13 Feb 2017

Tonga awaits new postal system

11:07 am on 13 February 2017

Tonga will soon have a new postal system where every house will have an address consisting of three random words.

Like much of the Pacific, Tonga doesn't really have a formal address system, which can make things difficult for the country's mail deliverers.

The chief executive of Tonga Post, Siosifa Pomana, said the organisation had been looking for a solution for years, and it recently teamed up with a British company, What3Words.

Mr Pomana said that over the next few months, all of Tonga will be divided into nine-square-metre sections which will be assigned a combination of three words.

"It works by a grid that's three metres, three metres and according to GPS. So for us, being in Tonga that we don't have formal addresses, this will help us to pinpoint the delivery point. We will visit homes, starting with a pilot, and give them their three word address. It's a random three words, but at least for us at the post we will know exactly where people are."

Mr Pomana said Tonga Post has launched an awareness campaign, and the three word system will be rolled out to PO Box customers from March.