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Perspective of reporter Haas on Pousima Afeaki
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Pacific Citizens:
Lifting our game
List of oral archives
Career of a Parliamentarian
Coping with the depression
Putting things together in Ha’apai
Gifting fish in Ha’apai
Export bananas to NZ through the Produce board
Organising people to produce bananas
Respecting commoners
Respecting Queen Salote
Expanding secondary education options
Expanding education options
Andrew Afeaki arrives for education in NZ
Early Tongans at Victoria University of Wellington
King Dick, the British and Tonga
Closeness of annexation
Queen Salote and New Zealand
Maori and Tongan leaders contact
Lawyer into Parliament
Previous generation also in Parliament
Leader of the opposition, Pousima Afeaki
Working through government marketing then and private sector now
Son's perspective on a giant of a man Pousima Afeaki
Andrew Afeaki’ s hopes for his time
Lifiting our game - 2003



Social Studies Level 7, Resources and economic activities:



Closeness of annexation

DecisionMaker sound:

Click here to listen to this oral archive

Andrew Afeaki says:
I have no doubt we had a measure of luck (maintaining independence whilst other Pacific Islands became colonies). We came pretty close to annexation. England by then had had enough on its plate. The Empire was a huge cost to the Treasury; I don’t think they wanted the added cost of Tonga, despite the push by British traders here in Tonga.

Siu Ki Moana Exhibit says about Tonga’s Staunch Independence:

Tonga’s staunch independence as an island state is unique in the Pacific. It had formal and informal relationships with other nations in the 1800s, but never succumbed to official annexation by any other power.

Some countries did however join partnerships with Tonga during the nineteenth century in various ways: a treaty with Germany in 1876 included the establishment of a naval coaling station in Tonga’s most accommodating harbour, Vava’u; one with Great Britain called the Treaty of Friendship was negotiated in 1878-1879. Another treaty with America, ratified in 1888, allowed the United States Navy access to Tongan harbours and the right to establish repair and coaling facilities in Tongan waters.

Throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth century there was interest by different parties for the formal liaison of Tonga with, e.g. the Dominion of New Zealand and even Fiji; meanwhile there was continual pressure for the annexation of the Kingdom of Tonga to Great Britain.

In a compromising move, Basil Thomson was sent in 1900 as a special envoy from Britain to convince Tupou II to accept British protection from “external hostile attacks” against the Kingdom. Thomson had represented the Crown in Tonga years earlier, and was familiar with the personalities and tensions that existed there.

King George Tupou II reluctantly signed a document in May of 1900 establishing protectorate status by “Her Brittanic Majesty” over the Kingdom of Tonga.
Next, Queen Salote and New Zealand



Source: Anthony Haas personal collection. Photo by Mart Friedlander, 1978

Occupants of and advisers to Tonga's Royal Palace managed to prevent the ancient Polynesian Kingdom becoming a colony during the 1800s and early 1900s - in an era when its neighbours were colonised by European or American interests.

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