Tonga's volcano rated as one of top pacific stories in 2022

A tsunami hit Tonga after the volcano erupted for eight minutes, throwing clouds of ash into the sky. Entire villages were wiped out by the waves.

Communications went down or were intermittent for those trying to reach loved ones.

Shock waves traversed many thousands of kilometres, were seen from space, and recorded in New Zealand some 2000km away.

Three people were killed, and medical experts said many others showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku congratulates new Fiji PM Sitiveni Rabuka

Rabuka was elected Prime Minister by the Fijian Parliament and defeated former Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama by 28 votes to 27 on Saturday.

Hu'akavameiliku said in a tweet that the Tongan government looks forward to working closely with Rabuka and the Fijian Coalition government on matters of interest to both countries.

"I would like to congratulate Hon Rabuka on his election as Fijian Prime Minister and I Look forward to meeting him soon and having discussions on matters of national interest to both countries," Hon Hu'akavameiliku said.

Air New Zealand Boeing 787 Diverts to Tonga to drop off an engineer

Air New Zealand had two options when deciding on sending an engineer to assist in the stranded plane, operate a 'ghost flight' (an aircraft with no paying passengers onboard) or divert another flight heading in a similar direction. The airline decided to divert the Rarotonga-bound flight as it would cause the least disruption.

Tonga's Fuaʻamotu International Airport, located on its main island of Tongatapu, welcomed the second Boeing 787 Dreamliner to drop off essential supplies (including the engineer).


Victims of Tonga volcano moving into new homes

Matangi Tonga reports Princess Angelika Latufuipeka Tuku'aho commissioned and toured one of the new one-bedroom units, at the 'Atata Si'i site on Thursday.

Eleven months after the destructive natural disasters, the families will start moving to this land allocated by Prince Ata.

The Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni thanked the Princess and the builders who constructed the houses.

"Government has worked with partners and all stakeholders to try and provide homes for the people of 'Atata," he said.

Road toll in Tonga more than doubles this year

The road toll tally for all of 2021 was six.

The latest death on the road occurred on Saturday morning near the capital Nuku'alofa.

Police said four females were on their way home when the driver fell asleep at the wheel, causing the vehicle to swerve and hit an electric pole.

Police later received reports from Vaiola Hospital that a 51-year-old passenger died on Sunday from her injuries, while the 41-year-old driver remains in a critical condition.

U.S. Embassy’s Sports Visitor Programme sends youth rugby coaches to the U.S

During their programme, they attended conferences, met with their American coaching counterparts, and participated in specialized workshops — all to enhance their mentorship and youth development skills.  

Pacific travel gathering steam for summer as Kiwis look to reconnect and relax

After more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and border closures, the Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha'apai volcano eruption and tsunami, this trip was going to be special.

He was taking a big group of 15, including his mother, son, his two sisters and their children.

“It’s Christmas, and it’s a time for family – we’re all just looking forward to being back home together,” he said.

“Mum is really looking forward to seeing her sister who is old now, so we just want to spend as much time with her as we can.


Tonga King commissions new armed forces music centre

The King also inspected the building that was constructed with a grant-aid from the People’s Republic of China.

Chinese Ambassador, Cao Xiaolin said the music centre is more than 1,000 square metres and has several functional areas, including a band rehearsal hall and several rehearsal rooms, a VIP lounge, office space and storage rooms.

Tongans support labour mobility

I use the Tongan household component of the Pacific Labour Mobility Survey to share some descriptive data on perceptions of the schemes and their impacts, and then more suggestive evidence on how participation affects these views.

The Tongan household survey covers 543 migrant and 617 nonmigrant households. Here, I’ll focus on four questions and the responses of nonmigrant households – those who “missed out”, or chose not to apply.

Tonga receives 5,000 pairs of footwear


The donation from the New Zealand-based committee are for the affected individuals from the volcanic eruption and tsunamis, on 15 January.


The footwear were received by the Civil Society Forum Tonga who welcomed ATRC members, at the Tonga National Youth Congress Office at Sopu, on 8 December.


A Government statement said, “Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee started with a family-to-family relief appeal, in response to the disaster. They shipped more than 60 containers of relief items from families in New Zealand, to Tonga.”