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Official Opening new Vuna Wharf: Prime Minister's statement

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10 December 2012 Statement by the Prime Minister at the opening of the new Vuna Wharf on 10 December 2012.

FAKATAPU

  • Tapu mo Ho'o ‘Afio, Kingi Tupou VI, Ko e Hau Toka e ‘Otu Tonga;

· Tapu mo e Ta'ahine Kuini, Nanasipau'u;

  • Tapu mo ‘Eiki Lupepau'u Tuita moe Fale ‘o Ha'a Moheofo;
  • Tapu mo e Hou'eiki Nōpele ‘a ‘Ene ‘Afio;
  • Tapu ki he Tokoni Palemia mo e Hou'eiki Minisitā ‘o e Kalauni;
  • Tapu ki he ‘Eiki Palēmia mālōlō, mo e Hou'eiki Minisitā mālōlō;
  • Fakatapu makehe heni ki he ‘Amipasitoa Siaina, His Excellency Mr Wang Donghua, kae'uma'ā ‘a e Kau Fakafofonga fakatipilōmetika ‘o e ngaahi Pule'anga Muli;
  • Tapu mo Kamoto mo Ha'a Tauhi Fonua
  • Pea ‘oku pehe ‘a e Fakatapu kiate kimoutolu hono kotoa hou'eiki fakaafe ‘oku tau tefua he pongipongi ni ‘i he Uafu Ko Vuna. Kae ‘ata keu fakahoko atu ‘a e fatongia ni ‘i he lea faka-Pilitania koe'uhi ko hotau Kainga mei Muli.
  • Your Majesty King Tupou VI;
  • Queen Nanasipau'u;
  • Hon. Lupepau'u Tuita and members of the Royal Family;
  • Nobles of the Realm;
  • Ministers of the Crown;
  • And a special acknowledgment of His Excellency, Mr. Wang Donghua, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China and Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
  • Rev Dr ‘Ahio and members of the Clergy
  • Former Prime Minister of Tonga and retired Ministers of the Crown;
  • Distinguished Guests;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

Today is a historical day for the Kingdom of Tonga!

More than hundred years ago, this concrete deck underneath us was the location of Tonga's first significant international Wharf.

Vuna Wharf was opened for international shipping in 1906 and it was active until the construction of the Queen Salote Wharf some 40 years ago.

The original Wharf was suspended 30 years ago due to damage caused by Cyclone Isaac in 1982 which led to the declaration of the wharf structurally unsafe for shipping and transportation.

Since its suspension - lack of maintenance, seismic and cyclone actions have both been dangerous and unsightly. Hence it was proposed that along with the rejuvenation of the Urban Planning Project of Nuku'alofa that the wharf requires reconstruction.

The Vuna Wharf Rehabilitation Project thus saw the production of this new complex.  This very monument is adjacent to the site of the original Wharf.

The main part of the Wharf is constructed of steel piles supporting the concrete deck.  A four mooring dolphins have been built for cruise ships, a concrete deck structure supporting a minimum 50 tonnes bollard is also in place.


Your Majesty

As witness last week during the "National Spatial Planning Authority exhibition"- the Nuku'alofa Vision was declared under the theme "Building Our City and Future" with the objection to make Vuna Wharf a hub of tourism activities and a magnet for cruise ships and visiting naval vessels.  In the same vein, there are provisions for an existing facility to cater for visiting yachts and premises for the trading of handicrafts and tourist-intended goods and services.

With full confidence, I hereby call on the Ports Authority, the Tonga Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the Ministry of Infrastructure to ensure the meaningful implementation of all these endeavors.

The launching of this historical and momentous Vuna Wharf is a cornerstone to our Strategic Development Framework as Vuna Wharf will become a hallmark of our economic development - boosting trade and economic enterprises and more importantly unlocking the potential of our tourism industry to deliver growth and improved livelihoods of our people.

Today would therefore mark a vital step forward in Government's provision of infrastructure to facilitate growth, generate progress and promote prosperity in Your Majesty's Kingdom.

Tomorrow, we will witness the first arrival and docking of a Cruise Ship here at Vuna Wharf.

So on behalf of His Majesty's Government and the People of Tonga, I would like to acknowledge with sincerest gratitude His Excellency, Mr Wang Donghua and the Government of the People's Republic of China for the assistance and generous funding of this Project.  We thank Your Excellency and Your Government for this marvelous project; a great gesture to the Kingdom shortly before Christmas!

I am most humbled too for Your Majesty's presence today - this facility will be a legacy of our generation and a pillar of hope for Tonga's future.

My best wishes too to the Ports Authority for taking Vuna Wharf forward under your management and guidance.  May your collective endeavors will achieve the objectives of the His Majesty's Government and the Peoples of Tonga.

‘Oku haka ‘i he langi kuo tau ‘a e Tonga kotoa ‘i he ‘aho ni, ‘i Hono Ha'elea ‘E He ‘Afiona ‘a e Uafu ko Vuna ... ke Fakamonuka ‘a e Maa'imoa ni.  Pea hange koe fatu Ta'anga kuo laau 'ilo ki ai ‘a Ho Fonua;

Tavake Oma ‘oku kei Tangi Tangi

Siutaka pea ne Foki Mai

Tofa si'i Huni moe Fa

Langitoto moe ‘Otu Taulanga

Tofa Soi Fua Va'e Popua

He! He! Ha! Ha! Kuo Kite Uafu Ko Vuna!

Finally Kamoto, may I humbly request Your Majesty, King Tupou VI to graciously unveil the plaque and cut the ribbons.

‘Ofa atu.

 

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