Sport: PNG stands by plans to help Tongan Games

12:09 pm on 17 November 2016

The Papua New Guinea government has reaffirmed it's commitment to helping Tonga prepare to host the 2019 Pacific Games.

A PNG delegation visited Nuku'alofa in February to assess the local facilities and indicated a willingness to help refurbish Teufaiva National Stadium.

PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko with Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva during a visit to Nuku'alofa in February.

PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko, (third from right), with the Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva, (third from left), during a visit in February. Photo: Facebook / Justin Tkatchenko MP

However last month Tonga's Games Organising Committee CEO, Feleti Sevele, said that work was yet to begin and uncertainty remained.

But PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko said they had not forgotten about Tonga.

Mr Tkatchenko said a submission regarding assistance is ready for the PNG National Executive Council.

"NEC is a National Executive Council where 36 ministers sit on there and make decisions for this country," he said.

"NEC will decide what funding that they will give to Tonga, [to] help them with the main ground stadium and the high performance centre."

The minister remained confident that a positive decision would be made within the next week.

"It will be granted by NEC, which the Chairman is the Prime Minister and NEC, National Executive Council, will make a declaration on what assistance they can give, understanding out current economic situation," Tkatchenko said.

"We are not going to let our countrymen down in Tonga. We have made a commitment, the Prime Minister still stands by his commitment. We will assist wherever we can, but also we will assist in technical assistance too, through human resource."

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