Suspect arrested following armed robberies in Chinese shops in Tongatapu

The suspect and an associate allegedly robbed shops in Houmakelikao, Kapetā, Tofoa and Maúfanga starting on Saturday 9 January.

According to Kaniva News, Police said two men wearing masks entered the shops armed with a machete and a piece of metal.

Cash and goods were stolen before the offenders fled in a car, a black Nissan cube, Police said.

A search warrant executed at a residence at Fangaloto resulted in the arrest of the main suspect and the recovery of some of the stolen goods and cash as well as the machete that was allegedly used in the robberies.

Coastal clean-up and coastal tree planting in Tonga

The residents were from Kolovai, ‘Ahau, Kanokupolu and Ha’atafu communities.

The programme emphasizes communities in the Western District which are vulnerable to coastal erosion due to sea level rise and high tides to engage in a coastal clean-up and coastal tree planting.

The Vulnerability and Adaptation Division highlighted the tree planting by distributed coastal plants including Telie, Fotulona, Fao and Touhuni with a total of twenty (20) plants for each community who participated to help prevent coastal erosion.

Tonga Drug Taskforce arrest 7 men in anti-illicit drug operation

The arrests are part of an ongoing operation targeting drug dealers and suppliers.

Police seized 2.56 grams of methamphetamine, over $800 paánga in cash and drug utensils.

All seven accused have been charged with possession of illicit drugs.

“The community can help stop the availability of illegal drugs by reporting suspicious activity to Police. By working together, we can make a difference and stop the crime and social harm associated with this illegal activity,” said A/Deputy Commissioner Tevita Vailea.

150 students compete in Tongatapu Central District soroban

St Falakiko ‘Asisi Primary School was awarded the best overall school.

Hilliard Memorial School settled in second place and Government Primary School Ngele’ia came in third.

Students competed in written, oral and flash examinations. 

Winners of each category for classes 3, 4 and 5 were awarded prizes, at the Free Church of Tonga Hall in Kapeta.

The next district competitions are the eastern and western districts of Tongatapu this month.

The competition was held in Ha’apai and Vava’u last month.

Tonga’s Invasive Species Unit repairs Toloa nursery

The nursery is aimed at catering for the planting of rainforest trees and meeting the conservation needs of the forest under the GEF6 project.

Unit head Viliami Hakaumotu said the repairs will be completed next week.

Plant seedlings will be planted in the nursery before they are transferred to the forest.

This project is under Tonga’s Department of Environment.


E-coli bacteria discovered in water in Tongatapu

The discovery was made during the survey that was completed last week.

Research shows that some E-coli can cause illnesses such as watery diarrhoea or dysentery through contaminated water or food.

National Project Coordinator, Silia Ledger said they decided to run bacteriological testing of the water from some houses while doing the survey.

“We did not expect the water tests would find E-coli present,” she said.

Wharves and coastal roads in Tonga need repairing after Cyclone Harold

When the severe cyclone hit, it coincided with a king tide, which caused considerable coastal damage.

The chief executive of the National Emergency Management Office, Paula Ma'u, said on 'Eua this wrecked a number of houses and offices and also eroded a graveyard.

He said some of the bodies had been recovered but others had been swept out to sea.

Mr Ma'u said people whose homes were inundated on 'Eua and also around Tongatapu's Fanga'uta Lagoon, had been rehoused in tents and supplied with kitchen equipment.

Fanga'uta Bridge Project Community Consultations begins today

A public notice has been issued inviting all those who are interested to be part of the discussions, to attend and give their views to the consultation team.

The bridge is planned to be constructed from Umusi to Folaha, crossing the Fanga'uta Lagoon.

The Department of Environment aims to sustain the lagoon and restore its environment to what it used to be.

Consultations will continue tomorrow till Tuesday next week and community members and their leaders have been advised to attend the consultations as follows:


New mapping will open Tonga's Ha'apai to cruise ships

Land Information New Zealand's Stuart Caie said the work means large cruise ships will soon be able to visit.

He said it will be combined with other recent data to provide electronic maps of Tonga's three main groups.

Mr Caie said the data for Ha'apai will allow updated charts and data needed for modern navigation systems.

Tonga says school delays not the fault of the World Bank

A number of schools on Tongatapu, badly battered by Cyclone Gita in February last year, are still waiting on repairs to be done.

Government spokesman, Lopeti Senituli, told RNZ Pacific last week that the delays were not the fault of the government but the World Bank and other multilateral agencies.

Now the government, in a statement, said the funds for school reconstruction are administered by the government, in accordance with World Bank policies.

Funding of approximately $US13.81 million is available for the rebuild of 30 schools.