12 May 2017

Sport: Organisers not happy with Tonga PM's golf plans

12:15 pm on 12 May 2017

Tonga's Pacific Games Organising Committee and the government remain at odds when it comes to the golf venue for the 2019 event.

Last week the prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva said everything was on track.

However the committee said the government is wasting money by insisting on building a new golf course.

'Akilisi Pohiva has said a new nine hole course will be built at Popua.

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva and 2019 Pacific Games Organising Committee CEO Lord Sevele.

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva and 2019 Pacific Games Organising Committee CEO Lord Sevele. Photo: wikicommons / Alex Perrottet / RNZ

But the organising committee CEO Lord Sevele said there is already an existing course which can be upgraded to suit which would cost eight million pa'anga less than the prime minister's plan.

"We wouldn't agree to a new golf course costing a total of 13 million plus [pa'anga], versus the upgrading and improvement of the existing course at a maximum of five million. Eight million plus the difference."

Lord Sevele said anyone with a sensible mind would say I'll take the five million and spend that rather than spending 13.

He said maintenance costs would also be incurred by government with the new course.

"With the new location, there comes the maintenance afterwards because it is government property, whereas the existing golf course there is no maintenance. It is done by the club and the owner's of the land."

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