1 Jul 2017

Tonga's TBC a public service, not govt cash cow says publisher

7:21 am on 1 July 2017
No caption

Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

A prominent publisher in Tonga says the government's decision to part-privatise the national broadcaster is not a good move.

The public enterprise minister, Poasi Tei, told parliament on Friday Tonga Broadcasting Commission had not been able to pay its dividend.

The government plans to retain a 51 percent share, while 49 percent will be offered for private sale.

But a broadcaster and publisher, Kalafi Moala, said the Commission was set up as a public service, not a government cash cow, and the proposed sale was not at all justified.

"I think the government, unfortunately, have got that wrong. From the very beginning when the broadcasting network was set up it was always for the community service - when there are disasters that happen in Tonga. It's really sad that they're going to do it this way."

Publisher, Kalafi Moala

Publisher, Kalafi Moala Photo: RNZ Pacific/Koro Vaka'uta