13 Sep 2006

New Zealand farewells Tonga's king

2:06 pm on 13 September 2006

One hundred military personnel farewelled the late King of Tonga's casket as it was loaded onto an RNZAF Hercules this morning.

King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV died at the weekend at Mercy Hospital in Auckland following a long illness.

His body has been lying in state at his residence in the Auckland suburb of Epsom.

New Zealand Defence Force staff made up a guard of honour, with staff in ceremonial dress, accompanied by the Air Force band.

The Defence Force will also be transporting people to Tonga for the funeral next week.