King, PM visit ‘Ovaka and Lape as celebration weeks continue in Vava’u

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His Majesty King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau'u arrive in Ovaka island. Photo/Akosita. H. Lavulavu

The King of Tonga His Majesty King Tupou VI visited the island of ‘Ovaka in Vava’u while the Prime Minister arrived in the island of Lape this week.

The king and the Prime Minister were in Vava’u as thousands celebrate His Majesty’s 58th birthday.

The island of Ovaka is one of the islands the Ministry of Fisheries has labelled as Special Management Areas (SMA).

The project is being applauded for its success in helping the community to protect their fishing zone from outside fishermen giving an opportunity for the reef and marine creatures in these areas to recover.

The King and his entourage including the Minister of Health and MP for Ovaka were welcomed into a royal luncheon by the Ovaka kāinga.

The residents also performed some Tongan faivas for the king.

The four-days celebration of His Majesty’s birthday began on 4 July in Neiafu following the Free Wesleyan Church annual conference which ended on July 3.

Meanwhile the Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva visited the small island of Lape.

He was accompanied by Vavaʻu 16 MP ‘Akosita Havili Lavulavu and some of the cabinet ministers.

There are only six households in the island.

Presentation of gifts

During the royal celebrations all Vavaʻu three constituencies including Vava’u 14, Vava’u 15 and Vava’u 16 presented gifts to the king.

There were also various presentations of gifts by His Majesty’s immediate kāinga, churches and social groups.

The cultural practice was formally presented to His Majesty through the fakatū’uta of puaka toho (hog), ngatu lau nima, Tongan handicrafts and envelopes full of money.

The MP for Vava’u 16 said on Facebook four towns in her constituency including Leimātu’a, Holonga, Mataika and Feletoa were instructed by the district officer to also collect TP$500 each for their presentation.

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