Government clarifies reports palace office stopped its workers at Tufumahina

The Tongan government said it sent workers to the king’s estate in Tufumāhina to start land measurement work as part of the preparation for the Pacific Sports 2019  but this had led to an issue with the palace office.

It said the workers were sent to assess the land as part of the preparation to build the golf course for the Games.

The palace office intervened and stopped the workers.

In a statement released to Kaniva News this morning the Prime Minister’s Office said His Majesty assented to a request by the Prime Minister to allow part of his estates for the construction of the golf course.

The king also agreed for the Prime Minister to discuss the matter further with his Private Secretary Ratu Tevita Mara and Lord Luani.

The Prime Minister assigned the task to his Minister of Land and Survey Lord Ma’afu.

Lord Ma’afu later informed the Prime Minister the king’s land in Kauvai was available for the golf course.

The Prime Minister said after considering the location in terms of distance, safety, accessibility and costs to golfers further discussion was made and they decided the royal estate at Tufumāhina where the villa is, was better.

It was not clear who were involved in the discussion to change the location from Kauvai to Tufumāhina.

However the Prime Minister said in the statement when the workers arrived at Tufumahina to start the preliminary construction work they were told by the Palace Office to stop and leave.

The Prime Minister said negotiation with Palace Office on the matter will continue.

He said if the negotiation for Tufumāhina would not be successfull  the golf course will be constructed at Kauvai as previously planned.

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