7 Jul 2006

New Zealand Foreign Minister pays tribute to Prince Tu'ipelehake

6:42 pm on 7 July 2006

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Winston Peters has paid tribute to Tonga's Prince Tu'ipelehake who was killed with his wife Princess Kaimana in a car accident in the US.

Mr Peters says that on the behalf of the government and people of New Zealand, he extends deepest condolences to the Tongan Royal Family and the people of Tonga.

The Foreign Minister has described Prince Tu'ipelehake as a remarkable individual who recognised there was room for debate on reforming Tonga's political system.

Mr Peters says the Prince pursued this goal with sensitivity and perception, mixed with a strong determination to achieve progress.

He says the vision and achievements of His Royal Highness will not be forgotten, and the strong foundation for discussion and dialogue that he established will be a lasting legacy bequeathed to all Tongans.