Boats handed over to local communities in Tonga

The Government has acknowledged the assistance of boats from New Zealand billionaire businessman Graeme Hart and former Tongan Olympic Pita Taufatofua Jnr.

Prime Minister, Hu’akavameiliku presented five boats to community representatives at Vuna Wharf in Nuku’alofa this week.

Hart had offered to assist the Government of Tonga in response to the 15 January Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcanic eruptions and tsunami.

PM Hu’akavameiliku thanked during the presentation ceremony and acknowledged the presence of local representative Salote Sisifa.

“I would like to acknowledge Mr. Hart for his assistance and this will go towards helping our community members who suffered during the January 15 event return to some form of normalcy as they will now be able to go out fishing,” he said.

The first lot of six boats arrived last week.

One was taken to Nomuka island in Ha’apai at the weekend.

Of the five presented one was given to the Mango community currently being relocated temporarily to Nuku’alofa, and one each to Sopu, Fasi, Patangata, ‘Atata.

Hu’akavameiliku also acknowledged Taufatofua Jnr and confirmed that eight boats were received from him.

Of the eight boats one has been taken to ‘Eueiki and seven to Ha’apai.

The boats are being transported across from Nuku’alofa to Ha’apai on the Australian naval vessel HMAS Canberra.

The boats were constructed in Fiji and come with motor-board engines.

The National Emergency and Management Office and Communication Department of the Ministry of MEIDECC donated safety equipment.


Photo supplied PMO