Talofa Airways to resume direct flights to Vava’u

Samoa Observer reports that the direct flights will be from Samoa to Vava'u in Tonga, with the twice weekly flights (Tuesdays and Fridays) from Tonga to Pago Pago in American Samoa, and from Tonga to Faleolo International Airport.

The plans to re-commence direct flights to Tonga were revealed by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Talofa Airways, Toleafoa Captain Jeffrey Hunter.

No tsunami threat after 5.5 earthquake ‘strongly’ strikes near Vava’u

“An earthquake hit at 10.36pm on July 27 at a depth of 10km and it was located 32 km east south east of Neiafu, Vava’u”.

Vava’u residents told Kaniva News the shake was ‘strongly’ felt in Neiafu.

“It was just a one huge shake”, a Vava’u visitor said.

Meanwhile, a powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the northern Philippine island of Luzon on Wednesday killing four people, damaging buildings and sending strong tremors through the capital, Manila.


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Family of NZ couple found dead in Tonga will no longer repatriate their bodies

The deceased were 47-year-old Ben Rocky Neill and 49-year-old Rochelle Neill, who ran the popular Hakau Adventures on Vava’u, reports Kaniva News.

Their bodies were discovered by police at their home in the village of ‘Utungake on the afternoon of Saturday 2 April, Tonga Police said.

A formal inquest confirmed electrocution was the cause of death, it said.

Their bodies were buried immediately upon advice from a doctor.

New Zealand couple found dead in Vava'u, Tonga, police say

The New Zealand High Commission consular officer Mark Santos said local police told him about the deaths, according to Matangi Tonga Online.

"I can confirm they were Kiwis," he said today.

The bodies of the couple were found by locals at the village of 'Utungake in Vava'u on Saturday 2 April, the Matangi reported.

Tonga Police said they were investigating the deaths but did not offer any further information, according to the report.


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Lockdown in Tongatapu and Vava’u extended

Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku said the lockdown will be effective until 2 April, 2022 and remain in the Red colour status.

The current spike in positive cases in the last four days, averaging around 300 cases daily, and the pressure that has on the Ministry of Health services, are key factors in Cabinet’s decision to continue with the lockdown.

Vava’u and Tongatapu in one week lockdown

Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku confirmed the lockdown will run until 5am on Saturday, March 26, with daily curfew hours from 8pm to 8am.

Hu’akavameiliku said all retail and wholesale business, banks, gas stations, bread shops and schools will be closed for the duration of the one-week lockdown.

The only exceptions will be made for members of the public in the two islands needing to go to the pharmacies, farms and fishing for families needing urgent supplies. People will only be allowed to move for these needs from 8am to 8pm during the new lockdown period.

Tongatapu and Vava’u sixth and seventh formers return to school


Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku stressed government’s policy that only fully vaccinated teachers will be allowed to teach in schools.

The Prime Minister, who is also Minister for Education and Training, made the statement at a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ conference room on Friday.

He said school management will need to ensure that all health protocols are followed strictly for the safety of teachers and students.

138 more Covid-19 cases in Tonga

Four Prison Officers at Huatolitoli Prison are amongst the new cases announced today.

Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku told a press conference that a total of 138 cases are now being quarantined in facilities in Tongatapu and Vava’u.

He said, “The Ministry of Health team have carried out tests on all prison officers, families and prisoners and the isolation of prison officers is being implemented.”  

There were 139 new cases on the weekend but one person reported in the first two cases from 1 February was released from quarantine to go home on Friday.

Heavy rain causes flooding in Vava‘u, gale and heavy rain warning remains

Photos taken at the scene showed Neiafu’s Vaipua village was affected by surface flooding.

Neiafu Town Officer Vava Lapota told Kaniva News there was heavy rain Sunday night and it continued yesterday morning.

It is understood high tide in parts of the main island had added to the flooding causing some small boats anchored at Puatalefusi wharf to capsize.

Severe gale, heavy rain and flash flood warnings are in place for all of Tonga.

Governors appointed for Tonga’s outer islands

The appointment came into effect on 28 December, 2021.

Mr. Taufatofua has succeeded the former incumbent, Viliami Manuopangai Hingano.

Lord Fakatulolo has been re-appointed as Governor of Vava’u.

A statement from the PM’s Office said, “Pursuant to clause 54 of the Tongan Constitution it states, “The King shall appoint Governors to Ha’apai and Vava’u on the advice of the Prime Minister.”


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