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New Ministers

This category highlights the appointment of new Ministers for a Government Department as well as Ministers who are on Acting Appointments for a particular portfolios.

Lord Vaea - Tonga's Agriculture & Forestry Minister

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14 January 2011
Lord Vaea is Tonga's new Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Food and Fisheries.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 23 January 2011 22:34 )

Hon. Samiu Vaipulu - Deputy PM / Justice & Transport Minister

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The Prime Minister, Lord Tu'ivakano has appointed the Hon. Samiu Kuita Vaipulu, as his Deputy Prime Minister.

Hon. Samiu Vaipulu is also the Minister responsible for three other portfolios which includes the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Works.


On 10 November 2009, Hon. Samiu Kuita Vaipulu, then Number 2 People's Representative from Vava'u to the Legislative Assembly, was appointed as new Minister for Justice.

Samiu Kuita Vaipulu, 58, hails from the island of Ovaka in the Vava'u Group. He was first elected into the Legislative Assembly in 1987 and is presently serving his sixth three-year term. At the beginning of his present term in the Assembly in 2008, he established a new precedent when he was elected as the Chair of the Committee of the Whole, a position that had always been held by a representative of the Nobles. He will join Cabinet while he continues in his mandate as one of the two People's Representative from Vava'u to the Assembly.

Samiu Kuita Vaipulu is a Licensed Law Practitioner. He is licensed to practice law in Tonga and to appear on behalf of clients at all levels of the judiciary in Tonga, from the Police Magistrate's Court to the Court of Appeal. He holds a Diploma in Legal Studies from the University of the South Pacific from which he graduated in 1989.

He is a founding member of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Union (APPU), whose membership covers parliaments from the Pacific Islands countries and those of South East Asia as well as North East Asia. In fact he was elected Secretary General of APPU at its first meeting in 1988 - a post which he still holds. He is also Tonga's representative to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly which meets annually in Brussels.

The new member of Cabinet also has a long history of involvement with the tourism industry as well as the local shipping and airlines industry.  He was involved with TETA Tours, one of the country's biggest tour operators in the 1970's, and the Shipping Corporation of Polynesia (SCPL), for which he was the Area Manager in Vava'u from 1981 until 1996. He was also associated with Airlines Tonga. His present involvement with the tourism industry is focused on his home island where he is involved with Whale Watch Vava'u Ltd, Mounu Island Resort and Dive Vava'u.

Samiu Kuita Vaipulu is married to Mele Sekola Vaipulu (nee Tongilava) of Tatakamotonga and they have 5 children and 6 grandchildren.


Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa, 2011.

Last Updated ( Monday, 17 January 2011 14:06 )

Lord Tu'ivakano - PM / Foreign Affairs & Defence Minister

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14 January 2010

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.

Family Background
Honourable 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. 
Educational Background
Between 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:
Upon 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 College.

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.

His 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 villages.

Political Background
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. 
As 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 Commonwealth countries.

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.

Hon. Lord 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 ( Monday, 17 January 2011 20:27 )

Lord Tu'ivakano - Tongan Prime Minister

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22 December 2010

On 21 December 2010, the twenty six newly-elected members of Tonga's new Legislature have unanimously elected in a secret ballot,  noble and Former Speaker of Tonga's Parliament (2002-2004) Lord Tu'ivakano to be Tonga's next Prime Minister for the next four years.

Lord Tu'ivakano won the Premiership by two votes with 14-12 Tonga's PM Designate, Lord Tu'ivakano votes against Tonga's longest-standing advocate of political reform and pro-democratic movement, Mr ‘Akilisi Pohiva.

The Lord Tu'ivakano was received in an audience by His Majesty King George Tupou V to receive his Letter of Appointment to the office of Prime Minister on 22 December.

Lord Tu'ivakano has been a member of the Legislative Assembly since 1996 and during his term as Speaker of the House, he introduced 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 Commonwealth countries.

The Lord Tu'ivakano, is currently holds the portfolio of Minister for Training, Education, Youth and Sports,  in the interim government, a ministerial position he has filled since 2006.  Prior to this, he was Minister for Works in 2005.

He was educated at Tonga High School from 1960-63 before proceeding to New Zealand's Wesley College in 1964 and Ardmore Teachers College in 1975, and upon returning to Tonga he led the Physical Education Department in the Ministry of Education.

In 1988-91 he attended Flinders University in South Australia where he graduated with an Honours degree in Political Science.

Siale'ataongo Tu'ivakano has been appointed to the hereditary title of Tu'ivakano since 1986, the estate noble for the Western district villages of Nukunuku, Matafonua, Fatai, Matahau, Vaotu'u.

The Lord Tu'ivakano is direct descendant of Tonga's seventh Prime Minister, the Late Hon. T.P. Tu'ivakano and of former Speaker of the House, the Late Hon. Sosiua Tu'ivakano.

Lord Tu'ivakano will replace Tonga's previous Prime Minister. the Dr. Hon. Feleti Vaka'uta Sevele.


Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa, 2010.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 February 2013 21:39 )

Appointment of New Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano

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22 December 2010  The Prime Minister-designate, Lord Tu'ivakano was received in audience today, Wednesday 22nd December 2010 at 12.00 NOON at the Royal Residence, The Villa for his appointment to the office of Prime Minister in a State Ceremony known as ‘The Kissing of Hands'.

The Ceremony involved the Lord Chamberlain announcing the presence of the Prime Minister- designate. Lord Tu'ivakano then advanced, took the King's Hand and paid his respect by bowing his head until he heard the Announcement, ‘Please rise, Prime Minister'.

The Prime Minister then received his Letter of Appointment from His Majesty The King.

Lady Tu'ivakano, the Prime Minister's spouse, after being introduced also paid her respect before they were received in a Private audience.

Prior to the audience granted for the Prime Minister-designate, the outgoing Prime Minister, Hon Dr Feleti Vaka'uta Sevele was also received in audience at 1100 Hrs, to take his Leave. Hon Dr Feleti Sevele was accompanied to the audience by his spouse, Mrs Ainise Sevele.


Fakanofo 'o e 'Eiki Palemia fo'ou Nopele Tu'ivakano 'e he 'Ene 'Afio Kingi Siaosi Tupou V

Na'e ma'u faingamalie ‘a e Palemia Fili, Nopele Tu'ivakano ‘i he taimi 1200 ho'ata  ‘o e ‘aho ni, ‘aho Pulelulu, 22 ‘o Tisema 2010, ke fakataufolofola ki he ‘Ene' Afio, Kingi Siaosi Tupou V, ‘i he ‘api ko Villa, ke fakahoko ‘a hono fakanofo ki he lakanga ko e Palemia, ‘i he Ouau Fakapule'anga ‘aia ‘oku ‘iloa ko e ‘The Kissing of Hands.'

Ko e Ouau koeni, na'e fakafe'iloaki ‘e he Lord Chamberlain ‘a e Palemia- Fili, pea na'e fakahoko leva ‘e Nopele Tu'ivakano ‘a ‘ene faka'apa'apa ki He ‘Ene ‘Afio, ‘i he ‘ene punou kae ‘oua leva kuo folofola atu ‘a ‘Ene ‘Afio.

Na'e  foaki atu leva ‘e he ‘Ene ‘Afio ‘a ‘ene Tohi Fakanofo, ko e Palemia ‘o Tonga.

‘I he hili ‘a hono fakafe'iloaki ‘o e uafi, Lady Tuivakano na'a ne fakahoko ‘a ‘ene faka'apa'apa, kimu'a ia pea na toki ma'u ‘a e faingamalie ke na fefolofolai mo ‘Ene ‘Afio.

Ka,  kimu'a ‘i he fakahoko ‘a e Ouau ‘o e Fakanofo ‘o e Palemia Fili, na'e ma'u mo e faingamalie ‘o e Palemia lolotonga, ke fakahoko ‘a ‘ene Fakataufolofola Fakamavae ki He ‘Ene ‘Afio ‘i he taimi 1100 pongipongi.  Na'e kau ki he fefolofolai fakamavae koeni ‘a e Hoa ‘o e Palemia, ko ‘Ainise Sevele.


Issued by the: Office of the Lord Chamberlain, Palace Office, Nuku'alofa, 2010.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 January 2012 15:37 )
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