30 May 2003

Taimi O Tonga to go on sale this afternoon in Tonga

3:46 pm on 30 May 2003

The Taimi O Tonga newspaper is finally expected to go on sale in Tonga this afternoon, after a series of ban imposed on it by the Government had been declared illegal.

The paper was banned in late February after the Government had claimed that it was campaigning to overthrow it.

After two legal battles in the Supreme Court - the latest on Monday - the bans were quashed and an edition of the paper was sent from Auckland on Tuesday.

However Customs would not allow it to be distributed, saying the legal ruling, which overturned a Privy Council ordinance, needed to be gazetted.

The publisher Kalafi Moala says they have been advised that process has now occurred and the paper will go on sale from this afternoon.

He says in the end the latest delay didn't matter.

"I think it's something that shouldn't have been, but that's the way bureaucracy deals with it. Our attitude is we've been waiting for three months to get back into Tonga and probably another two or three days wait didn't hurt."

Kalafi Moala