NZ Labour leader impressed by coronation,  but asks: Where was Key?

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In the picture: Labour Party Leader Hon. Andrew Little surrounded by friends and colleague during His Majesty’s King Tupou VI’s coronation in Tonga. Photo/MP Sua William Sio (Facebook).

New Zealand Labour leader Andrew Little said he was impressed by this month’s coronation in Tonga, but asked why Prime Minister John Key did not attend.

Little was in Tonga as part of a New Zealand delegation that attended the coronation of His Majesty King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipauʻu.

The Labour Leader said the kingdom was an important bilateral partner and ally that was undergoing significant changes with the transition to more democracy.

“New Zealand leaders needed to be in Nukuʻalofa,” he said.

The New Zealand delegation was led by the Governor General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Matepara and the Minister for the Pacific Hon. Sam Lotu Iga.

Little was accompanied  by Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs Spokesperson Su’a William Sio and Jenny Latu Salesa.

He acknowledged the support of Tongans for the Labour Party.

“The Tongan people are the fastest growing Pacific group in New Zealand,” he said.

“There are over 60,000 New Zealand Tongans and many are members of the Labour Party.

“Jenny Latu Salesa was born in Tonga and our front bencher Carmel Sepuloni is of Tongan heritage.

“Tongan people make an enormous contribution to Labour and our country.”

Little was echoing concerns by the Tongan community in New Zealand that the Prime Minister did not attend the coronation.

During the celebrations the Chairman of the Tonga Advisory Council in New Zealand, Melino Maka, criticised the Prime Minister for not attending the celebration.

Key did not go to Tonga for the coronation, but instead flew to Samoa to watch the test between the All Blacks and Manu Samoa.

“That doesn’t sound right,” Maka told the Kaniva News radio programme.

The Labour leader said he was impressed by the coronation.

“At the time I was surprised that Tonga could mount such a massive event as the coronation,” the Labour leader told Kaniva News.

“It was an obviously very expensive operation for a small island nation. It was run well and the people of Tonga seemed very happy with the coronation.”

He said he had the opportunity to speak with Crown Prince Tupotoʻa and Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pohiva while he was in Tonga.

Asked why the Labour Party should form the next government, he said: “New Zealand is facing major challenges that the present Government isn’t facing up to.

“This includes meaningful action on climate change which affects small island nations like Tonga. Labour Governments typically take these issues more seriously and are more effective.”

The main points

  • New Zealand Labour leader Andrew Little said he was impressed by this month’s coronation in Tonga, but asked why Prime Minister John Key did not attend.
  • “New Zealand leaders needed to be in Nukuʻalofa,” Little said.
  • However, Little said he was impressed by the coronation
  • He said he had the opportunity to speak with Crown Prince Tupotoʻa and Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pōhiva while he was in Tonga.

For more information

Minister to attend Tongan coronation

John Key in Samoa

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  1. Ne teʻia e loto ʻo e taki ʻo e Paati Leipa ʻa Nuʻu Silá Andrew Little ʻi he hilifaki kalauni ʻi Tonga he māhina ní ka ne ne ʻeke pe ko e hā ko ā ne ʻikai kau hake ai ki ai ʻa e palēmia ia ʻo Nuʻu Sila ní John Key.

    Naʻe ʻi Tonga ʻa Little ko e konga ia e kau folau mei Nuʻu Silá ni ke kau atu ki hono fakakalauni ʻo ʻEne ʻAfió King Tupou VI pehē kia Kuini Nanasipauʻu.

    Ne pehē ʻe he Taki Leipá ko e puleʻanga fakatuʻí ko e hoa ngāue fengāueʻaki ia ʻoku lolotonga fakahoko ai ha ngaahi liliu mahuʻinga ʻi heʻene hopo ko ia ki he founga pule fakatemokalatí.

    Naʻe fiemaʻu ke ʻi Nukuʻalofa ʻa e kau taki ʻo Nuʻu Silá, ko ʻene laú ia.

    Ne taki atu foki ʻe he kau folau mei Nuʻu Silá ʻe he Kōvana Senialé General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Matepara mo e Minisitā ki he Pasifikí Hon. Sam Lotu Iga.

    Ne kaungā fononga atu ʻa Little ia mo e matāpule fakahoko fatongia ʻa e Leipá ki he Pacific Island Affairs, Su’a William Sio pehē kia Jenny Latu Salesa.

    Naʻá ne fakamālōʻia foki e poupou ʻa e kakai Tongá ki he Paati Leipá.

    “Ko e kakai Tonga ʻa e kulupu Pasifiki tupu vave taha ʻi Nuʻu Silá”, ko ʻene laú ia.

    Ne ne pehē ʻoku ʻova hake ʻi he toko 60,000 ʻa e kakai Tonga ʻi Nuʻu Silá pea ko e tokolahi ai ko e kau mēmipa ʻo e Paati Leipá.

    Ko Jenny Salesá ne fanauʻi ia ʻi Tonga pea pehē foki ki he toko taha māʻolunga he Leipá ʻoku konga Tonga mo ia ʻa Carmel Sepuloni.

    ʻOku tokoni lahi ʻaupito ʻa e kakai Tongá ki Nuʻu Sila mo e Leipá, ko e lau ia ʻa Little.

    Ne kau fakataha foki ʻa Little mo e niʻihi ʻi he koniunitī Tonga ʻi Nuʻu Silá ʻi he hohaʻa ki he ʻikai ko ia ke kau atu ʻa e palēmiá, John Key ki he kātoanga hilifaki kalauni ʻi Tongá.

    Lolotonga e kātoangá ne fakaangaʻi ʻe he Sea ʻo e Kosilio Faleʻi ʻa e Kakai Tonga ʻi Nuʻu Silá Melino Maka ʻa e ʻikai ʻi Tonga ʻa Key ʻi he kātoangá kae meʻa ia ki Haʻamoa ʻo sio tau he tesi ʻa e All Blacks mo e Manu Samoá.

    Pehē ʻe Maka ʻoku ʻi ai e meʻa ia ʻoku ʻikai ke tonu heni.

    Naʻe pehē ʻe Little ne ne ʻohovale ʻi he ʻikai ke ʻi Tonga ʻa Key he hilifaki kalauní.

    Ne ne pehē foki ne ne mālieʻia ʻi he malava ʻe Tonga ke fakahoko lelei ʻa e fuʻu kātoanga lahi ko ʻeni mo fakaʻofoʻofá pea hā ʻa e fiefia ʻa e kakaí lolotonga e maʻalalí.

    Ne ne faingamālie foki ʻo femeʻaʻaki mo e Tama Pilinisi Kalauni pehē ki he Palēmia ʻo Tongá lolotonga ʻene ʻi Tongá ko ʻene laú ia.

    Ne fehuʻi ange foki ki ai ko e hā e ʻuhinga ʻoku totonu ai ke puleʻanga ʻa e Leipa ʻi he fili hokó pea naʻá ne pehē ʻoku ʻi ai ʻa e ngaahi pole lalahi ʻoku fehangahangai mo Nuʻu Silá ni ka ʻoku ʻikai loko tokanga ki ai ʻa e puleʻanga lolotongá ia.

    ʻOku kau heni ʻa e feliliuaki ʻa e ʻeá ʻa ia ʻoku uesia lahi ʻe ia ʻa e ngaahi fonua ʻotu motú kau ai ʻa Tonga pea ko e ngaahi kaveinga ia ʻoku toʻo mamafa mo fakamaatoato ia ʻe he Leipá.

  2. It is great that people have enjoyed the coronation, however the prime minister of New Zealand has already a representative in Tonga to represent him. The current government of New Zealand has done a lot to Tonga. Thanks to the New Zealand labour representatives who attended the coronation, but I think Prime Minister Key did not have to attend. The New Zealand Government was represented by his other delegates.already. Prime Minister Key had other responsibility to be in Samoa during the coronation!