Tonga’s Department of Environment urges public to refrain from littering

The department’s communications officer, Iliesa Tora posted up pictures on their Facebook page of rubbish along the area and stating, “This is the biggest problem in Tonga.”

“Rubbish is thrown everywhere at the popular picnic spot.”

“Plastic bags, bottles, juice cans and diapers are seen along the beach,” he posted.

The post received many reactions from the public, most of them also shared similar concerns.


Tonga records improved results in National Form 7 certificate exam

This has increased compared to a 68 percent pass rate in 2019.

The Ministry confirmed this in a statement released yesterday. 

 The release also stated an increase in the number of students that registered for the exams last year compared to 2019.

Last year there were 677 candidates compared to 654 candidates in 2019.

Ha’apai High School is the most improved school with a pass rate of 83 percent from 48 percent in 2019. Beulah Adventist College continues to be the most consistent school in the pass rates having 67 percent from 40 percent in 2019.

Tonga repatriation flights to resume

A flight with about 280 passengers from Auckland, New Zealand is expected to arrive on 14 January.

That flight is expected to include 21 people from Samoa who will be repatriated separately on the same day on a Lulutai Airlines flight.

According to a government statement, a charter flight will arrive from Sydney Australia on 22 January  to fly out 152 seasonal workers back to Australia.

Tonga PM assures country’s economic and financial status is fine

The Prime Minister, who holds a Doctorate of Christian Ministry from Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary in the United States, said the kingdom’s budget relied heavily on God.

According to Kaniva News, Mr Tu’i’onetoa made the claim in his New Year’s address, which was transmitted by Broadcom.

He said the projected budget deficit would be less than the forecast TP$60 million.

The nation’s financial status would be better, he said.

Tonga’s Environment Department values hard work of staff

Director, Atelaite Lupe Matoto met with staff this morning before beginning the new work year.

She thanked the staff and managers for the successful 2020 work year and stressed the importance of starting on the go again this year.

The department is also keen to work with the public this year.


Chickens in Tonga: How to outlast a lockdown

“A lot of people ran out of food,” said Sam Fonua, first counselor in the Nuku’alofa North Stake presidency.

I met Fonua in May 2019 when I covered President Russell M. Nelson’s trip to Tonga and wrote a story about how his stake was building 95 homes from felled coconut trees to replace ones destroyed by Hurricane Gita.

I recently called him to profile what life in the pandemic has been like in Tonga. It’s remarkably different from the American experience.

Tonga eases curfew restrictions for Christmas festivities

The curfew time has been shortened for National Prayer Week 2021 from 12am (midnight) to 3am.

The curfew from 12am (midnight) to 5am except for the changes to Christmas Day and New Year’s Day is now effective until 8pm 18 January 2021.

The restrictions are enforced by the Tonga Police, His Majesty's Armed Forces and relevant authorised officers.

The curfew was enforced as part of the country's response to the global coronavirus pandemic.



Photo file RNZ Pacific 

Tonga extends Covid-19 State of Emergency

The renewal of the declaration of the SOE was signed by Prime Minister, Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa yesterday (Monday).

According to the declaration, there is a continuous spread of the novel coronavirus disease worldwide and in countries close to Tonga and it remains a risk to the island nation.

Tonga remains Covid-19 free since the pandemic was declared in March.

Photo file Caption: Prime Minister, Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa


TC Yasa further downgraded to category 2

In the latest weather report, Tropical Cyclone “Yasa” Category 2 was located West or about 295km Northwest of Nuku’alofa,  430 Southwest of Neiafu Vava’u at 7am today.

The system is moving  South at about 06 knots (12km/hr).

The sustained maximum winds near the center is about 60 knots (120km/hr) with momentary gust up to 75 knots (150km/hr).

On its current track, Tropical Cyclone “Yasa” is expected to lie at about 275km West of Nuku’alofa and 305km West Northwest of ‘Eua at 1pm today.

Tonga’s Fua’amotu Tropical Cyclone Warnings Centre monitors Cat 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa

At 6pm (local time) severe Tropical Cyclone "Yasa" Category 5 was located 850km Northwest of Pangai Ha'apai and Nuku'alofa and 654km West of Niuafo'ou.

According to FTCWC, the system is moving Southeast at about 11 knots (22km/hr).

The maximum winds near the center is about 130 knots (260km/hr) with momentary gust of up to 170 knots (340km/hr).

Associated strong winds with cloudy conditions and periods of heavy rain will affect whole of Tonga by tomorrow.

A gale alert remains inforce for Ha’apai, Tongatapu and ‘Eua land areas and waters.