4 Feb 2010

More tributes for leading Tongan academic

3:09 pm on 4 February 2010

The Chief Executive of New Zealand's Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, has paid tribute to Tongan academic Dr Futa Helu, who died at Tonga's Vaiola Hospital on Tuesday.

Dr Tukuitonga says Dr Helu, who started the Atenisi Institute, was one of the academic giants of the Pacific.

He says his contribution to education in Tonga, over a number of decades, and his influence on Tongan society was immense.

Dr Tukuitonga says Dr Helu's wisdom and contribution to philosophical and ethical discussion in Tonga was vital because he chose to stay independent of the government.