20 Nov 2006

Tonga's airport busy as international flights get underway

11:38 am on 20 November 2006

Tonga's international airport is busy as passengers check in for the first flights out of the country since a riot erupted in the capital last Thursday.

Airlines had suspended flights because of concerns of safety.

A joint New Zealand/Australia defence force unit secured the airport.

The Prime Minister says New Zealand isn't taking sides in the dispute and its offer of help is about supporting a proper process of constitutional reform in Tonga.

Helen Clark says New Zealand remains ready to help move forward the discussions in Tonga towards democratic reforms.