Plan after plan is dropped as Tonga struggles to find land for Games golf course

With only two years to go before the South Pacific Games Tonga is still struggling to find land for the construction of a new golf facility.

The only site available is government land in Atele where the Tonga College is located, but the college alumni said they planned to build the collegeʻs boarding school there.

The Fiji government had accepted a request from Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pohiva to host the golf tournament during the Games, but the Fijian Foreign Affairs Minister said this would reflect badly on Tonga because Tonga had told the Pacific Games committee it could provide all the facilities for the Games. After his statement,  Tonga withdrew from the arrangement.

The king offered the use of some of his land in Kauvai, but Hon. Pohiva said the land was too remote.

He said the same problem applied to plans to build the golf facility in Niumate.

Hon. Pohiva said there was also a plan to build the facility using reclaimed land, but this would have required the removal of mangroves and the plan was dropped.

There was also a plan to use land at Fuʻamotu airport, but because three nobles shared the lands it was too expansive for the government to lease.

Hon. Pohiva told the House he felt it would not be right if the government removed the mangroves for the construction when land should be available.

He asked the House to postpone discussion of the matter and leave it to him and Cabinet to deal with.

He said the land at ʻAtele should be reserve for the plan by the college alumni.

Government must spend money on land

Lord Tuʻihaʻangana told the Prime Minister in the House there was no such thing as cheap land in Tonga. He said it sounds like the Prime Minister wanted to get land for free or cheap for the construction.

He said  if the Prime Minister wanted to get the land from His Majesty without paying, it would be a long story.

He said the government must accumulate a huge amount of money before it made deals to get land for the golf facility.

The main points

  • With only two years to go before the South Pacific Games Tonga is still struggling to find land for the construction of a new golf facility.
  • The only site available is government land in Atele where the Tonga College is located, but the college alumni said they planned to build the collegeʻs boarding school there.
  • The Fiji government had accepted a request to host the golf tournament during the Games, but the Fijian Foreign Affairs Minister said this would look bad because Tonga told the Pacific Games committee it could provide all the facilities for the Games.
  • The king offered the use of some of his land in Kauvai, but Hon. Pohiva said the land was too remote.

For more information

Tonga still host the 2019 Pacific Games

Games costs could hit NZ$100 million mark and estimates do not include many items

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