PNG donates US$35 million to help Tonga’s Pacific Games prep

The government of Papua New Guinea has indicated it will donate US$35 million ($82.04 pa’anga)  to assist Tonga in its preparation for the Pacific Sport 2019.

But this will be confirmed once a team from PNG will arrive in Tonga on Saturday to assess the works the money would be spent on.

The good news for the kingdom has been revealed to Kaniva News this afternoon by Tonga’s Minister of Sports who is also the Minister for Internal Affairs, Feʻao Vakatā.

Hon Vakatā said US$20 million (an equivalent of $46.88 million pa’anga, NZ$36.66 million, AUS$28.58) will go to the reconstruction of Teufaiva Stadium and US$15 million (an equivalent of $35.16 million pa’anga, NZ$22.98 million, AUS$21.43 million ) will be spent on Tonga’s Sport Academy.

The millions of paʻanga allocated for the Teufaiva Stadium will cover costs for building of athletic track and field event facilities, Hon. Vakatā said.

“A team from PNG will arrive here in Tonga on Saturday to conduct surveys and they are willing to assist us,” the minister said.

A Tongan team of delegates led by the Honourable Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pohiva met the Prime Minister of PNG Hon. Peter O’Neill in Port Moresby on Monday, January 18.

“The main purpose of the Hon Prime Minister’s visit to PNG is to further strengthen the economic and social cooperation between the two countries in the sports arena,” a statement from Tonga’s Prime Minister’s Office said. .

“As the nation who has most recently hosted the Pacific Games, PNG has indeed set the benchmark at the highest standard – an esteemed position that the Government of Tonga aspires to meet”.

PNG ana Bing
L-R, The Prime MInister of PNG Peter Oniel, Prime Minister of Tonga ʻAkilisi Pōhiva, Hon Feʻao Vakatā and Ministry of Internal Affairs CEO ʻAna Bing Fonua. Photo/Supplied

“Additionally, PNG will also assist Tonga with its High Performance Centre where elite sportsmanship will be prepared to represent Tonga in the Pacific Games and other international sporting events”, the statement says.

It also says a delegation from Papua New Guinea led by the Minister for Sports and Tourism, Hon. Justin Tkatchenko MP, will visit Tonga soon “to share their experiences of planning and [preparation for the Pacific Games]”.

The Tongan delegation also met the Tongan community in PNG in which it hosted a dinner function for Hon Pohiva and his entourage, the statement said.

“The Hon. Prime Minister presented a special gift of a ‘fonu’ to Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill, not only as a token in memory of his visit to Port Moresby, but as a symbol of love and friendship that was established between and among the Tongan Missionaries and the people of Papua New Guinea. It also symbolizes the spirit of unity and solidarity between and among the people of Papua New Guinea and the people of the Kingdom of Tonga”, the statement said.

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