Princess Mele Siu‘ilikutapu dies aged 75

Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu, a first cousin of King Tupou VI has died aged 75 at an Auckland hospital this morning at 7.15am Sunday May 28.

Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu. Photo/Sreenshot

A vigil has been held in the hospital by Prince Tu’ipelehake and her son’s kāinga, the Palace Office said.

Princess Siu’ilikutapu was deeply involved with the Tongan community in Auckland. She supported Covid-19 vaccinations and recently appealed to her people to get immunised.

“Kāinga Tonga I appeal to you who have yet to do your first dose. It is very dangerous to our family and our people in Aotearoa,” the Princess said.

“I ask the youth and those between 12 to 29 years old to join in so it could encourage your generation to get vaccinated”.

The Princess represented the Tongan community during an event in 2021 in Auckland in which former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave a formal and unreserved apology on behalf of the government for the Dawn Raids which she said left Pacific communities feeling “targeted and terrorised”,

Siu’ilikutapu said she vividly recalled the Dawn Raids and the injustice of the treatment applied specifically to her community.

She said she accepted the government’s gifts which she described as “very significant indeed” saying it signalled the government’s desire to mend the rift.

The Royal Palace in Nuku’alofa said the Princess’ body is expected to be returned to Tonga.

The Princess first married to late Tu’iono Liava’a, a Tongan Police sergeant in Auckland in 1969.

The wedding was forcibly annulled by King Tupou IV the same year, in accordance with his constitutional prerogative, after Siu’ilikutapu returned to Tonga.

After the marriage was made illegal, Princess Siuʻilikutapu was married to Late Hon. Kalaniuvalu Fotofili, who was born as Siosiua Ngalumoetutulu Kalaniuvalu-Fotofili. He died in 1998.

They had two sons. The eldest died in 2010 leaving the youngest a chance for the king to give him two chiefly titles, Kalaniuvalu and Fotofili. He is the current Prince Kalaniuvalu Fotofili.

In 1975 Siu’ilikutapu was elected to the Legislative Assembly, becoming its first female member.

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