13 Jun 2017

Tongan MPs table motion to host Pacific Games

9:10 pm on 13 June 2017

Tonga's parliament has adjourned to give the Prime Minister time to respond to a motion calling for parliament to order the government to host the Pacific Games.

Pacific games ceremony in PNG

Photo: RNZ Vinnie Wylie

Last month, 'Akilisi Pohiva pulled out of hosting the 2019 event, initially citing financial reasons but then saying his government had other priorities.

He remained steadfast in his stance even when the regional Pacific Games Council met with him to allay his concerns.

Now MPs Lord Nuku and Vili Hingano have tabled a parliamentary motion in the hope Mr Povia will change his mind.

Mr Hingano said it was also tabled for the government to explain its stance and give valid reasons.

"They have been on air, on media, on social media, announcing and giving different reasons every now and then of why they are withdrawing from hosting the sports," he said.

"Because we believe we have the money here in Tonga to facilitate and finance this Pacific Games and that is why we put in this motion."