The Hon. Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon Samuela Akilisi Pohiva is making his first official visit to the Island of Vava’u, today 6th of March 2015. He is accompanied by the Minister for Public Enterprises, Hon Poasi Tei, Minister for Commerce, Tourism and Labour and Minister for Police, Prisons and Fire Services, Dr the Hon Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, Minister for Agriculture, Food Forests and Fisheries, Hon Semisi Fakahau and the Chief Secretary and Secretary for Cabinet, Dr Palenitina Langa’oi. Already in Vava’u is the Minister for Health, Dr the Hon Saia Piukala and Minister for Infrastructure, Hon Etuate Lavulavu.
The Governor of Vava’u, Lord Fulivai greeted and welcomed the Hon Prime Minister, Minister’s and Government Officials at Lupepau’u Airport this afternoon. The traditional welcoming ceremony (ha’unga) and presentation of traditional gifts were conducted at the Puataukanave Hotel to mark this official visit, by Vava’u residents. This evening, the Governor of Vava’u will host an official reception in honor of the Prime Minister’s first visit to Vava’u. The Hon Prime Minister’s program for his visit includes touring the development projects that are currently underway in Vava’u on Saturday 7th of March 2015. These development projects are not only central to the development of Vava’u but they are within the priority areas of his Government socio-economic development plan.
These projects include, Utukalongalu Market; Halaevalu Wharf, Queen Vanilla that deals with export market in Australia; Heilala Vanilla of New Zealand market; the Talihau Village New Foreshore; Vaipua Causeway; Proposed New Airport at Tu’anekivale and also Kalaka Landfill Rubbish Dump Site.
On Sunday 8th, the Prime Minister, Ministers and officials will attend the church service at the the Laumalie Ma‟oni‟oni Free Wesleyan Church at Neiafu. In the evening, there will be a thanksgiving choir service (po hiva) at the same church where choirs from different religious denominations in Vava’u will come together to mark this visit in prayer and spiritual singing. On Monday 9th, Hon Prime Minister, Ministers and Officials will visit the Government Offices in Vava’u.
The Hon Prime Minister, Ministers and Officials will return to Tongatapu on Tuesday 10th of March.
The Chief Secretary & Secretary to Cabinet said “This is the first opportunity for the Prime Minister to travel to Vava‟u. He is looking forward to meeting the people of Vava‟u and to visit Government projects and Government Offices. Together with Cabinet Ministers, the visit will bring them closer to the people of Vava’u, provide them with a clear idea of current development and issues in Vava’u in order to help with this Government in their development plans and assistance for Vava’u during their term in office.”