Tonga eye new fan base for 2021 Rugby League World Cup

The kingdom captured the attention of the sporting world in 2017 when they upset New Zealand in pool play and went within a whisker of reaching the grand final.

The draw for the 2021 World Cup was released on Tuesday with Tonga to play their opening two matches against Papua New Guinea and Wales in St Helens before rounding out pool play against the Cook Islands in Middlesborough.

"I think we're in a tough little pool actually," acknowledged head coach Kristian Woolf, who's been in the top job since 2014.

Tonga netball eyes global debut

Last month's Oceania qualifying tournament was cancelled because of Covid-19, with Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands qualifying to play in Fiji next year, courtesy of their current world rankings.

Tonga Netball Association CEO, Salote Sisifa, said after overcoming the initial shock, she was excited for the kingdom to be represented on the netball world stage.

"We would have loved to earn that spot traditionally but, given the situation with Covid-19, we feel incredibly lucky," she said.

Tongan tax on sugary drinks leads to more water production - research

The research, by a team from Otago University, is one of the first studies of such taxes in the Pacific, where 14 countries and territories have introduced them.

Since introducing its tax in 2013, the Tongan Government has taken about $US3.4 million (approx $NZ5.1m) a year in revenue.

The tax has been raised twice since it was first introduced, and now sits at about 31 percent, which led to about a 17 percent increase in the price of a particular brand of soft drink, according to the research.

New Zealand increasing Defence diplomatic presence in the Pacific

“New Zealand has a longstanding defence relationship with Tonga, dating back to World War I, when Tongan citizens served in the Māori and Regular Battalions in the New Zealand Army,” said Ron Mark.  

“Our close and multi-faceted defence partnership, which was recognised in the Statement of Partnership that we signed with Tonga last year, is underpinned by these historical ties and strong people-to-people links. 

Tonga Health officials to evaluate procedures before second repatriation flight

At a press conference Monday, the Minister for Health,Dr ‘Amelia Tu’ipulotu said they would evaluate the effectiveness of the processes, procedures, and activities that were undertaken, and also look at what gaps need to be addressed before the second mission.

“Although the evaluation will be undertaken after the 14 days quarantine, Dr 'Ofanoa and his team also currently undertakes daily assessments and addresses issues as they arise," she said.

Ministry of Health CEO, Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said the most important thing is that Tonga remains CoViD-19 free.

Repatriated passengers doing well at Tonga quarantine facility

The test results for the first swab test conducted at the Tanoa International Dateline Hotel have all returned negative.

A statement said daily tests conducted by Health staff, who are also in quarantine with the passengers have gone well, with no one showing any symptoms of the coronavirus so far.

All passengers are going through two daily tests for temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate.

Meals are provided three times a day and groups are allowed separate times to do their supervised exercise and walks around the zoned off hotel hall and foyer.

Tonga Police warn against risky sea cucumber harvesting after three deaths

Police said they were concerned after a 60-year-old man died on Monday night while diving for sea cucumbers at Koloa, Vava’u.

As Kaniva News reported on Tuesday morning the fisherman went diving with a group of divers. He was rushed to hospital.

The deceased was the third within a week after two sea cucumber divers died in Tongatapu on July 6.

How these divers died was still unknown.

Tonga tests volcanic ash reporting procedures for aviation

This is part of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Asia Pacific VOLEX 2020 in collaboration with the Regional Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) located at MET Service, New Zealand.

Director of Meteorology, ‘Ofa Fa’anunu said “Volcanic Ash from Volcanic eruptions in the atmosphere is extremely hazardous for aircraft in-flight. So the ICAO has setup rules and procedures for Countries that have active volcanoes for proper reporting of volcanic activity in order for volcanic ash warnings and forecasts to be provided for aircrafts in flight.

Test results return negative for 57 passengers on Tonga’s first repatriation flight

Minister for Health, Associate Professor ‘Amelia Afuha’amango announced this at a Press Conference at Vaiola yesterday (Wednesday).

Today is Day 4 for the repatriated passengers at Tanoa Quarantine Facility where their second test for COVID-19 will be done on Day 14.

The travellers were stranded in Fiji when borders closed in March as a result of the coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic.

Tonga is COVID-19 free .


Photo supplied Caption: Tanoa Quarantine Facility


Three men arrested in Tonga with illicit drugs

Police arrested a 46-year-old man from Kolonga and a 46-year-old man from Hala’ovave and seized 48.46 grams of methamphetamine (24 packs ready to distribute), 40.05 grams of cannabis and drug utensils on Monday.

Following this arrest, the Drug Taskforce arrested a 30-year-old man from Kolomotu’a and seized two packs of methamphetamine (0.68 grams) and drug utensils from his vehicle.

The accused have been charged accordingly with possession of illicit drugs and are remanded in police custody to appear at the Magistrate Court later this week.