11 Dec 2008

NZ to give $1.5m to help democracy in Tonga

11:01 pm on 11 December 2008

New Zealand is to give $1.5 million to Tonga to assist the country with democratic reform and elections.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says the money will go to Tonga's new independent Constitutional and Electoral Commission, as well as assisting the reform process in areas such as public education.

Mr McCully congratulated King George Tupou V and Prime Minister Feleti Sevele for their commitment to bringing reform to Tonga.

He says the Government is encouraged by their commitment to hold elections in 2010.

The funding will be delivered over three years through the Government's aid agency NZ-Aid, and will be matched by a similar amount by the Tongan government.