Chinese Embassy donates 100 water tanks to Tonga

Prime Minister, Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa and the Chinese Ambassador to Tonga, Cao Xiaolin cut a ribbon to mark the handover yesterday (Tuesday).

The water tanks were donated by Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, China, and made in Tonga.

The government will distribute the water tanks to families in need throughout Tonga.


New Zealand supports development of Tonga’s long-term low emissions development strategy

The Department of Climate Change under Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication (MEIDECC) is taking the lead in developing this national long-term low emissions development strategy (LT-LEDS) project, in partnership with ClimateWorks Australia (CWA), Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and Relative Creative.

Minister Tei said, “The LT-LEDS will articulate a long-term vision and direction for the future of Tonga across all sectors in a low-carbon world, and in a changing climate.”

Tonga breach of curfew fines set aside

Matangi Tonga reported the four were arrested inside a private home at Houma and fined $US426 dollars each under the Emergency Act in the Magistrate's Court in July.

The group appealed on the grounds that the court had not referred to evidence which showed they were not on the street at the time, but inside a friend's house.

The Lord Chief Justice, Michael Whitten, set the magistrate's decision aside while the Crown also conceded there had been no breach of curfew because the appellants were inside a private home.


Tonga repatriation flight from New Zealand suspended

The National Emergency Management Committee (NEMC) / National Taskforce met last week and considered the increasing number of COVID-19 community transmission in Auckland.

A government statement said it is understood that Pacific islanders are  bearing the brunt of the new COVID-19 outbreak in New Zealand and it has been announced that a Tongan has been tested positive.

Upon advice from the Ministry of Health, there is a high risk that COVID-19 will be imported to Tonga if the scheduled repatriation flight proceeds.

Mystery surrounds Tonga's plan for houses for poor

The government could not be reached for comment but RNZ Pacific correspondent, Kalafi Moala, said the plan seemed to be an election ploy ahead of next year's vote.

Moala said the talk of 20,000 houses being provided was odd, given it was probably more than currently existed across the country.

The 2011 census stated there were just over 18,000 private households in the kingdom.

Moala said the initial focus had been on repairing and replacing houses damaged by 2018's Cyclone Gita.

Vava’u residents baffled by accident involving road roller

Kaniva News reported that the road roller overturned and fell into the sea at Vaipua Bridge in Neiafu Wednesday morning.

The driver was unharmed.

Questions have emerged about whether the driver, who was sent from Tongatapu by the Ministry to operate the road roller, was familiar with the area’s steep roads.

Neiafu Town Officer Vāvā Lapota said there were also allegations the roller’s brakes were unsafe.

He said about nine Ministry employees, including the driver, arrived from Tongatapu on Tuesday.

Tonga’s Heilala Manongi Soccer pilot project resumes

The festival was held at the Loto Tinga Soccer centre last Saturday.

The festival kick started with a zumba session followed by fun activities led by Tonga Football Association Director, Kilifi Uele.

The project Manongi aims to develop women's football at the grassroots level.

The programme was on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions shortly after it was launched in March.

The project is supported by FIFA and will run until January 2021.


Tonga Police arrest man for assaulting woman

The victim sustained major injuries and is in a critical condition at Vaiola Hospital.

The accused is in police custody and will appear in the Magistrates Court on Monday.

Police Investigation continues.



Tonga GPS Talafo’ou wins Eastern District Soroban Competition

Mu’a Government Primary School came second and Lapaha Government Primary School came third.

About 90 primary students from 22 schools competed in the written examination, oral examination and flash examination, and prizes were awarded to the top students for each category of classes 3, 4 and 5.

The next competition will be held at the Western District of Tongatapu on 20 August.

The Central District of Tongatapu had their competition earlier this week, on Tuesday 11 August.

Tonga is facing problems trying to repatriate its nationals from overseas

They have not been able to return home since Tonga’s borders closed in March 23.

Ministry of Health CEO, Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said there’s no viable pathway home for these patients, without stronger collaboration in the region.

“We have difficulty in repatriating back our folks from India, because no one can help us. It is quite a bit frustrating!” he said in a regional conference at the Fa'onelua Centre Thursday.