Tongan taxpayers pay TP$30,000 to host Hōkūle‘a

Tongan taxpayers forked out about TP$30,000 to entertain and welcome the arrival of Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia canoes in the Friendly Islands last week, a Cabinet document says.

The government allocated a total of TP$11,950 for the reception in Vavaʻu which included TP$1,500 for purchasing of T-shirts for the crew, TP$2,000 for a welcoming dinner, $500 petrol vouchers to be paid for two boats to pull the canoes to shore.

The cabinet decision shows similar expenses from the host fund were allocated for reception when the canoes arrived in Tongatapu on Thursday 23.

Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, which have been to 26 different countries and had been docked in 85 ports, have a mission of “supporting global movement toward a more sustainable world”.

The Hokule’a was, “founded on a legacy of Pacific Ocean exploration, the Polynesian Voyaging Society seeks to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, each other, and their natural and cultural environments”.

The voyaging canoes were in Pago Pago, American Samoa before they departed for Tonga and now heading New Zealand.

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