The Tongan Prime Minister says complaints about the bans on Sunday trading won't lead to a law change unless there's a groundswell of public opinion.
'Akilisi Pohiva said he agrees the ban, which came in earlier this month, was affecting small business owners but it simply enforces a law that has been breached for 30 years.
The ban restricts Sunday trading to restaurants in hotels and other commercial accommodation establishments.
He said Tonga is a Christian country and there would need to be a strong movement for Parliament to look at repealing the law.
"I understand that it really affects the business community, but unfortunately that's what the law says."
"There has been very strong pressure from the public, so public opinion in Tonga is very very important whether the government likes it or not, but we have to listen, especially to the churches in Tonga, they are very powerful," he said.
'Akilisa Pohiva arrived in New Zealand on Thursday, his first offical visit as Tonga's Prime Minister.