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New Zealand committed to maintain strong ties with Tonga

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16th June, 2017 The Prime Minister of New Zealand, The Right Honourable Bill English has assured the Tongan Government that New Zealand intends to maintain a positive relationship with Tonga.

In a Joint Media Statement with the Tongan Prime Minister this morning at Fa’onelua Convention Centre PM English said, “I want to assure the Tongan Government that after the very positive relationship of my predecessors John Key and Murray Mccully with Tonga and the other Pacific countries I fully intend to maintain that degree of commitment.”

PM English stated that one of the areas that New Zealand would want to collaborate with Tonga on is the development of government.

“We discussed this morning some of the areas where New Zealand operates in practical partnership with Tonga and it was interesting to hear from the Prime Minister about the strong focus here on the political development and the development of government that goes with that,” he said.

PM English also acknowledged the role of the Tongan Government in hosting the signing of the PACER plus agreement.

“The agreement takes a wide and long view of development across the Pacific and provides a framework for a whole lot of detailed efforts required to lift our regional integration.”

“In the long run this region and all of the Pacific countries and clearly New Zealand is going to be determined by our economic success and the PACER Plus agreement is the first indication in a long time of common commitment to the economic success and so it was a pleasure to see the symbolism of Tonga hosting the sign of that agreement.”

PM English also recognized the contribution of the Tongan community to New Zealand.

“Can I just note the extensive contribution of the Tongan community in New Zealand where some of our most prominent citizens, most prominent sports people and academics are of Tongan descent including some of the current delegation MPs. So while we are here we do talk about New Zealand’s contribution to the development of Tonga and just want to recognize the contribution of the Tongan community to New Zealand.”

Tonga’s Prime Minister Hon Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva said Tonga and New Zealand are close friends and traditional partners tied by its shared values and history.

He said, “Tonga will need to undergo a new political order of perform, thinking and participation by its people and the nation as a whole moving from the old order and mindset into the new reform Tonga of setting ownership of resources, skills, talents and strength in order to build a modern nation where it pushes growth and sustainability.”

He applauded New Zealand’s assistance to Tonga’s education sector, justice, security and the development of Teufaiva Outdoor Stadium.

Hon Pohiva assured that he will work closely with PM English to strengthen the ties Tonga and New Zealand shares.


Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change & Communications


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