Government saves TP$1.6 million of King’s coronation celebration by careful cost cutting

King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u on their coronation day. Photo/Edwina Pickles (Fairfax Media)


The coronation of King Tupou VI cost taxpayers TP$1.6 million (NZ$1 million) less than expected, the Prime Minister’s office has announced.

The savings were the result of careful cost cutting on everything from free travel to flowers.

The Prime Minister’s Office said King Tupou’s coronation had been expected to cost TP$5.2 million (NZ$3.6 million), but had only cost TP$3.6 million (NZ$2.5 million).

The savings contrasted with the TP$10 million (NZ$7  million) spent on the coronation of the  late King George VI.

The money spent came from TP$1.9 million (NZ$1.3 million) from the Palace Office and TP$1.7 million (NZ$1.2 million) from the government and Cabinet Coronation Committees, which were chaired by the Prime Minister.

Tonga Revenue, Custom and Immigration Ministry’s CEO ‘Anisi Bloomfield told Kaniva News the coronation had been widely seen as a success and an encouragement to the government’s policy of cutting as much as possible unnecessary spending of public funds.

Bloomfield was a member of the committee which monitored the funding of the event. He said the government’s partner organisations and businesses worked very well together to make the event a great success.

He said the government cut funding for matters they believed would not affect the coronation.

Overtime payment for drivers was cut and petrol use was recorded and closely monitored.

Vehicle rentals were reduced and for the most part government vehicles were used instead.

Free travel for people from the outer islands was restricted to a certain number of travellers and other travellers had to pay for themselves.

During the coronation of George VI the government gave outer islanders free travel to Tongatapu to participate in the celebration.

The government also reduced spending on the renovation of the Centenary Chapel where the crowning took place and agreed to equally share the costs with the Free Wesleyan Church,

They also cut the spending on certain occasions, including the special dressing for those who were awarded medals. For instance, the kahoa kakala (necklaces of flowers) given to guests at royal events normally cost TP$200 (NZ$140) each.

They also reduced spending on communication and media and the amount of fireworks used.

“The success of the Coronation is due to the effective collaboration between Government Ministries and the public at large from Tonga and abroad,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The main points

  • The coronation of King Tupou VI cost taxpayers TP$1.6 million less than expected, the Prime Minister’s Office has announced.
  • The savings were the result of careful cost cutting on everything from free travel to flowers.
  • The Prime Minister’s Office said King Tupou’s wedding had been expected to cost TP$5.2 million, but had only cost TP$3.6 million.
  • The savings contrasted with the TP$10 million spent on the coronation of the late King George VI.

For more information

Tonga crowns King Tupou VI in lavish public coronation, parties (ABC)

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