Pacific Mission: Importance of climate resilience highlighted in Tonga

Mele, who is from the village of Ha’atafa in Tongatapu, recounts the lasting impact left by the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in January last year.

It triggered tsunami waves of up to 15m which struck the west coast of Tongatapu, ’Eua and Ha’apai reports Tagata Pasifika.

Addressing Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni’s Pacific delegation in Tonga this week, Mele says her people continue to show resilience and that she is humbled that her village has been chosen to launch the Pacific Climate Resilience and Tree Planting programme.

New Zealand Deputy PM leads Pacific Mission to Tonga

Her first to Tonga, Sepuloni was greeted by the Government of Tonga's delegation, led by Fekitamoeloa Utoikamanu Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Saia Piukala, the Minister for Health and Dr Viliami Uasike Latu, Minister for Trade and Economic Development.

Deputy PM Sepuloni will meet Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku and government Ministers today and tomorrow.

She leaves Tonga on Friday afternoon with her delegation according to a statement.

Tonga’s massive tsunami waves reduced

According to a study published by the University of Miami, shallow sea floors act as waves traps - reducing the size of waves as they approach land.

Researchers used a combination of before-and-after satellite imagery, drone mapping, and field observations, and data from the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation Global Reef Expedition, to produce a tsunami simulation of the Tongan Archipelago.

Tonga delegation honours late former Prime Minister

The Government's delegation is led by Olita Tupou (Deputy Secretary, Prime Minister's Office) and is comprised of Leonaitasi Kuluni (Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Inoke Finau (Chief Legal Officer, Tonga Police), Falahola Naidu (Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Public Enterprises) and  Angelina Mahe (Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Public Enterprises).

Tu'i'onetoa died in the US last month where he was receiving medical attention.

Tonga establishes formal diplomatic relations with Romania

The agreement was made on last Monday with a signing ceremony at Romania's Permanent Mission in New York between Tonga's Ambassador to the US Viliami Va'inga and his Romanian counterpart Cornel Feruta.

In a statement, Tonga's Foreign Ministry commended Romania for it's support of Vanuatu's landmark UN resolution for the International Court of Justice to advise nations on their climate change mitigation promises and obligations.


First mission to the Pacific since Covid-19 led by New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni

Sepuloni, who is also the Associate Foreign Affairs Minister for the Pacific, left for Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga on Sunday.

It would be an invaluable opportunity to strengthen New Zealand’s relationships and reaffirm the commitment to working alongside Pacific whānau to respond to challenges, Sepuloni said.

The region was the government’s “foreign policy priority”, Sepuloni said.

“We proudly take a Pacific-led approach to solving the issues facing the region, not least to mention, climate change.

Sepuloni to lead a Pacific Mission to Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga

Sepuloni will be accompanied by Minister for Pacific Peoples Barbara Edmonds, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw and a delegation including Parliamentary and NGO representatives, iwi, business and community leaders and Pacific youth.

Sepuloni says the Pacific region remains the NZ Government’s foreign policy priority, and that includes continuing to strengthen New Zealand’s relationship with the Pacific family.

Isikeli Ngau Oko is new CEO of Tonga’s Ministry of Education

The former acting CEO was appointed by the Office of the Public Service Commission.

Oko’s career in the Public Service began in January 1986, when he was appointed as an Assistant Graduate Teacher at the Ministry of Education and Training.

He held senior positions in various high schools from 1992 to 2011.

In April 2011, Oko was promoted to the position of Chief Education Officer before being promoted as Deputy CEO for the Learning and Teaching Division- Primary Education in June 2016.

Viliami Takau is new CEO for Tonga Tourism Ministry

Takau signed his contract this morning.

A statement said it will be for four years.

Takau took his oath before Fekitamoeloa 'Utoikamanu, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism.

That was witnessed by members of his family and the Commission for Public Service this morning.


Photo Govt Press 


Tonga ferry to start services soon

The maintenance work was to fix major faults.

The ‘Otuanga’ofa was in Auckland since September 2022

The Friendly Islands Shipping Agent's office stated the inter-island ferry service is expected to start next week to Ha'apai and Vava'u reports RNZ Pacific..

The ‘Otuanga’ofa was given to Tonga by the Japanese Government in October, 2010 to replace the Princess Ashika, which sank with the loss of 74 lives.


Photo Kaniva News  Caption: Inter-island ferry MV 'Otuanga'ofa