Tonga launches Covid-19 vaccination programme

Princess Pilolevu was followed by her husband Lord Tuita and Prime Minister, Dr. Pohiva Tuionetoa.

Frontline workers also received their Covid-19 shot at Falemasiva Hall in Havelu.

Dr. Reynold Ofanoa the Acting CEO for Health said today is a historical day for Tonga, it’s the day we had prayed for, the day of hope because of the  official launching the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine and we are truly humbled to have HRH to be the first one to be vaccinated which is a great support.

Report highlights Covid-19 impact on Tonga's private sector

The Pacific Business Monitor Tonga Focus 2020 Report aggregates results from respondents in Tonga across all the PTI Pacific Business Monitor surveys conducted in 2020. The report provides insight into the impact Covid-19 had on Tonga’s private sector last year, in comparison to businesses in the Pacific region.

Calls to lift Tonga whale hunting ban expected to fail

According to our Tonga correspondent, there are calls to lift the ban so Tongans, struggling through the pandemic, could enjoy healthy whale meat, instead of eating fatty imports.

Kaniva Pacific reports that after a whale stranding in Ha'apai, where people gleefully chopped away the meat, there have social media calls to allow hunting of what some see as a delicacy.

But Kalafi Moala said with Tonga's whale watching industry a major part of the tourism sector, no government would look at rescinding the Royal Edict of 1978 which banned whale hunting.

Tonga extends State of Emergency

Matangi Tonga online says extension applies to all the land and sea areas of Tonga.

Directions under the renewed Covid national restrictions remains the same.

A night time curfew enforced by police continues from 12 midnight to 5:00am.

Mass gatherings are not to exceed a total of 50 people indoors, and 100 people outdoors, except for religious services and education institutions.

Funeral gatherings are also restricted to a total of 50 people indoors, and 100 people outdoors with an authorised officer to be present throughout.


Vava’u welcomes futsal for the first time

On Saturday, the first-ever tournament-based futsal festival got underway at Vava’u High School hall with an impressive 32 teams signed up to participate in the eight-week event.

Vava’u Football Association Officer in Charge, Manatu Liava’a said the local community is excited to be learning more about futsal and developing skills in a game which suits the smaller island group communities.

“Introducing futsal in Vava’u is a new era for football here in the island and we are excited and motivated to join in an promote the game,” Liava’a said.

Tonga extends Covid-19 State of Emergency declaration

According to Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, novel coronavirus disease is a continuous public health emergency in Tonga.

In renewing the State of Emergency declaration, he said it is still necessary for emergency powers to be exercised in order to prevent or minimize risk and the loss of human life to Covid-19.

The declaration applied over all the land and sea areas of Tonga commenced Monday 12 April 2021 at 8pm.

It will end on Monday 10 May 2021 at 8pm, unless further renewed in accordance with the law.

Tonga’s Nukunuku village receives upgraded water supply system

Ambassador Munenga Kensaku handed over the new facility to the water committee of the village in the presence of Lord Tu’ivakano, estate holder.

Ambassador Kensaku said “Grant Assistance for Human Security Project (GGP) is a small, but significant grant scheme to meet various basic needs at the grass-roots level, and very similar to Tonga’s proverb “Sii ‘a ma’anga ika maka.”

“I hope that our GGP will keep playing a great role in constructing stronger and more resilient societies in the Kingdom.”  

Tonga’s MAFF clarifies partnership with Beijing Machinery Repair Company Ltd

The ministry clarified this in a statement.

The statement said tractors donated by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Tonga were given to MAFF, and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Tonga who handed these tractors to the Government of Tonga, has nothing to do with MAFF’s decision on how to use the tractors.

Tonga’s Ministry of Tourism appoints new board members

The new TTA Board Members include Mishka Tu’ifua (Chairperson and Tongatapu member), Simana Kami (Tongatapu member), Petunia Tupou (Tongatapu member), ‘Aisea Ta’ofi (Niuafo’ou & Niuatoputapu member), Alwyn Moa (Vava’u member), Finau Walter (Ha’apai member) and Temalisi Maile (‘Eua member).

The new Board Members replace the previous Board Members whose contracts ended in June 2017.

The role of the Board is to implement and develop strategies and plans which deliver on the objectives in the TTA Act 2016.

Tonga building from the ground up

But if you think the regional impact of the first southern hemisphere edition of the tournament is restricted to Australia and New Zealand, think again.

Numerous Oceanian nations are now pushing all aspects of women’s football with greatly heightened vigour, and few are doing more than Tonga.

General Secretary of the Tonga Football Association (TFA) Lui Aho says there has been “more interest from communities to register new women’s team” since confirmation that female football’s greatest jamboree would be heading Down Under.