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Lifting our game
Tonga-New Zealand 1950
Sione comes to New Zealand - A Samoan migrants story
NZ Economic Transformation Report

  NZ Tongans' stake in Tongan development
Auckland based Tongan Advisory Council chair Melino Maka says local Tongans, if only because of family ties, do not want to stand aside from dicussions on the constitutional deveopment of the Kingdom.

Tokelauans and Tongans overseas are two examples of Pacific citizens in 2005 who have migrated wanting a say in the constitutional development of their country of origin.

NZ Tongan submissions to NZ Parliament

Earlier in 2005 his council helped mobilise Tongan submissions to a New Zealand Parliamentary inquiry into the Tonga New Zealand relationship. The committee report to Parliament calls for a dialogue between the Tongan Advisory Council and the New Zealand Aid Agency, NZAID. A few years earlier the local Tongans felt frustrated at NZAID cooperation with them when they wanted to help their families receive hurricane relief.

Overseas Tongans brokering settlement
As political change stepped up in Tonga later in 2005, the Auckland Tongan Advisory Council facilitated the participation of Hawaii based Tongan academic Dr Sitiveni Halepua in brokering the strike settlement between Tongan public servants and Tonga's government. Melino Maka says the Tongan community in New Zealand want what is constitutionally best for Tonga - and is not for a quick fix".

Support for political change
Prince Tu'ipeleke MP, the King's nephew who reports Royal support for political change, says New Zealand and other overseas Tongans have a role to play in the political change discussions for the Kingdom. The Prince, a noble, also acknowledges the importance of the remittances home from the overseas Tongans.

by Anthony Haas, Asia Pacific Economic News Bureau, Press Gallery, Parliament Buildngs, Wellington

Updated 14 December 2005




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