Tonga’s interview targets 7 million Forbes readers

PHOTO: Tonga’s Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pōhiva says the payment worth it. Photo/supplied. 

Forbes magazine bills the Tongan government US$130,000 (TP$269,457.97)  after interviewing Tonga’s Prime Minister Akilisi Pōhiva.

The interview was intended to help promote the kingdom of Tonga to over 7 million Forbes readers.

The Tongan government have responded to queries and criticisms about the large sum of money that was spent on the two-page featured interview, in where Hon. Pōhiva admitted he did not know it was a paid interview and that government would spend that much money on it.

However he said the interview with Forbes on the other hand was vital for the promotional need of Tonga, as it takes on a different channel of advertising that will reach a demographic composed of millions of rich business people around the world.

Pōhiva reportedly said he only learnt about the payment after the interview and advised the treasury not to pay the sum.

However, the Minister of Finance advised the Prime Minister to pay the money as there was a contract made between Forbes and the government prior to the interview.


The contract, according to a document made between the Minister of Finance and Forbes on February 13 said: “The cooperation undertakes to include an advertisement on report on Kingdom of Tonga which is to be published in Forbes magazine, with the following characteristics: Double page spread”.

A payment of US$130,000 was also noted to be paid by the Tongan government, in which 50 percent must be paid before March 13, and the remaining 50 percent to be paid on publication.

According to cabinet decision 444, the Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet Dr. Palenitina Langaʻoi informed the Ministry of Finance that the recommendation for the payment had been approved by the cabinet on April 27. She confirmed that the payment has to be paid from Tonga Tourism Authority vote.

The Prime Minister said he was unsure of the exact amount of money government spent on tourist promotions per year, but he believed it was a lot of money.

He said a team of government officials are sent overseas each year to promote Tonga to overseas tourists.

Pohiva told the opposition he believed the money paid to Forbes after the interview worth it.

About Forbes

Forbes Media is a global media that focuses on delivering news and information about business, investment, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and affluent lifestyles.

In 2014 Forbes magazine has achieved its highest readership ever in the U.S increasing by over 1.5 million readers to 6.7 million.

Forbes Media is the owner of various publications such as Forbes, Forbes Asia, Forbes Europe and Forbes Life, as well as and Today, the Forbes brand reaches more than 75 million people worldwide each month through its publications and its 36 licensed local editions around the globe –, TV, conferences, research, social and mobile platforms.

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

Latest news

Related news