26 Oct 2010

Tonga political party believes King constitutionally bound not to sell Atalanga

2:37 pm on 26 October 2010

A political party in Tonga is threatening legal action if King George Tupou the 5th and the caretaker Government fail to clarify questions surrounding the ownership of Atalanga, the royal residence in Auckland.

The estate's on the market with the government saying it's nothing to do with it because it's a private holding of the King.

There have been demonstrations in Auckland over the planned sale and now the Langafonua Tu'uloa Party has written to the King and the government asking for clarification.

An Auckland lawyer, Sione Fonua, who's contesting next month's election for the party, says he believes the King is constrained by the constitution from selling a property that is held in the name of the monarch to be passed to his heirs and successors.

"It means he cannot just dispose of the property as he pleases. And funny enough the certificate of title states the owner of the property is His Majesty King George Tupou the 5th of the Kingdom of Tonga, his heirs and successors."

Sione Fonua says if they don't get a satisfactory answer they may ask the courts to rule on the matter.