Tonga treatment saved thousands; PM thanks Princess Mata’aho for visit

Vakai ki he ngata'anga 'o e peesi ko 'eni 'i lalo 'oku 'i ai ha ki'i fakamatala nounou faka-Tonga ki he ongoongo ni

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Princess Angelika Latufuipeka Tuku'aho. Photo/ Paula Moimoi Lātū (Youtube)

The Prime Minister’s decision to be treated in Tonga rather than New Zealand saved thousands pa’anga of taxpayers’ money, a government spokesperson said.

He said the government would have spent more than $100,000 if it had hired a medical aircraft to fly the Prime Minister to New Zealand.

Hon. Pōhiva, 76, was admitted to Vaiola hospital’s intensive care unit last month, but he recovered and was discharged about a week later.

The Prime Minister told Kaniva News he was hospitalised because he had not taken care of himself properly, even though he had felt ill for some time.

The Prime Minister is in Auckland on leave and for a regular medical check-up.

Meetings with king

Hon. Pōhiva told Kaniva News this week Princess Angelika Lātūfuipeka Halaevalu Mata’aho Tuku’aho, the only daughter of the king, visited him while he was at Vaiola hospital.

He said he “deeply appreciated” the royal visit and he was “hugely grateful for the Princess.”

Hon. Pōhiva said he had two meetings with the king before he left for New Zealand.

Asked about the meetings he said they were “wonderful.”

“The king wanted us to move forward. He wanted us to work very closely. That was my interpretation of how His Majesty talked while we met,” Hon. Pōhiva said.

“I was really happy with the meetings.

“His Majesty urged me to look after my health, take a leave and come back to Tonga to do our work.”

He said he planned to return to Tonga this Friday, but because the queen was arriving in Auckland this week he planned to visit her before leaving for the kingdom.

Government policy

The government spokesperson said Health authorities prepared to transfer the Prime Minister to a New Zealand hospital after he was admitted, but he wanted to stay in Tonga.

The spokesperson said the authorities acted according to the government policy which gave them the power to do their utmost to look after the leaders of the nation including the royals.

He said if the Prime Minister had agreed to transfer him to New Zealand the government would have paid more than TP$100,000.

Hon. Pōhiva, who faced criticisms of alleged nepotism in 2015, said the cost was cheap when he travelled to New Zealand on leave and visited his doctor there at the same time. He paid for his expenses, including his medical check-up while in New Zealand.

He rented a house at the ‘Atalanga residence in Epsom and motels in Auckland for his stays.

The Tongan consul at ‘Atalanga, Stafford ‘Aho, confirmed to Kaniva News this evening the Prime Minister paid the rent for all bookings  the consulate has made for him including the house in ‘Atalanga while he was in New Zealand.

Kaniva News understands a former Prime Minister who was wheelchair-bound died after spending months in an Auckland hospital. While he was in New Zealand all his expenses including people who were looking after him were paid from taxpayers’ money.

A former Minister of Police was medically transferred from Tonga to New Zealand while he was seriously ill. He died in the aircraft before his body arrived in Auckland. All expenses were paid from the taxpayers’ coffer.

For more information

King officially dissolves Parliament, new election in November, Crown law website says

Pōhiva denies claims of nepotism, says ministers have vowed to put sexual misdeeds behind them

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  1. Hao e pa’anga lau Kilu mei he tukuhau ‘a e kakai ‘i hono faito’o pe ‘o e ‘Eiki Palēmia ‘i Tonga ‘ikai ke ‘omai ki Nu’u Sila he’ene tengetange mahina kuo ‘osi.

    Na’e ‘osi mateuteu e falemahaki ke fai ‘eni ka na’e ‘ikai loto ki ai ‘a e ‘Eiki Palēmia, ko e lau ‘eni ‘a ha fakafofonga mei he pule’anga. Pehē ‘e he palēmia tuku pe ia ke toki me’a mai pe ia ‘i he’ene taimi livi pea fakahoko ai ha’ane sio toketā. Pehē mei he pule’anga kapau na’e loto e ‘Eiki Palēmia ke ‘omai pe ki Nu’u Sila ni ne ‘i he $100,000 tupu e fakamole kau ai hano nō ha vakapuna makehe ke ‘omai ia.

    Ko e tu’utu’uni ngāue pe ia ‘a e pule’anga pea ne ‘osi fakahoko e tu’utu’uni ko ia ki he kau taki fakapule’anga ‘i mu’a ‘i he Palēmia ko ‘eni ka ne nau tengetange. Fakamālō foki ‘a e ‘Eiki Palēmia ki he Ta’ahine Pilinisesi Angelika Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho ‘i he’ene me’a ange ‘o ‘a’ahi kiate ia lolotonga ‘ene ‘i Vaiola. Kuo tu’o ua e fakataha ‘a e ‘Eiki Palēmia mo e tu’i pea ne toki me’a mai ko ‘eni ki Nu’u Sila ni.

    Ko ‘ene me’a mai ki Nu’u Sila ni ‘oku ne fua pe ‘e ia ‘ene fakamole heni. Fakapapau’i ‘e he konisela Tonga ‘i ‘Atalanga ki he Kaniva ‘oku totongi pe ‘e he ‘Eiki Palēmia ‘a e fale ‘oku ne me’a ai ‘i ‘Atalanga pea ‘oku ne toe totongi pe mo ha mōtele ‘e fie nofo ai heni ‘a ia ‘oku puka ‘a e ngaahi mōtele ko ia ‘e he ‘ōfisi ‘o e konisela. Ne ‘i ai e palēmia ki mu’a ne me’a saliote teketeke pe ‘o ne ‘i ha fale mahaki ‘i Nu’u Sila laulau māhina ‘o a’u ‘o ne pekia na’e fua kotoa pe mei he tukuhau ‘a e kakai ‘a e fakamole ki ai.

    Ne ‘i ai mo e Minisitā Polisi malōlō ne fakafolau fakavavevave mai ko ‘ene puke lahi ‘o ne pekia pe ia ‘i he vakapuna te’eki tu’uta mai ki Nu’u Sila ni. Na’e fua kotoa ‘a e fakamole koi a mei he tukuhau ‘a e kakai fakatatau ‘eni ki ha fakamatala tonu mei he pule’anga ‘oku ma’u ‘e he Kaniva. Ko e founga ngaue mo e fatongia pe ia ‘o e pule’anga kuopau ke fai, fakatatau ki he fakamatala.