24 Feb 2006

Another Tongan noble dies

6:24 pm on 24 February 2006

Tongan Noble Fakafanua has died suddenly in the capital of Nuku'alofa.

The Prime Minister's Office confirmed that Fakafanua collapsed and died while on a morning walk.

Matangi Tonga reports he was the second young Tongan noble to die this month.

His first cousin, Noble 'Ahome'e died suddenly in the US earlier this month at the age of 35 and was flown to Tonga.

'Ahome'e will be buried on Saturday.

Tutoatasi Fakafanua was a lawyer, who lived and worked in Auckland.

He became the seventh holder of the Fakafanua title when his father died in 2004.

Fakafanua became one of the youngest members of the Tongan Cabinet and Privy Council when he became the Minister of Labour, Commerce and Industries and Minister of Tourism in 1991.

He was Minister of Finance from 1995 to 2001.

He is survived by his wife Princess 'Ofeina, two sons and a daughter.

Fakafanua and 'Ahome'e were both nephews of Queen Halaevalu Mata'aho.