17 Aug 2006

Tongan king remains seriously ill in NZ hospital

3:18 pm on 17 August 2006

The King of Tonga remains gravely ill in Auckland's Mercy hospital as his people prepare for the worst.

Several members of the Royal Household, including the Queen, his daughter and his youngest son, have been with His Majesty King Taufahau Tupou the 4th since yesterday.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Feleti Sevele, made an unscheduled announcement on Radio and TV Tonga last on Tuesday, calling on Tongans to pray for their king.

The prime minister has now also flown to New Zealand.

The lands minister, Noble Fielakepa, says the kingdom is being prepared.

"There will be arrangements for that in due course run by the royal undertakers. That has been ongoing work but as I understand it everything is ready as far as that aspect of things are concerned."

Noble Fielakepa