15 Apr 2014

Tonga opposition leader says no need for new palace

7:47 pm on 15 April 2014

Tonga's opposition leader says there is no call for a new palace and new government buildings in Nuku'alofa.

This comes as Radio Tonga reports the Deputy Prime Minister, Samiu Vaipulu, is in China to finalise a deal for office space and what is to be known as the St George Palace.

But Akilisi Pohiva says King Tupou the 6th does not require a new palace while Nuku'alofa has plenty of office space still available in the capital after the Chinese financed rebuild of the city centre.

"So there is no reason for the Government to put up that project [ the new palace] while the loans from China are still out there and the future of that loan is very uncertain and I don't see any opportunity for the Tonga Government to repay any time in the next 20 years or so."

The leader of the Tonga Democratic Party, Akilisi Pohiva.