More arrests in Tonga for illicit drug-related offences

Three persons were arrested in connection to the drug raid, two males from Ma’ufanga aged 30 and 37 years along with a 30-year-old female from Halaleva.

Drugs seized included 15 packs of methamphetamine (27.76 grams), drug utensils, and empty packs.

All the suspects have been charged for possession of illicit drugs and drug utensils.

They are being remanded until their appearance in court.

Another three people were arrested last week for possession of illicit drugs.  



Photo supplied 


Draw finalised for OFC U-19 Women’s Championship 2023

The draw was finalised in Port Vila, Vanuatu yesterday.

The tournament will see ten nations from across the Pacific competing, with New Zealand defending the title they won in 2019, defeating New Caledonia in the final in Cook Islands.

Tahiti, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Cook Islands are also participating in the tournament which will be held from June 21 to July 8.

The draw was conducted by OFC Head of Competitions, Chris Kemp, OFC President, Lambert Matlock and host President of Fiji Football Federation, Rajesh Patel.

Tonga Police arrest 3 over illicit drugs

A 27-year-old male from Pātangata was arrested on the night of Wednesday, 10 May 2023 with seven packs of methamphetamine (0.42g), six packs of cannabis (27.81g) and drug utensils.

Twenty-four hours later, on Thursday, 11 May 2023, Police arrested a 27-year-old male from Pahu together with a 27-year-old woman from Mataika with 14 packs of methamphetamine (2.43g), 11 packs of cannabis (3.19g) and drug utensils.

Police acknowledged members of the public for their ongoing assistance in sharing timely information with Police – a partnership that Tonga Police values.

US Embassy opens in Tonga

Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S Embassy Suva, Antone Greubel said the event symbolized the renewal of Tonga and the United States’ relationship.

"We are also looking forward to celebrating our Embassy opening on an even larger scale later this year. Today’s embassy opening comes less than one year after Vice President Harris announced that the United States would pursue discussions to establish an embassy in Tonga, and it is the beginning of a new chapter of U.S-Tongan relations."

7.6 earthquake hits off Tonga, no tsunami warning

The quake struck at 4am NZT, with its epicentre at a distance of 95km west-north-west of Hihifo, Tonga, the USGS said.

RNZ pacific reports it was at a depth of 210km.

The US Tsunami Warning System said there was no tsunami warning after the earthquake.

The quake was followed by a 5.1 magnitude aftershock at 4.30am NZT.

Hihifo is the main village on the island of Niuatoputapu north of the Tonga main island group.

In Samoa, people had evacuated to higher ground following the quake.

Tonga PM raises concerns on over stayers in Auckland

Hu'akavameiliku met with Hipkins in England where he was attending King Charles III's coronation.

He said Hipkins had reassured him that dawn raids on overstayers would not be repeated in the future.

It was the Tongan leader's first first face-to-face meeting with Hipkins, who became New Zealand's 41st Prime Minister in January.


Nations urge Tonga to give women land rights and improve LGBTQ record

The Kingdom's Foreign Minister Fekitamoeloa 'Utoikamanu heard mixed reviews by over 50 UN member states, with all of them commending Tonga's Government for continuing efforts to ratify international treaties.

"New Zealand... commends advancement in human rights," New Zealand's delegate Anna Louise Duncan said.

"We note with satisfaction the steps undertaken by the Kingdom to improve its human rights mechanisms," Russia's delegate Kristina Sukacheva said.

Grandmother and granddaughter perish in house fire in Tonga

Tonga Police said they received a report of the tragic incident around 4am on Saturday.

The deceased persons were the only people inside the house when the fire broke out.

The Tonga Fire & Emergency Services with Tonga Police actively attended the scene.

Kaniva News reports neighbours tried frantically to put out the fire and rescue Seluvaia Taukolo and her granddaughter Victoria Grace but were unsuccessful.

Seluvaia’s daughter Vika Taukolo shared her grief on social media.

Vital pacemaker clinics to be restarted in Tonga following Covid disruptions

Pasifika Medical Association [PMA] team leader Dr Fiona Riddell says, after disruptions caused by Covid-19, ​the team will be restarting vital pacemaker clinics.

"In 2018 we undertook the first pacemaker operations, however these were only replacements as we knew in advance that Tonga did not have a functioning portable image intensifier at the time, which is the X-Ray required in theatre to guide the placement of the pacemaker leads in the heart. 

US embassy to open in Tonga

This is what the top US diplomat for East Asia Daniel Kritenbrink said on Tuesday.

Reuters reported Kritenbrink told a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the US is also continuing to engage with Vanuatu and Kiribati about opening proposed new embassies in those countries.

The US has re-opened its embassy in Solomon Islands this year after a 30-year absence.

Despite the diplomatic push, the Solomon Islands announced in March it had awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to a Chinese state company to upgrade an international port in Honiara.