18 Aug 2005

New Zealand MP visiting Tonga to support democratic cause

9:09 pm on 18 August 2005

The New Zealand Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesman, Keith Locke, is travelling to Tonga to lend his support to the democratic cause.

The MP's visit comes as thousands of public servants continue a month-long strike calling for large wage increases.

Mr Locke says the lengthy strike shows the need for political change.

"The movement for higher wages seems to have run up against the roadblock of a government that doesn't listen to the people and it reinforces the need for structural change so that the government there does represent the people in the same way that the New Zealand government is democratically elected."

Mr Locke says he will also be in Tonga to talk about the recently released New Zealand government report into it's relationship with the Kingdom.

He was part of the select committee which compiled the report but says he will be expressing his dissappointment that it did not call for greater change in Tonga.