The Honourable Lord Prime Minister, Lord Tu'ivakano becane Tonga's fifthteenth (15) Prime Minister of Tonga. He is also responsible for three other portfolios as Minister for Defence, Minister for Foreign Affairs and as Minister for Information and Communications.
Lord Tu'ivakano was born on 15th January, 1952 in Niutoua, Hahake,
Tongatapu. His parents were Siaosi Kiu Ngalumoetutulu Kaho (16th
Tu'ivakano) and Fatafehi-‘o-Lapaha Liku of Niutoua. His birth name
Siale ‘Ataongo Kaho and he succeeded to the hereditary title of
Tu'ivakano (literally: King of the borrowed boat) in January 1986, three
days after the burial of his father. Hon. Tu'ivakano is the grandson
of former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Chief Justice Siosiua
Niutupuivaha Kaho (15th Tu'ivakano). His grandfather‘s older brother
Polutele Kaho (14th Tu'ivakano) was Prime Minister from 1912 - 1923.
Hon. Tu'ivakano is married to Joyce Robyn Kaho (nee Sanft) and they have
six children:- Fulifua'atonga Fatafehi-o-Lapaha Kaho, Siaosi Kiu
Tau-ki-Vailahi Kaho, Herriot Kaho, Paula Nunufa'ai Kea Kaho, David
Uluaki Tangata ‘o Tonga Kaho, and Jordan ‘Ataongo Kaho.
the age of eight and eleven he attended Tonga Side School and Tonga
High School. In November 1963 he left for further study in New Zealand
and completion of the 1963 school year, he attended Three Kings School,
Epsom. In 1964 he enrolled at Wesley College, Paerata as a boarder.
After achieving his university entrance in 1971, he pursue a teaching
career by enrolling at Ardmore Teacher's College in 1972. In 1974 he
graduated with a Teaching Diploma. In 1988 he entered Flinders
University of South Australia in Adelaide and graduated in 1991 with a
Bachelor Degree with Honours in Political Science.
Work & Professional Background:
returning to the Kingdom, Honourable Tu'ivakano joined the Teaching
Staff of Tonga High School as an Assistant Teacher in 1975, and also
taking up the position Head of the Physical Education Department. In
1980 he went for a 3 month training Course in Youth Development in
Malaysia and Singapore. Returning to the Kingdom he was promoted to
Education Officer Supervising the Youth, Sports and Culture Division
within the Ministry of Education. Between 1982 and 1987 this new
division came to life with participation in activities not only within
the Schools but from within the Communities, and in particular youth
organizations. In 1982 he was a part of a team from the Curriculum
Developing Unit. He was involved in writing up a Health syllabus and
Physical Education Manual for Primary School and the Teachers Training
In 1992 he was promoted to Senior Education Officer for
Youth, Sport and Culture. With the responsibilities given to him, the
Ministry witnessed improvement and development in co-operation between
his division and the Non-Governmental Organizations (i.e. Churches,
Youth and Women Groups). That same year he moved to the Community
Developing Centre where he implemented many training programmes for
youth organization and communities such as Youth Leadership, Small
Businesses Management, Cottage Industries and Marketing etc. and any
other requested workshop from the Community or Outer Islands. Between
1992 - 1996 he was instrumental in reviewing Traditional Dances in the
Primary Schools. This became an Annual Festival towards the end of every
school year until his resignation in 1996. During this period he was
also involved in a number of National Sports by being their President
such as Tonga National Rugby League, Tonga Sumo Association, Tonga
National Taekwando Association and Senior Vice President of the Tonga
Amateur Sports Association and National Olympic Committee.
responsibilities as an Estate Holder have never interfered with his
Ministerial portfolios before and now as Prime Minister. He still
conducts monthly meetings with his Four Estates in the Western District
of Tongatapu, dealing with land issues, social problems, new projects
and reports from each village council. Under the umbrella of each
village council there are sub-committees responsible for environment,
marketing, sports, youth, policing, women's development group, land
etc. Although Lord Tu'ivakano is the patron of these village councils,
his show of support encourages each council member to work
co-operatively and enthusiastically for the overall development of the
Hon. Lord Tu'ivakano was
elected as a noble representative for the island of Tongatapu in 1996
election. He was appointed Speaker by His Majesty on 1st July 2002 and
is one of the most experience members of the Legislative Assembly.
the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga (from 2002-2004), Hon.
Lord Tu'ivakano bought about many reforms to the Legislative Assembly,
including revising and updating the Standing Orders of the House,
restructuring the office of the Legislative Assembly and bringing about
reforms to the parliamentarian pensions scheme to align with other
In March 2005 he was appointed to Cabinet
as Minister for Works. His appointment was due to the new
constitutional arrangement extended by His Majesty whereby 2 Ministers
would be appointed from the people's and noble's representatives
respectively. A reshuffle in May 2006 saw him holding the portfolios of
Minister for Training, Employment, Youth and Sport.
Tu'ivakano was re-elected as a noble representative for Tongatapu in the
November 2010 election. On 21 December 2010 Tu'ivakano was elected
Prime Minister in a secret ballot in Parliament. Following
constitutional reforms, this was the first time the Prime Minister was
elected by Parliament, rather than appointed by the monarch. He was
sworn in on 22 December 2010.
Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa, 2011. Last updated 18 January 2011.