Tonga

Tonga sued for millions of dollars because of Games withdrawal

The government pulled out of their hosting agreement last year, citing financial difficulties.

The Supreme Court has issued a Summons of Writ which the government has 28 days from issuance, (May 15), to answer.

The Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue said the body was seeking damages for the losses that it suffered as a result of the unilateral decision to withdraw without consultation.

TASANOC is seeking the same.

Mr Minogue said the claim was for three parts of the damages that were being sought as far as the council was concerned.

Tonga secure big guns as Fifita makes rep switch

In a huge boost for international rugby league and Tonga's rapid development as a challenger to the game's traditional heavyweights, Fifita has revealed a pact instigated by Taumalolo after last year's surprise World Cup finals charge convinced him to rule himself out of Australian and NSW Blues contention.

Fifita said he and Taumalolo had reaffirmed their commitment to the Mata Ma'u during a meeting with Tonga coach Kristian Woolf in North Queensland before last month's round-one clash between the Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys.

NZ Immigration launches annual Pacific Access

The Samoan Quota and the Pacific Access Category resident visas allow for a number of people from five Pacific countries to be selected for New Zealand residence each year, provided they meet the necessary requirements.

Each year up to 1100 Samoan citizens, 250 Tongan and Fijian citizens and 75 Kiribati and Tuvaluan citizens can be selected by ballot to be considered, but a number of applicants who do win a place often have to forfeit it after failing to secure an acceptable job offer.

Konrad Hurrell returns to Tonga to help cyclone-ravaged nation

NRL.com reporter Zac Bailey joined Hurrell as he surprised loved ones in the country’s cyclone-ravaged capital Nuku’alofa.

Hurrell was granted leave from pre-season training by Titans coach Garth Brennan, a decision that gave the Tongan international the chance to lend a hand following the Category 4 cyclone.

Houses were flattened and lives lost in the natural disaster that has crippled the nation.

Taufatofua's result a success for Tonga

Competing in only his sixth major race, the 34 year-old completed his run in 56 minutes and 41 seconds.

Pita Taufatofua, who took up cross-country skiing just over a year ago, finished ahead of four other competitors in South Korea, and more than 23 minutes behind the gold medallist, Dario Cologna from Switzerland.

Head of Sport for the Royal Tonga Ski Federation, Steve Grundmann, said it was a fantastic race by the double Olympian.

He said Pita Taufatofua paced his way perfectly around a difficult course and even had a smile on his face.

From Rio Games to Winter Olympics, Pita Taufatofua takes on cross-country ski

Two years ago, he was marching into the Rio summer Games carrying the Tongan flag shirtless and sporting an oily torso - last week, at sub zero temperatures, he did the same in South Korea at the Winter Olympics.

His taekwondo dream ended in a 19-1 opening-round defeat in Brazil and having turned to the snow Taufatofua's ambitions are to "finish before they turn the lights off" and "don't ski into a tree".

Cyclone Gita: Houses destroyed, church 'completely gone'

Fiji's MetService said the category four storm was very close to being upgraded to the highest category, five.

It had already washed out building and equipment of Tonga's met office, and Fiji weather forecasters took over issuing warnings for the region from shortly before midnight.

The storm was expected to be upgraded to a category five in the early hours of the morning.

The US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre earlier said it was hitting maximum sustained winds estimated at 233km/h.

Tonga's famous flagbearer returns to steal the show

Pita Taufatofua emerged from the tunnel covered in his trademark body oil and wearing a grass skirt, sandals and a huge smile as he led the Tongan delegation around the arena.

"I won't freeze. I am from Tonga. We sailed across the Pacific. This is nothing," Taufatofua said.

The Oceania gold medallist in taekwondo made global headlines in 2016 with a shirtless entrance as the country's flagbearer at the Rio Olympics.

The good news for his admirers is that he returned for the Winter Olympics, having switched to cross country ski-ing.

Pacific Games Council to begin legal action against Tonga next year

 

Tahiti is suspended after they boycotted the Vanuatu Mini Games over disagreements on who should represent them in boxing.

Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue say both decisions reflect the council's mandate for autonomy in sports without political interference.

"We'll go through a process with them in the early part of next year hopefully, to try and reach some agreements around the respective independence and autonomy of the sporting body.

Samoa now has the hosting rights for the 2019 Pacific Games.

 

Women's football wows the crowd despite Vanuatu's scoreless draw

The showpiece of the night was a tough match between front-runners Vanuatu and Fiji that ended 0-0.

Vanuatu had been looking to build on their 5-0 opening win over Solomon Islands, while Fiji had recorded the same score over Tonga in their opener.

However this match proved a far closer contest. Both teams were very strong and had several chances.

The crowd cheered wildly with Fiji, as well as the home side, drawing strong support.

In the earlier match, Tonga defeated Solomon Islands 3-1 to the delight of Tonga’s excitable fans.