to encourage Pacific Island people to eat healthier, more traditional foods and to spice up the tourism industry by getting island restaurants offering tasty local dishes.

Many imported foods that have become popular among Pacific Island people are highly processed and contain large amounts of fat, sugar and salt.