11 Sep 2015

Sport: Tonga govt and TASANOC hold clear the air talks

10:49 am on 11 September 2015

Tonga's Minister for Sport says relations with the National Olympic Committee are improving, following months of conflict.

Fe'ao Vakata criticised TASANOC officials in July after the government had to pay the travel bill for 59 remaining Pacific Games athletes, whose federations failed to pay their air fares to Papua New Guinea.

Former TASANOC interim CEO 'Ahongalu Fusimālohi subsequently resigned, and has been replaced by Emeline Tuita.

Tonga's readiness to host the 2019 Pacific Games has also been questioned.

Fe'ao Vakata has criticised the sporting federations for being disorganised but says relations are improving.

"We are doing what we can from our side from the Ministry. I met with the interim CEO for TASANOC, Emeline Tuita, and we have agreed on a lot of things that moves sports forward here in Tonga and she's very enthusiastic and we will be working together".

Fe'ao Vakata says he expects all major construction for the Pacific Games to have begun by early next year.