31 Jul 2008

Tonga government grateful for NZ attendance at coronation

10:46 am on 31 July 2008

Tonga's Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, says the Government is grateful for the attendance of New Zealand's Governor-General and Prime Minister at the King's Coronation.

He says the presence of Anand Satyanand and Helen Clark reflects the close and longstanding ties between New Zealand and Tonga.

New Zealand is one of Tonga's major development partners, and is the source of around 50% of Tonga's imports.

Dr Sevele says the two countries work closely on matters of regional and international importance through such institutions as the Pacific Forum, which Tonga currently chairs, and the United Nations.

Dr Sevele will meet the The Governor-General, this evening at a function which Mr Satyanand is hosting for New Zealanders in Tonga.

Dr Sevele and Helen Clark are scheduled to have a bilateral meeting tomorrow afternoon soon after she arrives in the Kingdom.