4 Nov 2010

Renewed Tongan call to retest ownership of Auckland residence

6:50 pm on 4 November 2010

A Tongan lawyer, Sione Fonua, says in view of political changes coming to the country, it's important that the ownership of the King's residence in Auckland is clarified.

Mr Fonua made the comment after returning to Tonga to stand in this month's elections .

The property is being sold with a multi-million dollar price tag but Mr Fonua says that's being held up by a caveat put by an Auckland based group of Tongans concerned at the sale of what they believe is a state asset.

The government is adamant that it's King George Tupou the 5th's private property, but opponents claim the certificate of title refers to the King and his heirs and successors, which they say may make it state property.

Mr Fonua says the matter needs to be sorted before the election.

"It is very important to clear those things out because there are some properties which are in the names of the Royal Family and it's important to clear it out and say which one is yours personally and which one belongs to the government."