22 Aug 2005

Tongan protestors in Auckland in scuffle with police - one arrested

9:09 pm on 22 August 2005

Tongan protesters and New Zealand police have scuffled outside the Auckland residence of the Tongan king.

The tussles continued into tonight after 87-year-old King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV refused to meet the demonstrators, who are acting in solidarity with striking public servants in Tonga.

One woman was arrested.

Reports say about 70 protesters have been squaring off against 30 police, including diplomatic protection squad officers, who have responsibility for guarding the residence.

The protests outside the home began last Friday.

The king is reported to be in Auckland for medical treatment.

The strike in Tonga by a majority of public servants who want pay rises of up to 80 per cent, has brought the kingdom to standstill entered its fifth week with no resolution in sight.