Tonga's Nuku'alofa Port Upgrade Project to get $US45m grant

The Nuku'alofa Port Upgrade Project is to receive a $US45 million grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help rehabilitate and streamline operations at the capital's Queen Salote Wharf.

The work will boost the capacity of Tonga's critical trade, transportation and economic hub.

An estimated 98 percent of imports to Tonga arrive by sea, and inefficiencies at the port are a bottleneck for commerce.

Along with smoother processes, upgrades aim to accommodate larger ships, reduce costs, and protect against natural disasters and climate change.

Tonga’s watermelon growers furious over shipment debacle

Ten containers of watermelons were scheduled to be shipped to New Zealand on 5 December.

However, the trucking companies assigned to transport the melons to the wharf in Tongatapu did not arrive to the growers' farms to pick up the produce, as RNZ Pacific Correspondent Kalafi Moala explained.

"The government, in particular the Ministry of Agriculture had organised for the trucks to come pick up the melons and so the fact that it didn't happen over the weekend, the responsibility falls back on them," he said.

Moderate earthquake Southeast of Neiafu, Tonga

The quake hit at a shallow depth of 10 km beneath the epicenter near Neiafu, Vava‘u, Tonga, early evening on Saturday 5 December 2020 at 7.43 pm local time.

The exact magnitude, epicenter, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report.

A second report was later issued by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which listed it as a magnitude 5.5 earthquake as well.

ADB approves grant for development of Nuku’alofa Port in Tonga

The grant is sourced from ADB’s Asian Development Fund.

Nuku’alofa Port Upgrade Project will renew, rehabilitate and expand the port’s infrastructure, as well as strengthen its operations and management.

An estimated 98% of imports reach via sea to Tonga, an archipelago of over 170 islands,.

New Zealand delivers military truck parts and PPE to Tonga

A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules delivered the freight in a contactless logistics stop, with the goods offloaded at Fua’amotu International Airport for Tongan authorities to distribute.

The PPE, including 3800 gowns, has been provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and will be used by Tongan health workers and for those staffing managed isolation facilities in Tonga.

New industrial arts building for Tonga’s Beulah College

The new school building replaces the IA building, which was damaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita in 2018.

There are three classrooms and a storeroom, at a value of TOP$627,467.37

The construction was carried out under the Pacific Resilience Programme (PREP) project led by the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) and co-funded by the World Bank and the  Australian Government.

Australia stands with Tonga in call to eliminate gender-based violence

Speaking at the launch of the campaign for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Thursday, Morrison said that gender-based violence is a shared problem impacting the Pacific, Australia and countries globally.

‘During these 16 Days of Activism, and on every day of the year, we support our partners in Tonga as they call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women,’ said the High Commissioner Adrian Morrison, adding

Tonga’s PCREE hosts media training in Nuku’alofa

Today is the fourth day of training, and the participants are doing practical work on video production.

Yesterday, Environment Media rep Penikoni Aleaamotua and his team provided tips on video shooting and editing.

Prior to this, the participants were taught the basics of media and communications.

The participants consist of reps from Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Tonga, Pacific Environment Journalist Network, Environment Tonga and local media organisations.


Tonga’s Tokaikolo Church President passes away in Auckland

He has been confirmed to have passed on Thursday, 19 November at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.

The prominent church leader remained abroad, after leaving Tonga just before the border closed in March this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The funeral service is expected to be held in Auckland with the date yet to be confirmed.

Rev. Dr Saulala founded Christ’s University in 2004, where he was Vice-Chancellor.


Tonga extends Covid-19 State of Emergency to 21 Dec

The extension was signed by Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa when the previous order expired last night (Monday).

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

Borders remained closed in the kingdom.

However, repatriation flights have been scheduled to bring Tongan nationals back home.


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