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Upgrade to Teufaiva Playing Field Officially Marked Completed

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13th December, 2017 The New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga Her Excellency Ms. Sarah Walsh handed over the upgraded Teufaiva Playing Field to the Government of Tonga represented by the Prime Minister Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva, this morning at the Teufaiva Stadium.

In her keynote address, Ms. Walsh said today marks the completion of the playing field upgrades and also the end of Phase 1 of the Teufaiva upgrade with the track and stadium upgrades to follow.

“The playing field met World Rugby standards, and allowed Tonga to host two well-contested test matches against Samoa and Fiji earlier this year.  Test rugby returned to Tongan home soil after 9 years, with rugby fans excited about home test matches once again.  This is a symbolic achievement.  These two international rugby matches demonstrated the huge potential for Tongan rugby and other sports.”

Ms. Walsh stated that in 2014, New Zealand’s former Prime Minister, John Key announced that New Zealand would contribute NZ$2 million towards upgrading Tonga’s national stadium in Nuku’alofa.

“The goal of New Zealand’s investment was to upgrade Teufaiva Stadium playing field, with expected benefits for tourism, national and community unity, and the promotion of sports and healthy lifestyles.”

She told the gathering that Teufaiva has a long proud history as Tonga’s national sports and rugby venue.

“Teufaiva” could be interpreted in a number of ways, but here is the one I like.  Teufaiva as a compound word, made up of two words, “Teu – Faiva” meaning “I will perform”.  A statement of intent, a statement about the future, a promise to perform.”

Prime Minister of Tonga Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva on behalf of the Government of Tonga extended their uttermost gratitude to her Excellency Ms. Sarah Walsh and the Government of New Zealand for their commitment to improve the health of the Tongan people through healthy lifestyles.

“We specially note the untiring effort of former Prime Minister Right Honourable John Key to the upgrading of Teufaiva.”

Pohiva also acknowledged the great efforts of the Contractor for keeping within the timeframe of the contract and showing our people how to look after this beautiful sports ground.

Hon. Pohiva stated that one of the crucial points that needs to be acknowledged is the close relationship between New Zealand and the Government of Tonga in relation to rugby.

“In 2010, the Ministry of Internal Affairs established a ‘Junior Rugby Program ‘as a marketing strategy for our young talents. This program has toured New Zealand since 2010 and up to now, there are 64 students altogether being offered full scholarships to study and play rugby at around 13 different schools in New Zealand.”

The upgrade took 9 months to complete cost the Government of New Zealand NZD$2, 0, 28,496.00.

Also present at the event was the Patron of Women Rugby, Hon. Fanetupou Vava’u Tu’ivakano, Nobles of the Realm, Cabinet Ministers Ambassador of Japan to Tonga His Excellency Mr. Tetsuya Ishii, Australian High Commissioner to Tonga His Excellency Mr. Andrew Ford and guests.


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

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 December 2017 16:53 )  

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